Saturday, March 14, 2009


Q: What’s the difference between
pregnancy tests that check urine
and those that test blood?
Which one is better?
There are two types of pregnancy tests.
One tests the blood for the pregnancy
hormone, hCG. The other checks the
urine for this hormone. You can do a
urine test at home with a home preg-
nancy test. You need to see a doctor to
have blood tests.
These days, most women first use
home pregnancy tests (HPT) to find
out if they are pregnant. HPTs are
inexpensive, private, and easy to use.
Urine tests will be able to tell if you’re
pregnant about 2 weeks after ovulation.
Am I Pregnant?
Some more sensitive urine tests claim
that they can tell if you are pregnant as
Q: How do pregnancy tests work?
early as one day after a missed period.
Pregnancy tests look for a special
If a HPT says you are pregnant, you
hormone in the urine or blood that is
should call your doctor right away. You
only there when a woman is pregnant.
This hormone, human chorionic
gonadotropin (hCG), can also be
called the pregnancy hormone.
doctor can use a more sensitive test
along with a pelvic exam to tell for sure
if you’re pregnant. Seeing your doctor
early on in your pregnancy will help
you and your baby stay healthy.
The pregnancy hormone, hCG, is
made in your body when a fertilized
Doctors use two types of blood tests to
egg implants in the uterus. This usually
check for pregnancy. Blood tests can
happens about 6 days after conception.
pick up hCG earlier in a pregnancy
But studies show that the embryo does-
than urine tests can. Blood tests can tell
n't implant until later in some women.
The amount of hCG increases drasti -
cally with each passing day you are
if you are pregnant about 6 to 8 days
after you ovulate (or release an egg
from an ovary). A quantitative blood
test (or the beta hCG test) measures the
exact amount of hCG in your blood.
Many home pregnancy tests claim they
So it can find even tiny amounts of
can tell if you’re pregnant on the day
hCG. This makes it very accurate.
you expect your period. But a recent
Qualitative hCG blood tests just check
study shows that most don’t give accu-
to see if the pregnancy hormone is
rate results this early in pregnancy.
present or not. So it gives a yes or no
Waiting one week after a missed period
answer. The qualitative hCG blood test
will usually give a more accurate
is about as accurate as a urine test

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