Early Pregnancy Tests: Does EPTs Really End Your Speculations?

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Jun 20, 2014 | Last Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Early Pregnancy Tests

Home pregnancy test is the most commonly used method in detecting early pregnancy. It is the most convenient, but not the most reliable. Besides home pregnancy kit, there are still one method women should consider when finding out they are conceiving. Find out on this article.

Types of Early Pregnancy Tests

There are only two types of early pregnancy test, namely the blood test and the urine test. Regardless of the method used, they only detect one hormone – the HCG.

1. Home Pregnancy Test (Urine)

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Usually Done at Home (with privacy)Only confirms pregnancy when used 1 week after a missed period
Inexpensive
Easy to Use

2. Blood Pregnancy Test

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Can detect pregnancy earlier compared to urine test, about 6 to 8 days after ovulation.Conducted in clinic

What’s The Best Time to Take Early Pregnancy Test?

The earliest time to take a pregnancy test is 1 week after a missed period for urine test, or 6 to 8 days after the estimated ovulation for blood test.

How to Use Home Pregnancy Test?

While majority of the home pregnancy tests obtain similar result, it is still important that the user should follow the directions in the package as directed. The following are the usual steps when taking a pregnancy test at home:

  • Read The manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Collect the urine through: (1) holding the stick in the urine stream, or (2) collecting the urine in a clean cup, then dipping the stick.
  • Release the urine drops (usually 2 to 4 drops) as directed.
  • Wait for 2 to 15 minutes.
  • Interpret the results.
LinesWhat It Signifies?
Two linesPositive Pregnancy
One LineNegative Pregnancy
No lineRepeat test
Faint LineLikely Positive Pregnancy

For digital home pregnancy test kits, results are shown as words: ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’.

Basic Rules When Using EPT

  • Know your ovulation. Pregnancy hormone can be detected 8 days (16 days, the latest) after the estimated ovulation time.
  • Use sensitive name brand test. To determine earlier pregnancy test result, take a blood test. Nearly all brands are claiming they provide more sensitive results which actually do not.
  • Don’t start testing too early. To obtain accurate result, wait until 1 week after a missed period before taking an early pregnancy test.
  • Use the first morning urine for testing. The first urine morning has the highest level of HCG hormone.
  • Wait till the time limit to read accurate result. Different manufacturers have varying ‘read windows’. The most recommended time to wait prior to reading the result is 10 minutes.
  • Don’t get discouraged with negative results. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to false negatives such as testing too early, less sensitive brand test or insufficient amount of sample.

Does EPT Give You Accurate Result?

Early pregnant test are nearly accurate. However, the efficiency of the device depends on many factors.

  • Proper way of using EPTs. Always follow instructions, and check the expiration date before use. Also, do not read the result too early. Wait for at least 10 minutes.
  • Proper timing. Taking home pregnancy test too early after a missed period can lead to erroneous result (false negative). Manufacturers of home pregnancy kit that claim 99% accuracy on the 1st day of missed period is purely a fallacy, doctors cleared up. The best and most recommended timing is 1 week after a missed period, preferably using the first morning urine.
  • Brands. Some brands mostly the expensive ones are more sensitive in determining early pregnancy.

Does EPT Work for Every Woman?

Early pregnancy kits work for every woman. However, they perform differently since women experience different timings in menstrual cycles. Thus, there is no international consensus that says the best and most accurate time to take a home pregnancy kit, as it mainly depends on a woman’s ovulation. Nevertheless, certain conditions can provide misleading results. A case in point is a woman who has Hydatidiform Mole. This is a medical condition that abnormally produces HCG in a non-pregnant state body. Hence, when early pregnancy test is obtained, it may yield positive outcome.

Positives and Negatives of EPT

Taking an early pregnancy test is the best option for any woman who is expecting a baby. This is a good thing since the mother would be able to prepare her body to the coming of the baby such as selecting a healthier diet and participating in a more active lifestyle. Athletic expectant mothers for example can limit or stop any activity that could possibly harm the baby after finding out they are pregnant (through EPTs).

There are no significant drawbacks of getting an early pregnancy test except during blood pregnancy test where women are punctured with a needle.

Conclusion

Pregnancy tests can be a helpful tool towards promoting a healthier and safer pregnancy. For that reason, every woman should know how to use it properly to avoid false positives and negatives results. Home pregnancy test is the most common method used in detecting early pregnancy, but the blood test provides much earlier and more accurate result than the fore.

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