What is a pregnancy confirmation test?
A pregnancy confirmation test is used to indicate whether a woman is pregnant by analyzing a specific hormone that is produced during pregnancy. The hormone is human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and is produced in the placenta after a fertilized egg has implanted in the uterus.
HCG hormone will show up in the urine about a week after the missed period. The test can be done in the doctor’s office or at home. If used correctly, home pregnancy tests are 97-99% accurate, the same as in-office tests.
What does it consist of?
Pharmacies sell pregnancy confirmation test kits. Many include a test strip and collection container, plus the following steps to follow:
- Test using the first urine of the morning, as it may be more accurate as it contains more HCG in the morning urine.
- Place the test strip in the urine for 5-10 seconds.
- After a few minutes the strip will show the results. The time it takes for the results to appear and how they are displayed will be indicated in the kit instructions.
- The test strip may have another part showing a plus or minus sign, a single or double line, or the words “pregnant”/ “not pregnant”.
If the results indicate that the woman is not pregnant, you may want to repeat the test in a few days, as you may have done it too soon. The HCG hormone will gradually increase during pregnancy.
If the result indicates that you are pregnant, you should consult a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, who will confirm the results with a physical examination or blood test.
Why is it performed?
A pregnancy test is basically used to confirm if a woman is pregnant. Pregnancy symptoms vary from one woman to another but the main one is the lack of menstruation. Other common symptoms are:
- Tender and swollen breasts
- Frequent urination
- Nausea or vomiting
- Feeling bloated abdomen
Preparing for the pregnancy confirmation test
No specific preparation is necessary for the pregnancy confirmation test.
What does the test feel like?
You feel absolutely nothing during the test if it is a pregnancy confirmation urine test. It simply involves urinating into a cup, so the patient feels nothing.
She will only feel something if the test is performed by a blood test. Then the patient will feel the slight prick that the specialist will make to extract the blood. This may cause minor discomfort lasting less than five minutes.
Meaning of abnormal results
The results simply indicate whether or not the patient is pregnant. If she is, it is important to see a gynecologist as soon as possible, as he or she will monitor the woman’s health, the pregnancy itself, and prenatal care. Regular care during pregnancy is important, as it can help keep mother and baby healthy.
There is also a blood pregnancy confirmation test, which is done in the office. It detects smaller amounts of HCG and can confirm or rule out pregnancy earlier than the urine test. In fact, the blood test can detect pregnancy even before a missed period, with 99% accuracy.