When a pregnancy test reads positive or negative, it is looking to detect a hormone in urine or blood called human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG. If hCG is noted in the sample, pregnancy is confirmed on a test with a positive result.
Why is hCG important?
HCG is vital for pregnancy as it assists the uterine lining in sustaining and nurturing a pregnancy. This hormone also signals menstruation to stop occurring.
HCG is a hormone that is produced by the placenta. Due to this, HCG levels quickly increase, “usually doubling every 2 days in the first weeks before reaching a steady level (plateau) around week 10; after which time they slowly decline.”
When Should I Consider Taking a Pregnancy Test?
The best practice is to take a pregnancy test after an expected menstrual cycle. This gives hCG enough time to build and be detected within a urine sample.
Some pregnancy tests can detect a pregnancy 10 days or so after conception. However, when testing too early, there is a risk of receiving false negative results.
The time of day can also determine when hCG levels are strongest. Taking a pregnancy test in the early morning, during the first urination of the day, can prove helpful in receiving accurate results. If this window is missed, a test may also be taken 4 hours after the last urination.
Where Can I Go For A Free Test?
Schedule with us today if you would like to receive a pregnancy test during a confidential, no-cost appointment.
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