Home Pregnancy Test Primer

Many women count the day they find out that they are pregnant as one of the most memorable days of their lives. Some couples plan elaborate rituals around the announcement, and will recount this special event to family and friends for years to come. With the availability of home testing, we’ve removed this special memory from the formality of the healthcare clinic and placed it in the security and privacy of our home.

How does a home pregnancy test work?
Home pregnancy tests detect hCG (human chorionic gonadopropin). The earliest placental cells produce hCG after implantation. The embryo typically begins the process of implantation about four to seven days after ovulation and hCG levels are detectable by the end of the first week of pregnancy.

When is a home pregnancy test accurate?
Most tests recommend testing at the time your period is due, or within the first few days after a delay in the onset of your period. Sufficient levels of hCG are not detectable by home pregnancy tests until approximately 10 to 14 days after ovulation. Most of the commonly available tests detect hCG levels of 20 to 40 mIU, the amount typically present at the time of the missed period if pregnancy has occurred. (Manufacturers of the LifeSign 1 test claim that it will detect levels as low as 15 mIU.) All tests should be positive by four weeks following ovulation. Above all, it is important to follow the package directions in relation to when testing is recommended.

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