Home Pregnancy Test Primer

Are lab pregnancy tests more accurate?
Lab pregnancy tests (qualitative tests) use the same technology as home pregnancy tests and they are similar in accuracy. They can be more reliable, however, because they are done under strict protocols by professionals who do such testing frequently. Quantitative hCG tests are the most reliable but they require two blood tests drawn 36 to 48 hours apart. HCG levels should double during this time.

Can medications interfere with test results?
Certain medications may interfere with pregnancy test results. If you are undergoing infertility treatments and have had an injection of hCG, such as Novarel, Profasi, or Pregnyl, you should wait before testing according to the following recommendations, as false positive results may occur:

Wait 14 days after a 10,000 IU injection,
Wait 10 days after a 5,000 IU injection.
Wait 7 days after a 2,500 IU injection.

What other factors can affect the accuracy of your home pregnancy test?
-- The quality of the specimen
-- The accuracy of the technique
-- The timing of the test relative to conception.

A major review of all home pregnancy tests recommends that users thoroughly read the kit instructions, wait for at least two weeks after a missed period and be aware that a false-negative result is a possibility. (Bastian, Lori A.; Nanda, Kavita; Hasselblad, Vic; Simel, David L.). Diagnostic Efficiency of Home Pregnancy Test Kits: A Meta-Analysis. OB & GYN Survey , Volume 54(4). April 1999, pp 220-221)

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