Pregnancy tests are used to determine whether a woman is pregnant. The test itself will detect a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in urine or blood, which is present in large amounts during pregnancy.
There are several different types of pregnancy tests available to you. Some are designed to be used at home, while others need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. Blood tests are usually performed at home using a kit, while urine tests may be conducted at a doctor’s office, hospital or clinic.
There are three types of pregnancy tests:
Ovulation test – detects the presence of LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). This test is most accurate if done on the second day of your last period.
Early pregnancy test – detects HCG levels in urine or blood, but may not be 100% accurate as it depends on your cycle length and when you ovulate. These tests are more sensitive than ovulation tests, but less accurate than blood tests.
Blood test – this type of test is generally more expensive than urine or saliva samples and must be ordered by a doctor or health care provider because it involves taking a needle that draws blood from your arm or finger stick.
There are many different types of pregnancy tests, and each one has its own unique features. The two most common types are the urine-based test and the blood-based test.
The first type of pregnancy test is the urine-based test. These tests use urine to detect the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. If you are pregnant, hCG levels will increase between five and 10 days after conception. The higher your hCG levels, the easier it will be for you to see a positive result on a urine-based test.
A blood-based pregnancy test uses blood samples to detect pregnancy hormones in your body. This kind of test requires that you take an additional sample of blood at home with your first prenatal visit or later in your pregnancy when you return for another checkup with your doctor or midwife. Blood tests can be performed at any time during pregnancy, but they tend to give more reliable results than urine tests once those first few weeks have passed (around six weeks).
Both types of tests require that you follow up with a physician or midwife within 24 hours.
Click here for more information on types of pregnancy tests and how you can get tested.