Types of pregnancy tests
There are two kinds of tests done to check for pregnancy. Both tests evaluate the amount of hCG present in the sample.
- Urine test: A urine test can be easily performed at home via a home pregnancy strip test.
- Blood test: A blood test is performed by a trained healthcare professional. The blood is drawn and then evaluated in the laboratory. The results take between 12-24 hours. A blood test can detect early pregnancy even eight to ten days after conception whereas a urine test cannot.
What do pregnancy tests measure?
Pregnancy tests measure the amount of hCG, which is produced in higher levels if a woman is pregnant. There are two ways hCG results are presented or reported:
- Qualitative: Qualitative human chorionic gonadotropin tests either produce positive or negative results depending on the absence and presence of hCG in the obtained sample. A qualitative test is done to confirm pregnancy and it can be done by obtaining a urine or blood sample. This is the test most commonly referred to as a pregnancy test.
- Quantitative: Quantitative testing is done to measure the quantity of the hCG produced in the blood. Apart from confirming pregnancy, a quantitative test is done as a part of the diagnostic processes to check for abnormalities during the pregnancy and other related-health complications that may have caused a surge in human chorionic gonadotropin levels.
Interpretation of test results
Qualitative pregnancy test results come out as negative or positive. Negative results mean that the patient is not pregnant. If the test is performed too soon after conception, this can be a false negative as there is not enough hCG to be detected. The test would then need to be repeated after a week or two if there are still signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
On the other hand, a positive test result means that the woman is pregnant. False positive results are rare. If a false positive is suspected, a medical provider can run additional testing to further evaluate the issue.
A urine test is done by dipping a reactive strip or paper in urine. If the urine has a considerable amount of hCG, it will react with the paper and produces a double line or a plus sign and in some cases, the word PREGNANT. A urine test is convenient and can be done at home to get quicker results.
A blood test for pregnancy measures the amount of hCG in the blood, but typically reports as positive or negative. In this case, a patient’s blood is drawn, placed in a tube and then taken to the lab to check the amount of hCG produced.
In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.
When to visit a doctor:
If you think that you are pregnant, or if you performed a urine test at home which came out positive, you should seek medical assistance.
Pregnancy tests are available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.