All about pregnancy test results from A to Z

You can most likely guess when you are pregnant by paying attention to the symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should take a test. Your pregnancy test result displays whether or not you are pregnant. The accuracy of these tests varies. The best time to take a pregnancy test is about one week after your missed period. Keep reading this article to find out everything about pregnancy test results.

Symptoms of pregnancy

There are simple early symptoms you can look for. These are mostly easy to notice:

  • Missed period
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive urination (more than usual)
  • Swelling in the breast area

Different pregnancy tests

The accuracy of your pregnancy test depends on the type of test you are taking. Here are some of the options:

  • Home pregnancy tests

The home pregnancy tests are sensitive enough. You can use these tests on your first missed period day. This pregnancy test strip determines whether you are pregnant by detecting hCG in your urine, which is a hormone only present in a pregnant woman’s body. The strip changes color when detecting this hormone. You should wait about 10 minutes for the most accurate result. There are a few tips you can use follow in order to receive a more accurate pregnancy test result at home:

  • Use first-morning urine. Taking your test with your first urination of the day is a helpful trick. Your urine usually carries more hCG in the morning, therefore, your results may be more accurate
  • Hold the strip in contact with your urine for 5-10 seconds.
  • Wait 5-10 minutes before reading the results
  • Read and follow the instructions in your pregnancy test kit carefully

Taking these tests twice is the best idea to ensure their accuracy. You can buy a pregnancy test kit from pharmacies and even supermarkets depending on where you live. Sexual healthcare services usually provide free test kits.

  • Urine tests

You can get a urine test clinically, at a medical center, or your doctor’s office. These are not always more accurate than home tests, but since you take it them under the control of your doctor; it is less likely for any errors to appear in the process to lower your test’s accuracy. There are no risks involved with this test. In rare cases, this test detects non-pregnancy-related issues, which your doctor will look into. Most times, you will receive your results within one week but this varies from clinic to clinic.

  • Blood tests

A pregnancy blood test is also a clinical test you can take in your doctor’s office or in a medical center. This test aims to detect the hCG in your blood. This hormone displays whether you are pregnant or not. Depending on the type of blood test you are taking, you will receive different information.

Qualitative blood tests

These tests only give you a simple yes or no.

Quantitative blood tests

Besides showing you are pregnant or not, these tests measure the hCG levels in your blood as well.

How accurate is your home pregnancy test result?

The accuracy of HPCs depends on how carefully you follow the instructions. The inaccuracy is usually regarding the negative result, and a positive result is usually certain. In case of not following the instructions correctly, or taking the test too early, your results may not be as reliable. If you receive a negative result, but still experience pregnancy symptoms, you might want to take another test a few days later. Consulting a doctor may also be helpful.

What to do when a pregnancy test is positive?

This step depends on whether or not you were planning to get pregnant. If you receive positive results while planning for a baby, take one or two more tests just to ensure accuracy. After that, you can visit a doctor. Make sure to see a doctor before the 2-month mark. Your doctor will instruct you on the further actions to be taken and the changes you need to adapt your life to. However, if you were not expecting a baby, you have a few options on hand:

  • Abortion
  • Continuing the pregnancy and carrying it for adoption
  • Planning to keep the baby

Most clinics and healthcare centers provide help, guidance, and support as well.

Negative pregnancy test result

If you receive negative results and wanted a baby, you can keep trying to get pregnant. You can seek advice from a doctor if you fail to become pregnant after one year of trying. Getting a fertility test might also come in handy. If you or your partner have any infertility issues, you can start considering infertility treatments as well. Some popular infertility treatments include IVF and surrogacy. Still, if you were not planning to become pregnant and received negative results, you might want to take another test a bit after, just to make sure. If you keep experiencing pregnancy symptoms even after receiving negative results, you might want to see a doctor.

Do medications affect your pregnancy test result?

Most medications do not affect your results. Antibiotics, alcohol, and even birth control usually do not change your results. The only group of meds that may affect and shift your results are fertility drugs. For example, if you are taking tranquilizers or anticonvulsants, you may receive a false negative result. In case of taking these drugs, make sure you share your results with a doctor to ensure their accuracy.

The Bottom Line

There are a couple of different pregnancy test methods for figuring out whether you are pregnant or not. From home kits and tests you can take yourself, to clinical urination tests and blood tests, your pregnancy test result mostly depends on how early you take the test and how well you follow the instructions. Most HPTs are reliable if you follow the instructions carefully. However, since medical tests take place under a doctor’s control, the inaccuracy risks are lower. After receiving your results and making sure they are accurate, you can decide your next steps.