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Pregnancy Test

For centuries women’s bodies have undergone the same changes, once a child has been conceived. Conception has always involved the fertilization of an egg cell by a sperm cell. Once it has been created, the fertilized egg moves into the uterus, and it becomes implanted within the uterine lining. At that point the cells that will eventually form the placenta start to produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

Many decades ago, medical science discovered a way to measure the amount of hCG in a woman’s urine. That measurement later became a tool, one that allowed a doctor to determine whether or not a woman was pregnant. The physician sent the urine sample to a laboratory, where it could be analyzed properly.

The implantation of the fertilized egg and the ensuing production of hCG occurs about nine days after the two meiotic cells, i.e. the reproductive cells, have come together.  The level of hCG production increases steadily during the first few weeks of pregnancy. In fact, it doubles every two to three days.

Today, a woman who thinks that she may be pregnant can make use of the fact that her bloodstream and urine contain increasingly greater amounts of hCG. She can purchase a way to detect that decidedly large amount of hCG. She can purchase one of the in-home pregnancy testing kits now sold online and over the counter, in most pharmacies.

The female who decides to buy such a kit must choose between two different types of kits. Both test for hCG in the urine, but they do it in different ways. One type calls for utilization of a test strip or dipstick. The other requires collection of a urine sample in the cup that has been packaged into the kit.

In the former type of kit, the testing strip or stick has been designed to facilitate its exposure to a suitable sample. Sometimes it must be dipped in collected urine; in other instances it is to be placed within a stream of urine. In the latter type of kit, a testing device insures completion of the necessary procedure.

When using some kits, a woman must transfer a few drops of urine from a collection cup into a special set of wells. Those females who have purchased a different type of kit put the test device directly into the collected sample. Regardless of the in-home testing method chosen, the test result shows up in the form of a color change, along with another clear and unmistakable mark.

Any such testing procedure should take place about ten to twelve days after ovulation. The conclusion of that ten to twelve day period coincides with the appearance of evidence, in the form of a missing period, that a child has been conceived. Still, a negative result can encourage doubts about the test’s accuracy. In that case, the test should be repeated following the passage of about one week.   

Sometimes, a woman’s failure to follow the directions properly can yield a negative reading. No kit should be used after the expiration date on the package. Improper storage of an in-home pregnancy testing kit can also be responsible for a negative result. A delayed testing, i.e. one that takes place after a sample has been sitting for more than 15 minutes also invites the appearance of a negative reading.

In addition, the testing procedure should be carried out first thing in the morning, or whenever the woman awakes and prepares for the day ahead. Once the procedure has been initiated, then each of the required steps must be done in the order specified. Any step that calls for the timing of a single or a sequence of events points to the need for a watch or a clock. A smart woman does not try to estimate the amount of time that has passed.

Whether positive or negative, the observed result should be recorded. That recording process does not mean that the observed reading has been “set in stone.” At any point, a woman must consider the factors that could diminish the accuracy of the entire procedure.

If the collection cup has been cleaned out, and thus contains traces of soap, the test could yield an inaccurate reading. If the tested female happens to be using some form of methadone, then that too could cause the results to be less than accurate. Sometimes an impatient lady reads the results too soon, and thus invites inaccuracy.

A woman who has been using a fertility medication that contains hCG must be aware of the chance that she could get a false positive reading. She can avoid that moment of unproven delight by consulting with her physician about how many days must pass before all traces of hCG from the medication have left her system. By testing at the indicated point in time, the same woman stands a better chance for getting a true and valid reading.

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