Pregnancy tests are sensitive to a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG. This hormone is produced rapidly at the beginning of pregnancy and may be found in blood and urine. When enough of this hormone has built up, a pregnancy test will indicate a positive result. If no hCG is detected, the pregnancy test will result negative.
What Is hCG?
HCG is a necessary hormone for pregnancy. This hormone is responsible for helping the uterus lining thicken to sustain a growing embryo. HCG also tells the body to stop menstruation as it switches into pregnancy mode.
Initially, the embryo produces HCG, then the placenta and levels rapidly climb in the first trimester until about week 10, when levels finally plateau and slowly decline until birth.
When Should I Test?
To receive the most accurate results, it’s best to wait until the first day of your expected period. This waiting period will help give hCG levels time to build up and be detected by the pregnancy test.
The time of day can also be important. Although a test may be taken at any point, hCG levels are concentrated in the morning, during the first urination of the day. Testing at this time can assist in obtaining accurate results and hopefully avoid a false negative.
To confirm a pregnancy, receiving a lab-quality pregnancy test and ultrasound is also important. False negative home pregnancy tests can occur, and though rare, false positives can occur due to faulty tests.
Where Can I Go for a Free Pregnancy Test and Confirmation?
If you wish to confirm your pregnancy with a medical-grade pregnancy test and ultrasound, we encourage you to make a free, confidential appointment today.
Here at Bridgehaven, we believe in providing a supportive network while empowering you with knowledge so you can make informed decisions that are right for you.