All About Pregnancy Tests
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If you suspect you may be pregnant, there are ways to find out for sure. Some tests require you to see a doctor, while others can be done at home. Online ordering may help to keep your suspicions private.
This is the most common and widely used pregnancy test because of it's convenience and accuracy. hCG is a chemical found in a woman's blood or urine after an egg has been fertilized and implanted itself into the uterine wall. Implantation occurs about 6 - 12 days after ovulation. Menstruation occurs approximately 14 days after ovulation. Therefore, once a woman's period is late, it's likely that hCG will be detectable if she is in fact pregnant. However, a test done too early can result in a false positive result. If you think you're pregnant, but get a negative result, you may want to do the test again in a few days.
Because it can be found in blood or urine, either can be tested. However, the urine test is often able to detect hCG sooner than the blood test. The ‘pee on a stick' test you'll find at your local grocery store or online is accurate when used correctly. It can be done at home, but is also used by many health care professionals.
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EPF, or Early Pregnancy Factor is a protein that is present in a woman's blood plasma soon after one of her eggs has been fertilized. EFP testing may identify this protein in as little as 48 hours after fertilization. Because this test can detect this protein before implantation, it can tell if a woman is pregnant the earliest. However, it is expensive, time consuming, and must be conducted by a lab. This type of test is not often used even in a doctor's office. It is more useful in cases of infertility where a specialist is trying to get precise information about early pregnancy losses.
Paranoid Woman's Tip: If you find yourself constantly wondering if you're pregnant and shelling out $8 - 15 at Walgreens every other month, there's a better way. A lot of dollar stores carry pregnancy tests for - you guessed it - $1. Beware, these may not be the super convenient stick variety. Some come with a small cup to collect urine in. Then you have to use a dropper to put the pee in the test. It's worth it for peace of mind however.
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