How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

If you are worried you may be unexpectedly pregnant, a reliable test is the first step to confirm your suspicions. The pregnancy tests you can buy at the local pharmacy include a reactive strip which detects hCG levels, a pregnancy hormone, in your urine. 

However, you must time your test right because you might take it too soon, before your body has produced detectable hCG levels.

Choosing a Pregnancy Test 

Do I Need a Blood or Urine Test to Know If I’m Pregnant? 

Both types of pregnancy tests are designed to detect hCG, but blood tests can detect the levels earlier than the urine tests. However, this requires a trip to the doctor’s office, and results may not be immediately available.

Could a Home Pregnancy Test Be Wrong?

While they are generally highly accurate, one study indicates that up to 5% of pregnancy tests can be misleading. While it may be a negative result, you could, in fact, still be pregnant. 

Home pregnancy tests can also be inaccurate due to user error if the directions haven’t been followed correctly.  

Taking a Pregnancy Test

How Soon After Sex Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

Understandably, you may want to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible. However, taking a pregnancy test immediately after sex won’t give you reliable results. The fertilized egg must attach to the uterine lining, and the placenta must begin to form to produce the hCG hormone. 

This process can take time. 

A pregnancy test is most reliable if you wait until after the first day of your missed period. This gives your body enough time to produce detectable hCG levels for a reliable reading on your pregnancy test.

Where to Get a Pregnancy Test for No Cost

At Life Choices Center, we provide confidential and no-cost pregnancy testing with lab-quality pregnancy tests as well as on-site ultrasound referrals.

With an ultrasound scan, you can further confirm your pregnancy and determine your pregnancy’s age (gestation) and location (whether or not it is ectopic). 

We are here to support you, so contact us today to schedule your no-cost appointment!

Life Choices Center is not a medical facility and does not perform or refer for abortions.