Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy Tests

What are the pros and cons of home pregnancy tests versus blood tests to confirm your pregnancy?

One of the first things that women do when they suspect they might be pregnant is purchase a home pregnancy kit. There are some drawbacks to home tests, primarily in that the results are not always accurate. Some women can have a false negative test result, which means that you could actually be pregnant when the test shows you are not. The best way to absolutely confirm your pregnancy is to have a blood test at your provider’s office. The blood test will examine even the smallest amount of hCG in the blood. For more information about hCG, see What is hCG?. Here are some advantages as well as limitations of each pregnancy test:

Urine Pregnancy Test (Home Test)

  • Immediate results
  • Easy to purchase in pharmacy
  • Not as accurate (false negatives are possible)
  • Less expensive
  • Blood Pregnancy Test
  • Results may be delayed if sent to lab
  • Requires a visit to provider or clinic
  • More accurate
  • May be covered by insurance

How do the Pregnancy Tests work?

The hormone hCG which is produced by the mother’s placenta, is measured in your urine or blood. If you are taking a home pregnancy test, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and contact the manufacturer if you have trouble reading the results. Your home test results will be more accurate if you use your first morning’s urine. Remember that if you have any questions about confirming your pregnancy, be sure to call or visit your health care provider or local clinic.

If you have a positive test result, be sure to begin taking prenatal vitamins as soon as possible. Don’t forget to avoid the following foods or other substances throughout your pregnancy..