If you recently had unprotected sex and have missed a period, then you may be pregnant.
At-home pregnancy tests can be purchased at any local pharmacy and are the most popular option for women who are eager to confirm whether or not they are pregnant.
These sorts of tests check your blood or urine for levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is a hormone found only in a pregnant woman after a fertilized egg has been implanted in her uterus.
When Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?
It’s recommended that you take the pregnancy test 10 days after unprotected sex so that there will be detectable levels of hCG, because it can take up to 6 days for the egg and sperm to join and implant into the uterus. It is not until the fertilized egg begins to divide and develop the placenta for there to be detectable levels of hCG.
What Types of Pregnancy Tests are There?
A blood test is the most accurate, but often requires a visit to the doctor because you have to send a vial of your blood to a lab and wait for their analysis. There are two types of blood tests:
- Qualitative. This validates the question of if the hCG hormone is present.
- Quantitative. This measures the amount of hCG that is present.
The fastest pregnancy test is the urine test (often done at home), which requires a drop of urine (or two) on a chemical strip and waiting 1-2 minutes to see your results.
How Accurate Are They?
Urine pregnancy tests will only be positive when you have enough HCG in your blood, so it will not necessarily give an accurate reading if you take the test before your period is late.
Many pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate, but false negatives do happen. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you have a negative test but think you might be pregnant, repeat the test one week after your missed period or talk to your health care provider for verification. Reach out to us at Alabama Pregnancy Test Center, we offer no-cost lab-quality tests to help give you peace of mind as well as walk you through potential options if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy. You are not alone, and we are here to help support you!