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Types of Pregnancy Tests

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Updated April 16, 2014

Types of Pregnancy Tests

Home Pregnancy Test

Photo Courtesy of Dawn Stacey

Pregnancy tests can be either performed at home or in a doctor's office. Both types of pregnancy tests examine whether the "pregnancy hormone," human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is present. HCG will only be released after a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This typically happens about 6 days after conception. The hCG levels then rise with each passing day.

Home Pregnancy Tests

There is a huge variety of home pregnancy tests to choose from. But they all basically work the same way. A home pregnancy test will analyze your urine for to determine is the hcG ormone is present. Blood test results can take anywhere from a day to a few days, but you can get your home pregnancy test results within a few minutes.

You can get a home pregnancy test as most drugstores, grocery markets or online. The cost depends on how many pregnancy tests come in the box as well as the brand. Many home pregnancy tests claim accurate results as early as the day of a missed period. This may be a bit deceptive. A home pregnancy test can most reliably determine if youa re pregnant about one week after you’ve missed your period.

Blood Pregnancy Tests

Blood tests can detect hCG earlier in a pregnancy than urine tests. They can confirm a pregnancy about 6 to 8 days after you ovulate. However, the results of a blood pregnancy can take a few days to receive.

Doctors use two types of blood pregnancy tests.

  • A quantitative blood test (or the beta hCG test) assesses the exact amount of hCG in the blood. Because it can detect even trace amounts of hCG, it is a very accurate test.
     
  • Qualitative hCG blood tests only confirm whether or not the pregnancy hormone is present. A woman will receive a yes or no answer, so the qualitative hCG blood test is about as accurate as a home urine test.
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