- Qualitative hCG blood test checks if the pregnancy hormone hCG is present in the blood. Most of the time, a qualitative hCG test is as accurate as a urine test.
- A quantitative blood test or beta hCG test can measure the level of hCG in the blood, and it can also determine gestational age or how far along the pregnancy is.
When is the right time to take a pregnancy test?
A lot of pregnancy test kits available over-the-counter offer accurate results just a day after a missed period, however for more reliable results, it is advisable to take a pregnancy test a week after a missed period.
But, if you have irregular periods, there are pregnancy test kits available that can provide results by taking it at least two weeks after having sexual intercourse. It might seem like a long time, but the level of hCG in a woman’s body is only detectable at least two weeks after conception.
If you are using a home pregnancy test kit, it is best to take the test at least two weeks to three weeks after conception to avoid getting false-positive and false-negative results. Although home pregnancy test kits are 97% to 99% accurate, having a blood test is still the best way to confirm a woman’s pregnancy.
Signs that you should take a pregnancy test
Here are five symptoms that should alert women to take a pregnancy test:
Missing a period is often the first and most common pregnancy symptom most women experience before confirming their pregnancy. This symptom is more noticeable when a woman regularly monitors her menstrual cycle every month.
Take note that aside from pregnancy, missing a period can also result from poor lifestyle, stress, and hormonal imbalances.
Tenderness of the breast results from the hormonal changes brought upon by pregnancy. Usually, pregnant women begin to feel that their breasts are heavier and fuller a week or two after conceiving.
The tenderness of the breasts will last until the body produces progesterone as the pregnancy progresses. Since the tenderness of the breasts is also a sign of an upcoming period, this symptom often gets overlooked as a sign of pregnancy.
Mild cramps (implantation cramps)
Women often experience abdominal cramps when they are on their period. However, mild cramps on the lower abdomen and lower back also indicate pregnancy.
These mild cramps or implantation cramps occur when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine lining. Sometimes implantation cramps are also accompanied by implantation bleeding that lasts for about 24 to 48 hours.