What is hCG?
hCG is human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a hormone produced by during pregnancy and it is the hormone that pregnancy tests look for.
How do pregnancy tests work?
Home pregnancy tests (HPTs) are designed to detect hCG. It’s present in both your urine and blood. When the level of hCG meets or exceeds the sensitivity level of the pregnancy test, you will get a positive result.
How soon after ovulation can I test?
You may be able to get a positive HPT as early as 10-14 days after ovulation. Many women aren’t able to get a positive test until the first day of a missed period.
Why does the hCG level of the test matter?
The lower the number of units of hCG in your urine that the test can detect means that you will be able to test earlier. The test is more sensitive, and more likely to pick up an early pregnancy, 10-14 dpo. (days past ovulation)
Can I use an HPT if I got an hCG shot ?
You can, but you should wait 7-14 days after your last injection before the shot is out of your system. If you test too soon, you might get a false positive. Ask your OB/RE when you should test.
What if I took a test and it was negative, but when I looked later I saw a faint line?
You may be pregnant and just didn’t have a high enough level of hCG to show positive during the testing time frame. It could just be the way the test is made as well. You should not rely on any positive result that does not show up within the time limit stated in the test instructions.
Should I get a blood or urine test? Which is more accurate?
A blood test is more accurate, but it depends on the type you get. Many doctors will order a simple qualitative hCG. It only gives a yes or no answer, but doesn’t register your HCG levels. If you are early in your pregnancy, and your levels are low, you may get a false negative. A quantitative blood test will measure the exact amount of hCG present. It will detect even the most minimal level.
I had a negative HPT test, but still have pregnancy symptoms, can I still be pregnant?
Yes! Not every woman will test positive by HPTs even though they are late for a period. If you think you are pregnant, call your healthcare provider and ask for a quantitative hCG to be sure.