Most women at one point or another in their lives find themselves asking, “Am I pregnant?” Fortunately, the answer to this question is as close as your nearest drug store.
Home urine pregnancy tests are readily available and inexpensive. The technology used in home tests is virtually identical to that of tests used in medical laboratories.
When performed correctly, the accuracy of a home pregnancy test can be as high as 99%. Testing can be done on the day you expect your period, or with some tests, as much as four days earlier.
Home pregnancy tests look for the presence of hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, in a woman’s urine. This hormone is produced during pregnancy.
The testing apparatus itself consists of a plastic housing which contains an absorbent material embedded with enzymes. These enzymes react to the presence of urine and hCG to give test results.
Typically, urine is applied to the absorbent tip of the test, either by holding it your urine stream or by submerging it into collected urine.
Test results are either presented by a series of lines in the display window, or with newer digital models, by readout that either displays “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” Most tests provide results in five minutes or less. If you purchase a home pregnancy test, be sure to follow manufacturer’s directions for best results.