What is hCG?
Often referred to as the “pregnancy hormone,” hCG which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin is produced in the placenta and present in the blood and urine of pregnant women. It is when this hormone is detected that a positive pregnancy test is indicated. Some fertility drugs contain this hormone and anyone taking these drugs should wait a week or two before being tested for pregnancy as a false positive result could be produced if a woman with the drug in her system were to be tested for pregnancy.
There is a different home pregnancy test sensitivity among the different brands of home pregnancy tests. It is this sensitivity that determines at what point in the woman’s missed cycle that pregnancy can be determined.
hCG & Sensitivity
Home pregnancy test sensitivity refers to the point at which hCG can be detected by the home pregnancy test. hCG is measured in thousand units and the typical home pregnancy test can detect the hormone from between 25 mIU (thousand international units) to 100 mIU. Equate, which is Wal-Mart’s store brand has two home pregnancy test sensitivity choices. The white one will detect hCG at 25 mIU while the purple one will detect hCG at 100 mIU.
First Response may detect hCG levels as little as 12.5 mIU to 15 mIU. If a test states you can use it the first missed day of your period or even before a missed period, it has a high home pregnancy test sensitivity rating.
Time is Money
The above speaks a lot about the accuracy of the home pregnancy test. Now, you may think that the higher priced home pregnancy tests would automatically have a lower home pregnancy test sensitivity rating but that is not necessarily so. EPT, which was the first home pregnancy test on the market and has years of reliability behind it will detect hCG at 40 mIU.
That’s not to say that is bad news necessarily. EPT has other qualities that people like, for instance, it uses the words PREGNANT and NOT PREGNANT instead of a line. Some people really like that because otherwise they would stare at the test strip wondering if that really was a line or not. EPT takes the guess work out of the home pregnancy test.
Unfortunately, most of the companies that manufacture home pregnancy tests don’t choose to include the home pregnancy test sensitivity rating on the box or within the instruction sheet. Fortunately, you can do online research that will tell you what the ratings are in order for you to make a more informed decision.