Can You Count on Home Pregnancy Test Accuracy?

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Almost every home pregnancy test kit advertises on the box that it is over 99% accurate and then there’s small print underneath it that says something about the pregnancy hormone and how every woman is different. Sound familiar? Pregnancy test accuracy is not hard to understand and every woman who uses one of these tests should make it a point to understand.

The truth is unless one of these tests malfunctions they are all accurate as to what they can detect at the time they are administered. It is true that not all home pregnancy tests are created equally and the pregnancy test accuracy rating of each may be slightly different. Some of them are more sensitive than others and can detect the pregnancy hormone, hCG in smaller amounts than other home pregnancy tests.

Pregnancy Test Accuracy

For example, the First Response home pregnancy test kit as reported by Consumer Reports can detect levels of hCG as small as 6.5 thousandths of an International Unit (6.5 mIU) That puts this test in a class all by itself as the next lowest level that can currently be detected by a home pregnancy test is 25 mIU. Some of the home pregnancy tests are not designed to detect hCG below 100 mIU.

Unfortunately, not all of the home pregnancy test kits will advertise the sensitivity level of their tests. While only a few will advertise the levels, you can find this information online for almost all of the home pregnancy test kits on the market. Some of the brands have more than one sensitivity level.

Sensitivity Ratings

For example, the Equate home pregnancy test kit, which is Wal-Mart’s store brand, has two different home pregnancy test kits, one that can detect hCG levels as low as 25 mIU and another kit that is unable to detect hCG levels under 100 mIU. That gives the consumer a choice because there are times when a woman might not want the most sensitive home pregnancy test.

Pregnancy test accuracy is often misunderstood when it comes to the home pregnancy test because if a woman purchases one brand of home pregnancy test and her pregnancy test is negative and then she purchases another brand 2 or 3 days later and gets a positive result, she will likely blame the discrepancy on the first home pregnancy test not realizing that the test was accurate for the time it was taken because she had little or no hCG in her system.

The pregnancy hormone hCG is produced by the placenta after it attaches itself to the uterine wall which happens a few days after conception and happens at a different time for each woman. Until this event happens, no pregnancy test is going to detect hCG because there will be none to detect. So while most pregnancy test accuracy studies show they are accurate for the time they are taken women who don’t understand this concept think they are not accurate.



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