There are a lot of options when it comes to pregnancy testing. You can go to the doctor or buy a home pregnancy test kit and with both of these options you still have choices.
Blood and Urine Tests
If you go to the doctor, he’s either going to do a blood or urine pregnancy test, usually the one you request. Although the blood test is more accurate, it is also more expensive. For a pregnancy test comparison, there are 2 different pregnancy blood tests.
One is called a qualitative blood test and it checks for the pregnancy hormone, hCG. If it is present, the test is positive for pregnancy. If the hormone isn’t present then the test is negative.
The other blood test is called a quantitative blood test and it checks the amount of hCG present. While the above example will result in a positive or negative pregnancy test, this test will measure exactly how much hCG is present which can aid the doctor in determining several things such as whether it is a single or a multiple pregnancy.
Women who take fertility drugs that contain hCG might want the quantitative blood test so they can be sure the hCG found isn’t the hCG already in their system.
Now, as a pregnancy test comparison, let’s look at the home pregnancy test kits which are of course, urine pregnancy tests. Again, the key is the ability to detect hCG in the woman’s urine. In this case, the hCG can be there and the woman can be pregnant but if the home pregnancy test isn’t sensitive enough to detect the amount of hCG in the urine, the result will be negative.
A pregnancy test comparison study was done and a report made by Consumer Reports who tested 18 home pregnancy test kits and found that only one, First Response will detect a small amount of hCG, as little as 6.5 mIU while EPT, the first home pregnancy test on the market in 1978 cannot detect amounts smaller than 40 mIU. The five least sensitive home pregnancy tests, which were not named, will detect hCG at 100 mIU. As you can see, because the sensitivity to the pregnancy hormone is quite varied among the different pregnancy test kits the results can be quite varied as well.
Pregnancy test comparison studies take more into account than just the level of hCG that can be detected but in the study mentioned this did seem to be the deciding factor. However, also taken into consideration in the pregnancy test comparison were reliability, ease of use, and the ability to read the results without confusion. If you think you are pregnant or learn that you are see your doctor as soon as possible.