With today’s technology you have several choices when it comes to pregnancy tests. You can go to the doctor of course or you can try a home pregnancy test. Most women do both. Many of them test at home first and then go to the doctor once they find out they’re pregnant or to confirm the pregnancy.
The Rabbit Died
Way before home pregnancy tests and the simple urine test in a doctor’s office, rabbits and mice literally had to die to determine pregnancy. Frogs could give us the result and still live but the others had to die. That is, if the test was positive. That’s where the phrase, “the rabbit died” came from. If someone said that the rabbit died that meant that they were pregnant.
We’ve come a long way since then. For decades now, chemical agents that react with a woman’s urine are able to give the results of the pregnancy tests without any living thing having to suffer. Except perhaps the woman who is waiting for those results.
There are many different choices of home pregnancy test kits today. In 2003 Consumer Reports tested 18 of those kits and reported their findings on CBS’ Early Morning Show. The results were actually fascinating as we were provided with a lot of information that even the manufacturers of these home pregnancy tests don’t tell us.
Each home pregnancy test has a certain sensitivity to the pregnancy hormone hCG. This hormone is produced by the placenta after the embryo attaches itself to the uterine wall. The detection of this hormone is what makes pregnancy tests positive. There is no way to know of course when the embryo will attach itself so by performing pregnancy tests too early you stand a good chance of getting a negative result when you really are pregnant.
The news Consumer Reports gave us about the home pregnancy tests they tested let us know which of the home pregnancy tests would detect hCG at the smallest levels which of course means these are the tests that will provide an accurate pregnancy test result the quickest. The overall winner of the home pregnancy tests was First Response which will detect the smallest hCG levels.
It turns out First Response was able to detect hCG at 6.5 thousandths of an International Unit (6.5 mIU) while the least sensitive of the home pregnancy tests couldn’t detect the pregnancy hormone under 100 mIU. EPT, which was the first home pregnancy test on the market nearly 30 years ago detects hCG at 40 mIU. Knowing these numbers will help you to make a more informed decision when purchasing your home pregnancy test kit.