How to Use a Home Pregnancy Test? With Steps and FAQs
Missing your monthly periods can be terrifying! Especially when you are under prepared for pregnancy, there is no way you can sleep peacefully. And to those women who are expecting the good news, this can be a moment of suspense. Instead of waiting for the right answer with bated breath, you can now find out the results yourself with a home pregnancy test.
Yes! Before you rush to the clinic and wait in the long queues, you can perform an early diagnosis using pregnancy kits. If you are a newbie and have never used these tests, this article is just for you. Read along as we discuss the usage, accuracy, types and popular home pregnancy kits in India.
What is a Home Pregnancy Kit?
A home pregnancy kit is designed to give 99% accurate results at home using a simple urine test. The kit consists of a chemical strip and a urine dropper in a sealed packet. It is available in most medical stores and can be bought without a doctor’s prescription.
How Does It Work?
The test confirms your pregnancy by measuring the hormone levels in your urine. It determines the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a placental hormone that is found in the early stages of gestation. (1)
Your body starts to create hCG once a fertilized egg enters in your uterus (womb). Around six to 14 days after fertilization, the levels rise rapidly and by adding a few drops of urine on the strip, you can notice the results. The entire process takes about two to three minutes.
See More: Early Stages Of Pregnancy
When To Perform The Early Pregnancy Home Test?
Your body shows certain signs to indicate your chances of being pregnant, like the ones listed below:
1. Missed Period:
A skipped period can be a reliable sign of pregnancy. If you have a 28 or 30 day cycle and you have not got your menses yet, it may the right time to take the test.
2. Severe Cramps:
If you experience menstrual cramps without bleeding, it could be a sign of early pregnancy.
3. Painful Breasts:
A sudden enlargement in breasts, accompanied by pain and sensitivity, can indicate pregnancy (when experiencing other symptoms like missed periods).
4. Nausea and Mood Swings:
These signs can act as pregnancy indicators. You may also experience food aversions, fatigue and frequent urination.
Once you understand the changes in your body, you can take a quick pregnancy test at home using the kits. For more accuracy in results, doctors recommend taking this test three to four days after your missed period. You must wait for the body to develop considerable levels of hCG to get the right results.
How Accurate Are Pregnancy Tests?
According to a report published by an organization of the United States, the results of home pregnancy tests are about 99% accurate. Even the brands claim to give 99% correct reporting of pregnancy. However, this is only valid when you use the kit properly.
Here are some of the cases during which the results maybe incorrect or invalid:
- Performing the test way too early before the hCG levels develop properly in the body
- Having a Previous history of abortion or miscarriages
- Facing certain medical conditions like cancers, ovarian cysts, tumor cells in the placenta, etc.,
In situations like these, you may end up with false-positive or false-negative results.
A) False Positive Result:
You are not pregnant, but the hCG levels in your urine can give a positive result due to proteins in urine, drugs, etc.
B) False Negative Result:
You are pregnant, but the result says negative. This could be because of the malfunction of strip, expired product, improper storing of kit or taking the test way too early.
How to Plan For a Pregnancy Test?
While you don’t need prior medical knowledge or experience to perform this test, it’s important that you understand the process well. This set of guidelines will help you know the right method to take a home pregnancy test to get accurate reporting:
- Buy a kit from a trusted brand approved by the health department
- Read the instructions written on the outerbox carefully.
- Keep a sterile container ready to collect the urine sample
How to Use the Pregnancy Test?
Here are the steps to detect your pregnancy using a home test:
- Although not mandatory, it is better to perform the test with early morning urine for accurate results.
- Pregnancy tests are typically kept in the refrigerator. So, take care that you carry the test kit to room temperature earlier you use it.
- Take out the chemical strip card and place it on a flat surface.
- Pull out some urine with a dropper (provided with the kit) and place just two drops in the circular test well that is typically marked ‘S’. Do not roll urine on the interpretation strip.
- Wait for three to five minutes (liable on manufacturer’s directions) and then read the test results. Trying to read the results earlier the required time or coming up excessively long, can both lead to exact readings.
Some recently launched pregnancy test kits can be put directly under the urine stream without the need to gather urine in a vessel. These kits are priced higher than the regular ones and may not be available at all stores.
See More: Ways To Avoid Pregnancy
How To Read The Results of Home Pregnancy Test?
Now that you have done your test, lets learn how to assess the results using the colored strip:
1. Look at the areas marked ‘C’ and ‘T’ on the test card. ‘C’ designates a control. This band must always appear because this is the evaluation band. ‘T’ specifies the test model.
2. If a single one pink or purple band appears, in the area marked ‘C’, it means that the test is negative for pregnancy.
Next Step: If you still suspect pregnancy, you can consult a doctor and proceed for a thorough medical examination and an early scan to rule out the chances.
3. If two pink or purple bands look, one in the area marked ‘C’ and the other in the region marked ‘T’, it means that the trial is positive for pregnancy.
Next Step: Consult a doctor to verify the results with a blood exam and a scan performed in a clinic.
4. In cases where no bands appear, then the test is invalid.
Next Step: Repeat the test with a different strip after 72 hours
5. If the line designed in region ‘T’ is pale, this could be owing to low levels of hCG hormone.
Next Step: In case of a faint band, redo the test with a new pack of chemical test strip
Do’s and Don’ts of Home Pregnancy Tests:
Here is a quick recap of what to do and what not to do with a pregnancy test:
- Read the instructions carefully and perform the test under hygiene conditions.
- If you do not understand the process, seek expert guidance.
- Always consult a doctor irrespective of the result, especially if it is positive.
- Never perform it too early. Wait for your missed period and do it atleast a day after this date to get right results.
- Do not assume that a negative result means no pregnancy. If you notice any symptoms mentioned above, rush to the doctor and get a confirmation.
- Avoid using kits that cross the expiration date, as they may not be trustworthy.
What are The Risks Associated with Home Pregnancy Kits?
There are no major health risks or dangers associated with taking these tests at home. The only challenge you can foresee is the risk of getting false negative or false-positive results. Out of these two, the likelihood of getting a false-negative is high due to various factors. That means, you are unaware of being pregnant, which can give you serious problems in future.
Different Types of Pregnancy Test Kits:
There are two major types of pregnancy kits – one which uses blood and the other which uses urine for reporting.
You must have already learnt about the Urinary pregnancy test at home by now. The blood test, however, must be performed in a clinic, where your blood sample is extracted and tested in a lab.
Digital vs Non-Digital Urine Pregnancy Home Tests:
The urine tests are available as digital and manual or non-digital kits, which are separated by technology.
- The non-digital tests show only the colored strips and require knowledge to interpret them. They are cheap and easily available.
- The digital tests are sensitive to hCG and give better results compared to the non-digital ones. They clearly specify whether you are “Pregnant” or “Not pregnant” by flashing the words on the screen. So, you are saved from the confusion and guesswork. These kits are pricey and found only in selected stores.
Top 10 Home Pregnancy Test Kits In India 2020:
Wondering which home pregnancy test kit is the best in India? To make your job easy, we have listed out the 10 reliable and affordable brands in the country:
NOTE: The prices are approximate and may change with time.
1. Prega News Pregnancy Kit:
This kit is from Mankind Pharmaceuticals Ltd and is one of the most popular kits in India. It is a small packet that contains the chemical strip and a thin plastic dropper. The results may take around 3-5 minutes to show up. Currently, this pack is priced at INR 50 for a single test and INR 100 for two tests.
2. i-Can One Step Pregnancy Test Device:
It is a single-use pregnancy detection test, which contains one device and one dropper for the urine. According to the brand, this is a sensitive test which can be performed as early as 6 days after unprotected sex to determine pregnancy. A single pack will cost you INR 40 and a pack of 3 is priced at INR 120.
3. Pregcolor Test Card:
This is another trusted pregnancy test kit, which claims to give 90% accurate results every time. The kit consists of a test card on which the urine must be poured using the dropper provided. The result take about 5 minutes to show up. This card must be stored in the refrigerator and be taken out 15 minutes before the test time. The current price is INR 70 per card.
4. Dr. Reddy’s Velocit Pregancy Kit:
This is a kit from one of the most acclaimed pharma companies of India – the Dr. Reddy’s lab. The highly sensitive test is suitable for taking right on the day of a missed period and gives you preciseresults within 5 minutes. It is currently priced at INR 70 for a single packet.
5. Velocit Eazy Test Kit:
The Velocit kit is another pregnancy test kit from Dr. Reddy’s and uses a direct urine steam to detect the results. The device has a capped grip at the end to hold and place the strip under your urine for about 10 seconds. It is an easy and accurate way of testing for pregnancy. The kit costs about INR 98.
6. Clearblue Plus Pregnancy Test:
This is a US manufactured brand, which is also the only FDA approved home pregnancy kit available in India. You can try this even four days before your missed period, if you notice any early symptoms. Instead of the regular C and T strips, you notice a ‘+’ or ‘-‘, indicating positive or negative. The 3-minute test costs about INR 173 for a twin pack.
7. AccuTesthCG Pregnancy Test:
This is one of the fastest pregnancy tests in India, which takes just a minute to get the results. The cassette like device collects urine, that flows down into the chemical strip. Even the pricing is quite reasonable for this product with just INR 40 per kit.
8. Prega News Advance Pregnancy Test Kit:
This is an advanced kit from Mankind Pharma, which uses an absorbent strip to collect the urine sample. The device can be placed directly under the urine stream for about 10 seconds and wait for 3 minutes to get the results. It is priced at INR 50 per 1 pack.
9. PeeBuddy PregRx Pregnancy Test:
This revolutionary product from PeeBuddy uses a biodegradable paper funnel to test for your pregnancy. You need to just pee on the funnel to notice the results in just 90 seconds. The readings are seen on the test strip provided on the side. This kit is priced at INR 225 for 3 funnels.
10. Neclife Getnews One Step Urine Hcg Pregnancy Test:
If you are looking for a high accuracy pregnancy kit at home, this may be the right product. The brand claims to give 99.9% correct results for early pregnancy detection. It contains a test device, a dropper and a desiccant to keep out moisture. The kit costs around INR 150 for a pack of 5.
How Can I Check Pregnancy Using DIY Home Methods?
Only in the last 8-10 years that the idea of home pregnancy kits have become popular. Back in times when blood tests and urine tests were relatively new and not available easily, the womenfolk relied on a number of foolproof methods to test for their pregnancy. Here are some of them:
1. Sugar Pregnancy Test:
Using sugar to determine pregnancy is probably one of the oldest known home methods, believed to give accurate results. You need to place some sugar in a dry cup and pour early morning urine on it. If the sugar starts clumping, it means the result is positive and if the sugar dissolves, you can take it as a negative result.
2. Salt Pregnancy Test:
This is another natural pregnancy test which uses common salt. You must collect early morning urine in a see-through bowl and add a few pinches of salt to it. After a few minutes, you can notice the changes in the solution. In a positive case, the salt starts foaming and turns into a milky liquid. If there is no change in the structure, then you can consider it as a negative result.
3. Wheat Pregnancy Test:
In this method, the wheat grains are added to a bowl that contains urine. The solution is left aside for 2-3 days. If you notice sprouting of seeds, it means the pregnancy test is positive and no plant growth indicates a negative result. You must perform this test only after 2-3 days of missed period.
See More: Pregnancy Health Tips
4. Toothpaste Pregnancy Test:
This method is considered to be a reliable test for detecting pregnancy. You need a blob of plain toothpaste (not a gel or other modern versions) in a small bowl. Pour the urine on this and mix well. After sometime, you can notice these changes- bubbling and color turn to blue indicating positive results and no change in the mixture, indicating a negative result.
What To Do After You Get a Positive Result In Home Pregnancy Test?
Did you get a positive result in your test? Congratulations! Your bundle of joy is on its way! To make your pregnancy smooth and safe, you need to follow these after steps:
- Fix up an appointment with the doctor. A follow up blood exam and early pregnancy scan will be performed to make sure you are on the right track.
- Wait until the first trimester of pregnancy before you announce the news to a larger crowd. Most miscarriages happen during this period and you don’t want to get disappointed later.
- Take your medications on time, which includes prenatal vitamins like iron, calcium and folate.
- Start eating a healthy, nutritious diet comprising of vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains.
- Quit smoking and drinking. Take up some exercise and meditation to stay healthy.
We hope you have learnt all the necessary information related to home pregnany tests. Next time you had an unprotected sex, missed your periods or noticed any sudden changes in the body, you know what to do next. Instead of hitting the panic button, go to the store and buy a kit to test it at home. You can take a suitable call depending on the result. Do let us know if you would like to know any more details.
This article should not be treated as complete information or reliable expert advise. It should not used in place of a doctor’s consultation, as the information is not exhaustive and doesnot cover other cases related to pregnancy. You must only use this article to gain basic knowledge on the subject and not skip the prescription or course of treatment prescribed by a doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Q1. Can Home Pregnancy Test Detect Ectopic Pregnancy?
Ans: An ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which the fertilized egg gets stuck in the fallopian tube. In such cases, the woman experiences severe bleeding and pain, unlike in a normal pregnancy. In many cases, the urine tests were found to be negative. But due to the symptoms, early diagnosis was made at the clinic, which confirmed the presence of ruptured tubal ectopic pregnancy. (2)
In short, a home pregnancy test cannot detect ectopic pregnancies!
Q2. Is Pregnancy Test Kit Reusable?
Ans: No! Most of the pregnancy kits available in the market are made for single use only. The hCG strips work only once and after the results are shown, they become obsolete for future use. Also, if the strip accidentally gets in contact with water, moisture or any other substance, the efficiency is lowered and you are very likely to get incorrect/invalid results.
Q3. Which Pregnancy Test is More Trustworthy – Urine or Blood?
Ans: While both the tests are reliable methods to diagnose a pregnancy, blood tests have higher accuracy. They can detect very low levels of hCG in the body when compared to urine tests. This is why most women prefer following up their urine test with a blood checkup to be cent percent sure of their result.