You can check if you are pregnant in the early stages by either the urine pregnancy test or the blood test.
Urine pregnancy test:
This can be done at home and it is easy, inexpensive and gives faster results. Due to the increase in levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the body of a pregnant woman during the early stages of pregnancy, the test is able to detect this hormone.
To do this test, remember the following:
- Buy the urine pregnancy test kit from your chemist when you are planning your pregnancy
- If you miss your period, take this test 5-10 days after your expected period date.
- Collect the morning urine in a clean container.
- Collect the urine ‘mid-stream’ i.e. exclude the initial part of the urine flow.
- Add the urine sample to the marked pit using a dropper. Leave it undisturbed
- Check the result after the stated time only. If you let the test remain for longer than the stated time, then the results may be invalid.
- If you cannot understand the results, please consult a gynaecologist.
- Please read the instructions in the test kit.
Remember that a ‘negative’ result may mean that you are not pregnant, or you took the test too early or improperly. If the body has not produced sufficient hCG, then it will not show up in the test. Urine tests also have 97% accuracy, when done correctly.
Important: If you get a negative result but you still have symptoms of pregnancy such as a missed period, nausea or vomiting, breast pain or tiredness, then please wait for a week and do the test again. Another option is to contact the doctor, who will recommend a blood test, which is more accurate than a urine test.
A blood test is more accurate but more expensive and takes longer time than a urine test and it must be done at the doctor’s clinic. The blood test will also detect the level of hCG in your body. It may happen that your doctor will advise you a series of blood tests to measure hCG over a period of time. This will be done based on his assessment and the specifics of your case.
An ultrasound scan is done 6-7 weeks after missing the period and it confirms the presence of pregnancy, its number (single or twins), location (uterus or ectopic/in a different place near the uterus) and its viability (health).