If you are trying to conceive or think you may be pregnant, you may want to know for sure whether you are pregnant or not. Decades ago, the best way to know for sure was to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist. But, these days, there are many over-the-counter tests you can take, which may have you wondering if they are accurate. Keep reading to learn more about this topic.
Are At-Home Pregnancy Tests Accurate?
At-home pregnancy tests, also referred to as over-the-counter tests are very accurate. A recent study found that most tests maintain a 99% accuracy rate or better. This is the same accuracy rate as the tests used at a gynecologist’s office. Both types of test measure hCg, or a hormone found in the urine of pregnant women. Over-the-counter tests have become sensitive, allowing them to accurately pick up the presence of this hormone. In turn, this results in a more accurate test.
Are False Positive or False Negative Results More Common?
While at-home pregnancy tests are pretty accurate, they are not 100 percent accurate. As such, if you receive either a negative or a positive result, you may wonder how accurate that result is. False negatives are more common with home pregnancy tests compared to false positive results. The most common reason why false negatives occur is because a woman is testing too soon, and the hormone has not built up enough in her system to be measured. If you still have not started your period, you should repeat a home test in three days to see if the hormone has built up more.
What Can You Do to Minimize False Results?
One of the best ways to minimize a false negative result is to get in tune with your cycle. You can start testing as early as three days before your period is due, but you will receive the best results if you wait until your period is due or a few days late. Additionally, use first-morning urine. It is more concentrated. Lastly, always read the results within the timeline stated by the manufacturer. The results may not be accurate if you wait too long.
At-home pregnancy tests are very accurate when they are taken within the correct timeframe and used correctly. If you have received a positive test, you should schedule an appointment with a gynecologist to verify the results and to help ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. Our gynecologist’s office is currently accepting new patients. Reach out to us if you have recently received a positive at-home pregnancy test.