How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Three minutes of heart-pounding, loud silence might as well have been three hours.

Anja had taken a pregnancy test and was now waiting with anticipation and dread to see if it was a single or double line.

She sat on her hands and then stood up. She started pacing. She began chewing her nails. She didn’t even know what to do with herself while she waited for the longest three minutes of her life to pass. 

Then a frightening thought crossed her mind. How do I know I can trust the results? What if the test isn’t accurate?

Maybe you can relate. 

If you have recently taken a pregnancy test and are curious whether the results are accurate, here is what you need to know.

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Pregnancy tests search for the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine or blood. This hormone is only present when you are pregnant. 

Can a Pregnancy Test Be Wrong?

According to Medical News Today, pregnancy tests are 99 percent accurate. 

Most positive tests are accurate because the hormone hCG can’t be detected outside of pregnancy. However, some instances could create a false result. 

If you take the test too early, there may not be enough of the hormone hCG to be detected by a test. This can result in a false negative. 

That is why most healthcare professionals recommend taking your pregnancy test at least one week after a missed period. 

You also can receive a test that appears to be positive with an ectopic pregnancy. You should be made aware that an ectopic pregnancy is not viable because the egg is attached outside of the uterus. This type of pregnancy is unable to be sustained and grow in this environment and would require immediate medical attention.

Where Can I Receive a Free Pregnancy Test?

If you think you may be pregnant but aren’t sure, we can help. Our center offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasound referrals, and confidential options counseling if you wish to talk. 

Getting a pregnancy test and an ultrasound will not only help you to consider whether or not you might be pregnant, but can also tell you how far along you appear to be. An ultrasound can also give you a window to see what’s happening inside of you, while alerting you to any potential complications like an ectopic pregnancy. 

Call us today to schedule an appointment. You’re not alone.

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