Saturday, April 9, 2011

Am I pregnant? Accuracy of Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy is one of the biggest events in women's life, but unwanted pregnancy and its consequences are totally different than desired pregnancy. One of the most important question that every women has after unprotected sex is: am I at a risk of pregnancy? They will explore all sources of information including internet, forums, friends, and close relatives with a hope to find an answer. The reliability of the information provided by these sources cannot substitute the physician visit.

Today I am going to talk about a different scenario which possesses a risk for pregnancy and how can you confirm or rule out pregnancy. I believe that knowledge is the most powerful tool to reduce your stress. Just for your information, an unprotected sexual exposure has the biggest risk of pregnancy, but it is not a rule to get pregnant like that. A successful conception requires an unprotected sexual exposure at the time of ovulation, healthy motile sperm, favorable environment for sperm in female genital tract,  sperm compatibility, and many other factors. Problems in any of these factors may interfere with conception. Just keep in mind that adequate amount of sperm needs to be deposited inside genital tract to become pregnant. Thus, touching/ genital manipulation, sexual act while wearing undergarment, or presence of sperms in fingers practically does not poses any risk of pregnancy.  Moreover, pregnancy from these kind of sexual exposure is rare and not well documented. So you can ease your mind, if you had low risk exposure. Another important factor is timing of sexual exposure, if you have regular monthly period and your sexual exposure is within safe period, you are most likely in safer side. You can visit this link for safe period calculation, click here.

Our next important issue is an accuracy of pregnancy test. We all know the there are tons of different brands out there in the market. I am sure many of us knew that there are two different kind of pregnancy test such as urine pregnancy test and blood pregnancy test. Home pregnancy test (HPT) is an urine based test and you can buy the kit from over the counter whereas for blood pregnancy test you will have to visit a clinic to run the test. HPT is much easier, cheaper and faster than blood pregnancy test, but the drawback is that it is not 100% reliable. In general accuracy of HPT may range from 97-99% depending upon the brand.

It is generally recommended to do HPT after your period due date, if tested negative, repeat the HPT again after two weeks. Getting negative HPT two weeks after period due date is very reliable and rule out pregnancy in most of the cases. However, if you are having pregnancy symptoms, it is still better to go for blood pregnancy test. You can read more about this topic from this link, click here.

You can also read my previous post Missed period: Are you worried about pregnancy?

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