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Thanks to technology, you don’t even have to go to an ob-gyn (yet!) if you suspect that you are pregnant. The easiest way to find out is by taking a home pregnancy test. Just pee and wait for the test to detect levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by a developing placenta, and find out if you have a baby on the way.
But how reliable are these kits? “Home pregnancy tests have come a long way over the years,” tells Stephen Rechner, M.D., the division chief of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at Spectrum Health in Michigan, USA, to Parents.com. “They can now detect pregnancy earlier and are accurate most any time of day.”
According to Heidi Murkoffand Sharon Mazel, authors of What To Expect When You’re Expecting, once an embryo begins implanting itself in the uterus, between six to 12 days after fertilization, hCG can already be detected in the blood and urine. But it’s still possible for some pregnancy tests to fail at detecting hCG a week after conception.
Other factors that may lead to a false negative include taking the test too early (before your scheduled period), using an expired pregnancy test, or taking the test incorrectly.
How do I know if the pregnancy test result is positive?
The most common pregnancy test kit would need two visible lines to appear to show a positive result. “If your test is showing a [second] line, no matter how faint it is, you’re pregnant,” wrote Murkoff and Mazel.
Even with this information, it’s easy to be thrown off or doubt the result of your pregnancy test once you see that faint line. So, we enlisted the help of members from our Facebook group Smart Parenting Villageto get a clearer picture (ehem, pun intended). We asked for photos of their positive pregnancy tests and here’s what we found out: