Home pregnancy test kits are such a boon as they make pregnancy tests so much easier these days.
Have a feeling that your wife may be pregnant? Visit a medical store to get a home pregnancy test kit! In a moment you will get to know how it’s used.
There are also tests you can do at home without a kit. That will be explained later on in this article. So, let’s get down to the details quickly.
What does a pregnancy test look for?
When a woman gets pregnant, a hormone called hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is generated in her body. This is otherwise called the pregnancy hormone. A pregnancy test, be it at home or at the clinic, looks for the presence of this hormone to determine pregnancy. Meaning if hCG is present in the urine or blood sample of your wife, then congratulations, baby is on the way! 😊
Different types of home pregnancy test kits
A home pregnancy test involves collecting her urine – the first urine of the day as it has the highest concentration of hCG – and using a store-bought pregnancy test kit to do the actual test.
The older kits that use a dropper to drop urine into a container of the test kit is relatively inexpensive. But there are other newer kits that need your wife to collect urine in a container and dip the test strip in it, as well as one that can be placed directly in the stream of the urine. These are more expensive.
Remember to strictly follow the instructions on the kit or it would give you wrong results.
Where to buy a home pregnancy test kit
All medical stores stock home pregnancy test kits. And you do not need a prescription to buy one.
All you need to do is ask them for a ‘pregnancy kit’ from a reputed pharmaceutical company. If nothing else, you can be assured the kit is of good quality. Do not buy local makes.
Make sure you check the expiry date on the kit. If it is past the expiry date, you will get wrong results. Just to be doubly sure, check if the date is too close to the date you are buying it. If it is, ask for another kit.
You can also get these kits online. But then, you will not be able to ensure a safe expiry date window for the kit.
How to do a home pregnancy test
This would depend on the brand and type of kit you buy. Each kit has its own instructions and these will have to be followed strictly as mention in the pack.
Generally, the steps would be as follows for the old kit that comes with a container strip and dropper:
- Collect the first urine sample of the day in the clean dry container provided.
- Leave out the beginning and end streams. Collect only the mid-flow urine sample.
- Using the dropper, drip the required number of drops on to the test strip.
- Wait till a drop is fully absorbed before adding the next drop.
- Read the results within the time mentioned on the kit.
If you take a reading after the cut off time mentioned on your kit, you may get an inaccurate result. In this case, repeat the test with a new test strip.
No matter what type of test kit you use, ensure that you follow the directions on how long you should wait and how you should read the results.
Things to note before taking the home pregnancy test
Certain medications may interfere with the result. For example, anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines etc could give a false-positive reading – meaning it could show your wife is pregnant when she is not.
Kits past the expiry date could give wrong readings. While buying a kit, ensure that the expiry date is in the safe zone. Also, don’t stock kits. Buy them only when you need them.
Testing before time may give a false negative reading. Remember that we are testing for hCG which is present in concentrated form in urine only after a missed period. Wait for 3-5 days after a missed period before testing.
Not following kit instructions would give wrong results. Each kit has its own specifications. So read the instructions and follow them carefully. Do not leave out any of the details.
Using diluted urine will give wrong results. The first urine of the day contains the most amount of hCG. Collect this sample mid-stream, leaving out the beginning and end streams, for best results.
Don’t take the first result as the final one. There could be chances of false negative results, so repeat the test after about 2-3 days. Remember that the hCG levels double every 2-3 days increasing chances of an accurate result.
If your wife has irregular periods, results may not show for about two to three weeks after her missed period. So, wait to take the test or if there is any confusion, visit a gynaecologist.
Accuracy of home pregnancy tests
Home pregnancy tests are supposed to be 99% accurate according to most manufacturers of these test kits. Just remember to follow the instructions on the pack as well as the ‘things to note’ mentioned above.
If your wife has just missed her period and suspects she is pregnant, wait for 2-3 days before taking the test and repeat the test after about another 2-3 days.
What if the home pregnancy test result is negative?
Even after following the instructions on the test kit strictly, if you get a negative result, your wife is probably not pregnant.
But there is a possibility that she may be pregnant and that you got a false negative result on testing if:
- The pregnancy test kits expiry date is over.
- Your wife took the test too soon.
- She did not use the first urine sample of the day.
- Her urine sample was too diluted.
- She is on certain medication that affected the result.
There’s only one thing to do now – get the test done again. If you get a different result, then get it confirmed by a gynaecologist.
Remember to take the first urine of the day for the home test as it has the highest concentration of hCG, the pregnancy hormone.
If your wife has had water to drink post-midnight, her urine sample may be too diluted in the morning. In this case do it the next day.
Natural home pregnancy tests done the age-old way
Home-based natural methods to test for pregnancy has been around for ages from our forefather’s times. Just for that reason, these natural tests are also mostly reliable.
If you intend to try out one of these tests, don’t just stop at one method alone. Try one or two of the other methods too so you can be sure. And also confirm the results with a clinical test.
While taking these tests, keep these things in mind:
- Take these tests only 3-5 days after a missed period.
- Use only the first urine of the day as it has high hCG levels.
- Collect the urine into a clean and dry container.
- Collect a good amount more than with the kit test method.
- Wait for 5-10 minutes for the reaction to complete.
- If there is no reaction, your wife is not pregnant.
- Try 2-3 of these tests and see if you get the same result.
Home pregnancy test with Bleaching Powder
This is supposed to be the most accurate method. Add a small spoon of bleaching powder to the urine sample and mix well so all lumps dissolve. If there is foam or fizz, your wife is pregnant.
Home pregnancy test with Sugar
This is the most common method. Take a tablespoon of sugar and add an equal amount of urine sample to it. If the sugar forms lumps and does not dissolve quickly, your wife is pregnant.
Home pregnancy test with Toothpaste
Only white toothpaste (any brand) can be used for this method. To two tablespoons of toothpaste, add the urine sample. If the toothpaste froths and changes colour, your wife is pregnant.
Home pregnancy test with Vinegar
Use only white vinegar for this method. To two tablespoons of white vinegar, add the urine sample and mix well. If the vinegar changes colour and forms bubbles, your wife is pregnant.
Home pregnancy test with Soap
Any bathing soap can be used for this method. Cut a small piece of soap and place in a clean, dry container and pour the urine sample on it. If bubbles form, your wife is pregnant.
Home pregnancy test with Baking Soda
Take two tablespoons of baking soda in a clean, dry container and add an equal amount of urine sample to it. If bubbles like soda bubbles appear, your wife is pregnant.
As mentioned earlier, test with two to three of these methods. If all results are the same, you can still confirm it with a home pregnancy test kit or at the clinic. If the test gives mixed results visit your gynaecologist. In any case, no matter what the result is, only a medical professional can confirm the pregnancy.
Early signs of pregnancy: 10 First signs that your wife could be pregnant
Here’s a quick listing of the early symptoms of pregnancy. You can read the entire article here. Or click on the symptom you want to know more about and read just that.