For most women, the “Am I pregnant?” question can only be answered by taking an HCG pregnancy test. Although the accuracy of home pregnancy test kits are not as high as that of a blood HCG test, for women who are anxious to find out if they are expecting or not, these DIY diagnostic kits are useful tools during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
EPT test results are considered to produce the most accurate results even before a missed menstrual period. Early pregnancy test kits differ from standard home pregnancy kits in the market as they are known to detect as little as 25 mIU/ml of HCG in the urine. An EPT kit can be used even when there are still no early pregnancy signs. Usually, breast tenderness, frequent urination, morning sickness and other early pregnancy signs are only felt by an expecting mother when they become one month pregnant.
Late detection of pregnancy may pose serious health risks to the unborn fetus. Women who are not aware that they are pregnant normally experience pregnancy complications when certain habits and activities are not stopped during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
This is one of the reasons why methods on how to check pregnancy should be implemented as early as possible. For women who have been anticipating of getting pregnant for a while, they use EPT test kits and perform detection even before their missed period.
There are a couple of benefits in using an EPT test kit rather than using a standard home pregnancy test. A major advantage is the fact that you will have more time to ensure a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery for your baby. As mentioned an Early Pregnancy Test kit can detect25 mIU/ml of HCG. Standard home pregnancy kits will show a positive pregnancy test only if the HCG level in the urine is at 50 mIU/ml to 100 mIU/ml. Home pregnancy test kits with low HCG sensitivity will most likely produce a false positive pregnancy test if used before the scheduled menstrual period. The result may be questionable in this instance. In cases like this, re-testing after a week after missed period will result in a highly accurate pregnancy test result.
EPT kits are more expensive than standard home pregnancy tests. Most women can certainly wait to test a day or two after a missed period, but there are some who are excited that they would opt to purchase the more expensive EPT test kit to confirm pregnancy as early as they can.
EPT kits function just the same as ordinary home pregnancy kits. The only difference is that EPTs are known to produce a more accurate result during early weeks of pregnancy. When they are used after a missed period, a woman can observe that the lines are stronger. The line in an EPT kit becomes bolder as it detects HCG levels more than 25 mIU/ml. A faint positive pregnancy test is a rarity when it comes to the use of EPT kits. Since it can detect HCG at miniscule amounts, the problem that this product most often encounters is a false positive pregnancy test result instead.
- Perform the pregnancy test first thing in the morning. This is the best time to test HCG concentration in the urine.
- You can most certainly take the test anytime within the day, but it is established that urine is most concentrated in the morning.
- Wash your hands before performing the test. Although this is not a sterile activity, you need to make sure that there will be no contaminant that can affect the accuracy of results.
- Most EPT sticks are wrapped in foil. Open the packaging only when you are about to take the test.
- Hold the EPT test stick at the thumb grip part. This will ensure that your hands will not touch the stream of urine that will pass through the test stick.
- Wait for two to five minutes before reading the results. Generally, it is recommended that a pregnancy test result should be read 2 to 10 minutes after. Reading beyond this period will most often result in inaccurate results.
- Depending on the manufacturer, your EPT window may show a second line beside the test line or a plus sign instead.
- Digital pregnancy test kits on the other hand will show the word POSITIVE instead.
- If you are highly doubtful about the accuracy of results, you can retake the exam a day after or when you miss your period.
Although most manufacturers will claim that their products feature 99.9% accuracy, there will be instances that products will show defective results. If this is the case, you can simply retake the exam and use another EPT brand instead.
After verifying a positive pregnancy test, now what most women would do is start on taking iron supplements and folic acid. Although these are considered to be beneficial to the mother, it should be noted that these supplements may not always be good for the fetus. Check in with a doctor and ask for recommendations of pregnancy supplements that you can use to ensure health pregnancy until your first prenatal check up.
In addition, if you are extremely doubtful of the results from your EPT, you can always request a blood HCG test from your doctor. This will give you a more accurate idea when it comes to the presence of pregnancy and the general status or condition of the fetus growing inside your womb.