How can it be known and/or confirmed that one is pregnant? Let us try to understand it. If you’re used to having your regular menstrual periods, you are sexually active and you’ve missed your menstrual period this time, then you may be pregnant. You can confirm this by doing pregnancy test. Pregnancy test can be done in two ways, either with your urine sample or with the blood sample.
Urine pregnancy test: The Urine Pregnancy Test can be performed by using a pregnancy test kit or device [such as “hCG One Step Pregnancy Test Strip”] which is commonly available at medical stores / chemist shops under different brand names. In US, it generally costs less than a dollar. This test detects Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone (hCG Hormone) in the urine sample. It can be done in the laboratory or at home. For this purpose, a test strip is either dipped in the container having fresh urine sample or otherwise three drops of urine are instilled in the slot provided for urine (in the pregnancy test device) and the appearance of two dark red/coloured lines (or any other colour as mentioned in the kit) after waiting for some time (about five minutes), confirms pregnancy. If, even after about 5 minutes of the test, the test kit still shows a single coloured line, then it shows that the test is negative and that you’re not pregnant. Urine test can be done approximately ten days after the first missed menstrual period. If the test is done earlier and result comes out to be negative, it can be repeated after a few days if you are expecting pregnancy, and it can turn positive if you are pregnant.
Blood test: Blood test is more sensitive and can be done two days before the expected date of period. Blood test can be done only in the laboratory. It is better to confirm pregnancy by detecting the level of Beta hCG in the mother’s blood. It is important to note that:
hCG level in blood less than 5 mIU/l is taken as negative for pregnancy. hCG level in blood of 25 mIU/l or a higher value is taken as positive for pregnancy. It is also noteworthy that the level of hCG in blood doubles every 48 to 72 hours for first four weeks of pregnancy and reaches its maximum at 60th day of pregnancy. The level of this hormone is about 100 mIU/l at the time of expected but missed menstrual period (i.e., if you’re pregnant), and is about 100000 mIU/l on 60th day of pregnancy period; after that, its level falls to a low constant level throughout the rest of the pregnancy).
If you conduct Beta hCG blood test and its result is equivocal (i.e., neither negative nor positive), then you can repeat the test after 48 hours in order to confirm the pregnancy.