The two types of pregnancy tests are urine tests and blood tests. Urine tests can be performed at home through an over the counter test kit. They are also sometimes done at a doctor’s office. Blood tests, on the other hand, are always performed at doctor’s offices.
Urine tests are the most common type of pregnancy test and available as both over the counter tests that you do at home or tests that you take in a doctor’s office in a clinical setting.
Urine tests have different ways that they have to be done. Some tests have you urinate into a cup and then dip the test stick into the cup. Other urine tests have you hold the test stick directly into the stream of urine. There are some other urine tests that have you urinate in a cup, and then use an eyedropper-like device to drop the urine onto the stick. These are all normal ways to take a urine pregnancy test.
You have to wait for the results to show up on the tests. The time depending on the test you are taking it varies between three and ten minutes. In between three to ten minutes you will look for a change on the test strip. Sometimes this result is two lines, one line, a plus, a minus, a blue line, a pink line, etc… The newer digital tests will actually display a reading of “pregnant” or “not pregnant” when your time is up. You shouldn’t take a urine test until at least the first day of your missed period and most doctors suggest you wait up to a week after you miss your period before testing. Urine tests, when done correctly, range from about 97 to 99 percent accurate, which is great for an at home pregnancy test.
Blood tests are only available at a doctor’s office or clinic. It is done after a urine test, if the woman needs further confirmation and also if a urine test comes up negative but a woman still believes that she is pregnant. Compared to urine tests, blood pregnancy tests are more accurate since they have little to no room for error. Blood pregnancy tests can be done any time after the first day of a missed period, since the blood test can easily recognize the HCG in the bloodstream.
Blood pregnancy tests come in two versions. The quantitative blood test will reveal the exact amount of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) in a woman’s blood. The qualitative blood test will only give a simple “yes” or “no” answer to whether or not a woman is pregnant.
Blood tests can sense HCG sooner than urine tests, so they can actually detect if a woman is pregnant from about 7-12 days from conception, although it is recommended that they be used until a woman has missed a period. One thing to remember about blood tests is that while they are more accurate and precise in their readings, and also more expensive since they must be done in a doctor’s office or clinical setting.