By Dr. Tosin Ogunjimi
Sensitive, early pregnancy tests measure changes in levels of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG). The level of hCG in your body, spikes up when you become pregnant.
Tests that you can do to confirm if you are pregnant include:
Urine Pregnancy Test
This is the most common method used to confirm pregnancy. It is an affordable, reliable and fast tool for diagnosing pregnancies (it takes approximately 1–5 minutes to obtain results).
Home Pregnancy Tests
HCG is easily detected if it is tested in the first urine passed out in the morning. A positive test is indicated by a color change or confirmation mark on the test stick/device. The accuracy of the home pregnancy test depends on how you use it and how well you can interpret the results. You should therefore carry it out more than once to be sure.
Serum Pregnancy Test
HCG can also be detected in your blood serum as early as one week after conception (pregnancy week four or five). The serum pregnancy test is reliable in diagnosing an early pregnancy. It is also widely used in the evaluation of threatened abortions, ectopic pregnancies and other conditions. You would need to have blood taken for this test, so ouch if you do not like needles.