A woman can find out if she's pregnant by using a pregnancy test, which checks for the presence of hCG (the pregnancy hormone) in a woman's blood or urine. Blood tests can detect hCG earlier in a pregnancy than urine tests can. Some of the home pregnancy tests are more accurate than others, but all are generally accurate within 97 to 99 percent.
There are two types of tests used to see if a woman is pregnant: blood and urine tests. Both types look for the presence of a special hormone that is only present when a woman is pregnant. This hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is also called the pregnancy hormone.
Today, many women use a urine test, or home pregnancy test (HPT), to find out if they are pregnant. A home pregnancy test:
- Does not cost a lot
- Is easy to use
- Can be done at home
- Is private.
When a woman has a positive result on a home pregnancy test, she needs to see her healthcare provider right away. The healthcare provider can confirm a positive test result with a blood pregnancy test and a pelvic exam.
There are two types of blood pregnancy tests you can get from a healthcare provider:
- Quantitative blood test
- Qualitative blood test.
Quantitative Blood Test
A quantitative blood pregnancy test (or the beta hCG test) measures the exact amount of hCG in the blood. This means that this pregnancy test can pick up very small amounts of hCG, making it a very accurate test.
Qualitative Blood Test
A qualitative hCG blood test gives a simple "yes" or "no" answer as to whether you are pregnant. This pregnancy test is more like a urine test in terms of its accuracy.