how to use pregnancy test strips

by pregnancy journalist

Pregnancy test strips help determine the level of hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin) in a person’s urine specimen and is the best way of monitoring early pregnancy as early as 6 to 15 days after fertilisation.

Subsequent rise in the concentration levels of hCG confirms pregnancy can help one know if she is pregnant with the help of a pregnant test kit that comes with a pregnancy test strip.

Instructions to Use

Open the sealed pack and remove the test kit from its pouch.

Urinate into a small unused cup to collect your urine sample for testing. First morning gives best results as it contains the highest concentration of hCG, however, urine sample collected at another time of day can also be used.

Hold the vertically so that the arrows point down i.e. towards the urine specimen.

Carefully dip the test strip into the urine sample and let it stay for three seconds. Lift and dip again if you are not satisfied.

Lay the test strip on a flat surface and wait for the colour band to appear. Time taken for the result to display directly depends upon the concentration of hCG in the urine specimen. A positive result may be observed within 40 seconds, however, for confirmation of a negative test, you need to wait for at least 5 minutes.

Before reading the test result, you must be clear about the specified reaction time for test results to appear. The reaction time varies from test to test and must be followed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Interpreting Test Results

  • Positive test result: When the test is positive, two distinct bands appear in control and test regions. Colour intensity of the test band may vary due to different stages and levels of HCG
  • Invalid test result: There may be a time when none of the bands appear, either in control or test area of the strip. This may happen due to low level of HCG, insufficient volume of urine sample or you must have not followed the right procedure while performing the test. In such a case the test must be conducted again after 72 hours

Pregnancy test strips are an accurate method of testing whether one is pregnant or not and at most times, it works accurately provided the one doing it knows how to perform the test. 

Image: Getty

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