How to use early detection pregnancy tests
Early detection pregnancy tests FAQ-what are they, how accurate, hcg levels, how to use them and the pros and cons of using them
What are early detection pregnancy test kits?
Ultra-early detection pregnancy test kits have been around now for about 10 years. They are highly sensitive urine pregnancy tests that can detect a pregnancy before the missed period.
Ultra early pregnancy tests are the earliest most sensitive pregnancy tests that you can buy for home use and the most sensitive pregnancy test strip is the 10mIU sensitivity which means it is able to detect just 10mIU of hcg in urine.
What is the difference between an early pregnancy test & an ultra-early detection pregnancy test?
Ultra-early detection pregnancy test kits detect a pregnancy before the missed period & are the earliest most sensitive pregnancy tests. This can mean that there are more false positives and negatives than with a standard early pregnancy test which usually detects 25mIU HCG or above.
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Why do you not have early pregnancy test strips below 10mIU sensitivity?
- 10miu sensitivity is as low as you can go without the pregnancy test giving significant and recurrent false positive results.
- This is because hcg is secreted by other tissues and not just placental tissue.
- This may be in very low amounts, but a urine pregnancy test detecting much below 10miu will demonstrate this hormone in a subgroup of women. They would have permanently positive pregnancy tests throughout their fertile years.
- 10miu is as low as the current technology can go without becoming inaccurate.
How soon can I do an early detection pregnancy test?
- ”How soon can I test for pregnancy test after ovulation, IVF, embryo transfer or implantation ?”
- This is a very common question, particularly after assisted conception.
- The very earliest that a pregnancy test should be done is 8-10 days after ovulation or assisted conception and for this, we would advise you to use an ultra-early 10mIU pregnancy test.
Are there any downsides to using ultra-early detection pregnancy test kits?
- One problem with very early or ultra 10miu pregnancy testing is that you may detect failed implantations or very early miscarriages that you would otherwise be blissfully unaware of and this may cause upset & distress.
- This does occur in a small but significant percentage of early implantations, which never continue and would never have been detected with pregnancy tests used from the first day of the missed period.
There is a faint line on my pregnancy test
- Faint lines on a pregnancy test, such as the one shown here which was supplied by a customer, should be ignored and regarded as negative. This is because in many cases you may be just seeing the substrate that is embedded into the test and raising false hopes.
- For a pregnancy test to be positive there should be a clearly visible and definite line in the test area.
- You can drive yourself mad looking at faint lines. What we are looking for is a big fat positive BFP, which will be obvious, and which appears within the specified test time.
- The pregnancy hormone hcg doubles about every 48-72 hours and so if you think you may be pregnant then repeat the test after at least 48 hours has elapsed and on your first-morning urine sample, and if the line is more obvious, then you may be pregnant.
- Misinterpreting very faint lines as positives are common, and will only lead to disappointment, and is the very reason that Clearblue went over to a pregnancy test that gives a simple answer of positive or negative, “pregnant” or not pregnant”.
- Some faint lines on early detection pregnancy tests will turn out to be positive later on as the hormone level increases, but in our experience of distributing these ultra early pregnancy tests in the UK over the last 16 years, most will not and should, therefore, be ignored and treated as a negative, and a repeat test performed 2-3 days later if the period has not started.
What is a failed implantation and what causes it?
- Failed implantations do not cause any symptoms and occur for a multitude of reasons where conditions for the pregnancy to continue are just not right. This is not classed as a true miscarriage but as a failed implantation. There are many reasons that this may occur and it may be natures way of ensuring that only the best embryos continue.
- Ultra early pregnancy tests will detect some of these implantations and for this reason, it is important to confirm the continued implantation and development of the pregnancy with a repeat pregnancy test a week to 10 days after the initial positive result. You would expect to get a stronger line on the pregnancy test at this point if you are testing at the same time of day as the hormone levels should have increased.
- Alternatively, you could use a pregnancy test that detects a higher level of Hcg such as a so that you know the hormone level has increased.
I have used an early detection pregnancy test and it is negative. Does this mean I’m not pregnant?
- With an early detection pregnancy test, a negative result does not necessarily mean that conception has not occurred.
- Because you are testing early using an ultra early pregnancy test and looking for very low levels of HCG it may simply be that the early pregnancy test was done too early & the hormone levels in the urine are not yet above 10mIU.
- For this reason, you should re-test every 24-48 hrs until you get a positive pregnancy test or a period.
- When using ultra early pregnancy tests make sure that you always test on your first morning void of urine as this is more concentrated.
- If you tested on a random urine sample with an ultra early pregnancy test and got a negative result, then retest the following morning on your first urine sample of the day (ie the first one you do on getting out of bed in the morning)