EPT Pregnancy Test- All You Need To Know
Pregnancy is a thrilling voyage. It is overwhelming, arduous yet ecstatic. Though it is important to start catering to the needs of your pregnant self as early as possible, the need to detect an unwanted pregnancy and take the necessary course of action at the earliest cannot be undermined. Although, doctors are the ultimate lifesavers, getting an appointment at the drop of the hat is often not a cakewalk. Therefore, to put an end to the anxious wait of women,Error-proof tests(EPT) which are over-the-counter pregnancy tests are available to enable women to be aware of the coming of their little one as early as possible. Read further to get a detailed insight into EPT Pregnancy Test.
How Does an EPT Pregnancy Test Work?
An EPT pregnancy test works by estimating the level of hCG in your urine. hCG stands for human chorionic gonadotrophin. Even though it is secreted in non-pregnant women and men, it has a negligible role to play in their physiology and therefore the amount is too little to be detected.
However, it has a significant role to play in pregnant women. hCG stimulates the corpus luteum to produce the female hormone progesterone, which maintains the uterine lining to hold the embryo for development, which is otherwise shed at the beginning of every menstrual cycle.
Therefore, immediately after implantation of the fertilized egg on the uterine lining, which happens around 10 days after fertilization, the amount of hCG begins to rise. Usually, in a viable pregnancy, hCG levels double up every two to three days for four weeks and every four days after that till the sixth week.
So this at-home pregnancy test leverages the increasing levels of the hormone to determine if one is pregnant or not. EPT pregnancy tests have a paper that reacts with the hCG in the urine to display the results.
Two different varieties of EPT tests are available- the expensive one that spells out pregnant or not pregnant after the test and the more affordable one that displays results through a single line for non-pregnant women and a cross with two lines for pregnant women. It also has a square window that indicates the accuracy of use with the help of lines.
When To Take The Test
Usually, a missed period is taken as an indicator of conception. However, it has to be kept in mind that you can miss your period due to other reasons like stress, hormonal imbalance, and so on. For women, the fertile period is considered to be between 11 and 21 days from the start of their last period.
Unprotected intercourse during these days can possibly lead to a pregnancy. Since a pregnancy test checks the level of hCG in your urine that shoots up only after implantation which is approximately 10 days from fertilization, it is best to take the test after you miss your period.
Taking it before that might give you a false positive as the amount of hCG might not be too high to be detected. However, if you miss your period after getting a negative result, it is recommended to take another test after that for confirmation. In case you happen to forget the date of your period, you can try taking the test 21 days after having unprotected intercourse.
While taking the pregnancy test at home, it is important to know the right time for doing it. Your first urine of the day is known to increase the pregnancy test accuracy. It is because of the higher concentration of hCG in the urine at that time. Eventual fluid intake might dilute the urine leading to false negatives.
Sometimes women do get false-positive results. It might be a consequence of using hCG to stimulate ovulation, some tumors in the ovary, or just a peri-menopause phase. Therefore, it is ideal to head to a healthcare center and confirm your pregnancy through a blood test.
How To Take An EPT Pregnancy Test
In an EPT Pregnancy test kit, there are two test sticks in a box that are wrapped separately. Here’s how you can take the pregnancy test at home.
Unwrap one of the pregnancy sticks.
Sit on the toilet and remove the cap that you will find at one end of the stick. The reactive paper supposed to absorb the urine and detect the hCG levels lies under the cap. It is advised to not open the cap before you are ready to urinate in order to avoid contamination that can interfere with the test results.
Once set, you can expose the end of the stick covered with the cap to your urine for about five seconds or dip it in your urine collected in a cup for 20 seconds.
Place the test stick without touching the end of the stick that has your urine absorbed to avoid contamination.
Place it in a safe place for the result to be processed.
If you have the digital test, ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ will appear on the result window in about three minutes and will disappear a few minutes post the display. However, for tests that use lines to display results, the result window displays a single line for non-pregnant women and double lines, crossing each other, assuming a plus sign for pregnant women. You can cap the stick and preserve it for viewing later.
Do not panic if one line appears fainter than the other. That is absolutely normal. As long as two clear lines are visible, rest assured of the beginning of a new journey. Hope this gives you a clear insight into how to take an EPT Pregnancy Test. If you are worried about the pregnancy test accuracy, know that the rates are as high as 99%. You should, however, visit a doctor and get your blood sample checked for confirmation.
While for some people, an EPT test can spark a moment of ecstasy, for some it might be terribly disappointing and for others, it might lead to a moment of relief. Though this comes down as a boon to detecting early pregnancies or unwanted ones, very frequent testing can be overwhelming. It might catch chemical pregnancies which are basically normal, very early miscarriages that can go unnoticed and might make you anxious for no reason. Therefore, trust the process and be patient till it's the right time to take the test.