HOME PREGNANCY TESTS DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS

Home pregnancy tests are available at most pharmacies, are based on the detection of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) in a woman’s urine. HCG is a hormone that’s produced by the early developing placenta, released into the bloodstream, and then excreted into the urine.Though it’s possible to detect pregnancy as early as six days after conception, home pregnancy kits recommend waiting six to nine days after a missed menstrual period for testing. Instructions, chemicals, and equipment are provided, all you need do is supply a specimen of your first morning urine, but you should be aware of factors that can contribute to inaccuracy.Inaccurate results can occur . . .• if the test is performed – or results evaluated – too early;• if urine and/or chemicals are exposed to extreme temperatures;• if you have a urinary tract infection or recently completed taking medication for one;• if test equipment has been washed with soap (which could leave a residue and alter results);• if there are excessive amounts of protein in your urine;• if your pregnancy is ectopic (implantation occurs outside the uterus, most often the fallopian tube);Caution: Ectopic pregnancies can be dangerous. If you suspect that you’re pregnant and get negative results on your home test, I strongly recommend you see your doctor as soon as possible.• if you are on any medication, especially birth control pills, antihypertensive, or tranquillizers, which can produce false positive results;• if you have uterine cancer.Caution: Getting a positive result on your test should encourage you to see a doctor as soon as possible, not put the visit off.In all cases, a follow-up examination by a qualified physician is strongly recommended to protect your health – and your baby’s.*3/137/5*

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