Facts about Pregnancy Testing

Carmen Lobitz
Titelbild zum englischen Beitrag über Schwangerschaftstests
© Ramona Heim/stock.adobe.com

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When is a pregnancy test needed? A pregnancy test is conducted when menstruation is overdue. Sometimes, testing can be required even earlier. More indications for a possible pregnancy are: feelings of tension in the breasts, enlarged and firm breasts, morning sickness, appetite changes, skin changes (increased tendency to pimples, dry/sensitive skin), darker and firmer labia, increased discharge, exhaustion and fatigue, or persistently high body temperature.

Urine tests can successfully detect ß-HCG about ten days after fertilization. At this point, the egg has been implanted in the uterus for two days. It is recommended to do the pregnancy test in the morning since the ß-HCG concentration is highest in morning urine.

Blood tests are more sensitive as they can already detect even a slight increase of the ß-HCG concentration. Thus, they can give clear results six to ten days after ovulation. Blood tests may be useful if the woman experiences pain, or does not feel well. Because they can be performed earlier, they can reveal an early indication ectopic (tubal) pregnancy that has to be treated. Sometimes pregnancy needs to be ruled-out before taking certain medications, in which case blood tests are often the best choice.

The detection of…

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