All about pregnancy signs and symptoms of pregnancy pregnancy tests home pregnancy test pregnancy stages first trimester of pregnancy second trimester of pregnancy third trimester of pregnancy calculating pregnancy due date prenatal diagnosis healthy pregnancy diet nutrition during pregnancy exercise during pregnancy spotting during pregnancy bleeding during pregnancy smoking during pregnancy sex during pregnancy prenatal care teenage pregnancy twins and multiple births childbirth obstetrics pregnancy ultrasound Chinese lunar pregnancy calendar (Chinese gender chart) fertility charting ovulation: calendar, prediction, test getting pregnant gender selection prenatal tests genetic screening genetic counseling birth control (contraception, pregnancy prevention) male condoms female condoms diaphragm cervical cap birth control pills Norplant Depo Provera spermicides emergency contraceptive pill (morning-after pill) natural family planning intrauterine device (IUD) birth control patch sterilization (vasectomy) fertility awareness method (FAM) abstinence pre-eclampsia, eclampsia HELLP syndrome intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) premature birth stillbirth Caesarean section preterm labor Rh incompatibility (erythroblastosis fetalis) ectopic pregnancy pregnancy diabetes (gestational diabetes) group B strep morning sickness (NVP) hyperemesis gravidarum miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) postpartum hemorrhage pregnancy-induced hypertension Pica
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A pregnancy test is a test of blood or urine used to determine whether a woman is pregnant. There are two types of pregnancy tests - blood and urine tests. Both tests look for the presence of hCG, the pregnancy hormone. Today, many women use a urine test, or home pregnancy test (HPT), to find out if they are pregnant. HPTs do not cost a lot, are easy to use, can be done at home, and are private. When a woman has a positive result on an HPT, she needs to see her health
care provider right away. The health care provider can confirm a positive HPT result with a blood test and a pelvic exam.
There are two types of blood tests you can get from a health care provider. A quantitative blood test (or the beta hCG test) measures the exact amount of hCG in the blood. This means it can pick up very small amounts of hCG, making it a very accurate test. A qualitative hCG blood test gives a simple yes or no answer to whether you are pregnant. This test is more like a urine test in terms of its accuracy. Blood tests can pick up hCG earlier in a pregnancy than urine tests can. Blood tests can tell if you are pregnant about 6 to 8 days after you ovulate (or release an egg from an ovary). Urine tests can determine pregnancy about 2 weeks after ovulation. Some more sensitive urine tests can tell if you are pregnant as early as 6 days after you conceive, or one day after you miss a menstrual period.
The qualitative urine human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) test is usually performed by placing a drop of urine on a prepared chemical strip. It usually takes one or two minutes for the strip to indicate the result. Women who are late for their menstrual period (menses) often perform qualitative urine tests at home. Qualitative tests only indicate whether you are pregnant or not -- yes or no. Home pregnancy tests are available at pharmacies and do not require prescriptions. Sometimes the test will be performed at your doctor's office before the first prenatal visit. This is done just to confirm the results of your home test. Doctors also perform a qualitative urine pregnancy test before performing a procedure or prescribing a medication that might adversely affect an existing pregnancy. The qualitative urine test can detect HCG levels above 25-50 milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/mL). Serum tests can detect HCG levels above 5-10 mIU/mL.
Quantitative serum pregnancy testing is usually performed at a hospital or doctor's office. This test measures the amount of HCG in your blood. It can measure amounts ranging from 5 mIU/mL to 2,000,000 mIU/mL or more. Quantitative testing is performed when it is not sufficient merely to know whether you are pregnant or not. Sometimes, your doctor will need to correlate your HCG levels with the progress of your pregnancy. Qualitative urine HCG tests are a common method of determining if a woman is pregnant. A home pregnancy test usually uses this method.
HCG is detectable in the blood or urine 1 to 2 days after implantation of the fertilized egg (10 days after ovulation). HCG increases rapidly in the first trimester, reaching a peak 60 to 80 days after fertilization, then drops off quickly to 10-30% of the peak value for the rest of the pregnancy. HCG maintains progesterone production by the corpus luteum in the early stages of pregnancy. By the time HCG drops at the beginning of the second trimester, the placenta can make sufficient progesterone to maintain the endometrium (uterine lining). HCG also stimulates the development of fetal gonads and the synthesis of androgens (male hormones) by the fetal testes.
The qualitative and quantitative serum tests are performed by drawing a single tube of blood and sending it to a laboratory. You may wait anywhere from a few hours to more than a day to get the results. Quantitative tests are used to measure the level of HCG in your blood, which gives your doctor more information than the qualitative test.
Qualitative HCG (urine) is a test to detect beta-HCG (a hormone normally produced during pregnancy) in urine. A urine sample is obtained. Urinate in the normal manner, but collect a sample in a container. Usually a first-morning sample (the first time the person urinates in the morning) is preferred, because it is the most concentrated. Home pregnancy tests simply require the test strip to be dipped into the urine or passed through the urine stream while urinating. Urinate in the normal manner, but collect a sample (or dip the test strip in the urine stream) as directed. Qualitative urine HCG tests are a common method of determining if a woman is pregnant. A home pregnancy test usually uses this method. HCG is detectable in the blood or urine 1 to 2 days after implantation of the fertilized egg (10 days after ovulation). HCG increases rapidly in the first trimester, reaching a peak 60 to 80 days after fertilization, then drops off quickly to 10-30% of the peak value for the rest of the pregnancy. HCG maintains progesterone production by the corpus luteum in the early stages of pregnancy. By the time HCG drops at the beginning of the second trimester, the placenta can make sufficient progesterone to maintain the endometrium (uterine lining). HCG also stimulates the development of fetal gonads and the synthesis of androgens (male hormones) by the fetal testes.
Qualitative HCG (serum) is a blood test to detect beta-HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone normally produced during pregnancy. Blood is drawn from a vein, usually on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band cuff is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and restrict blood flow through the vein. This causes veins below the band to fill with blood. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. During the procedure, the band is removed to restore circulation. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing. Most often, this test is performed to confirm or rule out pregnancy. Serum HCG may also be increased in women with certain types of ovarian tumors or men with testicular tumors. HCG, a hormone produced during pregnancy, is detectable in the blood or urine 1 to 2 days after implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus (10 days after ovulation). It increases rapidly in the first trimester, reaching a peak 60 to 80 days after fertilization; then drops off quickly to 10-30% of the peak value for the rest of the pregnancy. HCG maintains progesterone production by the corpus luteum in the early part of pregnancy. By the time HCG drops at the beginning of the second trimester, the placenta can make sufficient progesterone to maintain the endometrium. HCG also stimulates the development of fetal gonads and synthesis of androgens (male hormones) by the fetal testes. Quantitative HCG is a blood test that measures the specific amount of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and restrict blood flow through the vein. This causes veins below the band to fill with blood.
A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. During the procedure, the band is removed to restore circulation. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding. When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing. Quantitative HCG measurements can allow precise prediction of the age of the fetus. It is also used when an abnormal condition that can elevate HCG level is suspected. A pregnancy test is usually based on detection of HCG, which is secreted by the fertilized egg. HCG appears in the blood and urine of pregnant women as early as 10 days after conception. HCG maintains progesterone production by the corpus luteum in the early part of pregnancy. By the time HCG levels drop at the beginning of the second trimester, the placenta can make sufficient progesterone to maintain the uterine lining (endometrium). However, HCG may also be elevated in abnormal circumstances in men as well as women.
More information on pregnancy
Pregnancy - Pregnancy is period of time between fertilization of the ovum (conception) and birth, during which mammals carry their developing young in the uterus (see embryo).
Pregnancy signs and symptoms - During pregnancy a woman's body undergoes a number of changes to allow the fetus to develop inside the womb. The symptoms of pregnancy vary from woman to woman.
Pregnancy tests - A pregnancy test is a test of blood or urine used to determine whether a woman is pregnant. There are two types of pregnancy tests - blood and urine tests.
Home pregnancy test - A home pregnancy test measures the presence of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. All home pregnancy test kits test your pregnancy on the basis of your urine sample.
Pregnancy stages - There are three stages of pregnancy called trimesters. Each trimester is three months. The word "trimester" comes from a Latin word meaning "three months long."
First trimester of pregnancy - First trimester pregnancy is the early stage of pregnancy from conception to 12 weeks gestation, or about 14 weeks from the first day of the last normal menstrual period (LNMP).
Second trimester of pregnancy - In the second trimester the embryo, now known as a fetus, is recognisable as human in form, but is not developed enough to be viable if born. The second trimester is often called the planning trimester.
Third trimester of pregnancy - The third trimester of pregnancy lasts from 28 weeks after your last menstrual period (LMP) until the birth, which usually occurs between the 38th and 42nd weeks of pregnancy.
Calculating pregnancy due date - The due date is usually computed from the first day of the last regular period. In the calendar, this can be figured by taking that date, subtracting three months, and adding seven days.
Prenatal diagnosis - Prenatal diagnosis is the process of detecting and diagnosing fetal abnormalities before birth. A targeted prenatal diagnosis is done when there is a concrete suspicion that there might be a particular disorder.
Healthy pregnancy diet - A balanced diet is key to having a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy places substantial demands on the availability of iron in the body.
Nutrition during pregnancy - Nutrition is an essential component of prenatal care. During pregnancy, your body needs more nutrients in order to provide a baby with what it needs. Eat enough food to gain weight at the rate recommended by your health care provider.
Exercise during pregnancy - Exercise plays an important role in promoting health and well-being for pregnant women. Excessive levels of physical activity in pregnancy can reduce fetal growth and increase the risk of preterm delivery.
Spotting during pregnancy - Spotting is light bleeding similar to your period and it can happen at any time during pregnancy, but it is most common during the first trimester.
Bleeding during pregnancy - Bleeding from the vagina in early pregnancy is very common. First trimester bleeding is any vaginal bleeding during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Smoking during pregnancy - Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can cause serious health problems to an unborn child. Many complications of pregnancy are more likely to occur in smokers.
Sex during pregnancy - Sex and sexual intercourse are not harmful during pregnancy. For most women and their partners, sex during pregnancy is fine as long as both partners consent and are comfortable.
Prenatal care - Prenatal care is the health care that a woman receives before her baby is born. Prenatal care is provided for women during the period between conception and birth of the baby.
Teenage pregnancy - Teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs in an adolescent. Babies born to teenagers are at risk for neglect and abuse.
Twins and multiple birth - Multiple pregnancies are on the rise in recent years with more and more twins and other types of multiples being born. A multiple birth is when more than one human baby results from a single pregnancy.
Childbirth - Childbirth (also called labour, birth, or parturition) is the culmination of pregnancy, the emergence of a child from its mother's uterus.
Obstetrics - Obstetrics is the surgical specialty dealing with the care of a woman and her offspring during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (the period shortly after birth).
Pregnancy ultrasound - Pregnancy ultrasound is a method of imaging the fetus and the female pelvic organs during pregnancy.
Chinese lunar pregnancy calendar - The Chinese pregnancy calendar was allegedly discovered about 700 years ago. The accuracy of the chart has been proved by thousands of people and is believed to be 99 percent accurate.
Fertility charting - Fertility charting allows you to predict ovulation, pinpoint your most fertile time in your cycle, and increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Ovulation: calendar, prediction, test - Ovulation is the process of discharging a mature ovum (egg) from an ovary after a Graafian follicle - representing the final stage of follicular development before ovulation - has been formed.
Getting pregnant - The best or most fertile time to get pregnant is the period of ovulation in your menstrual cycle. Most women ovulate (release an egg from the ovary) about two weeks before their period.
Gender selection - There are three main techniques of sex selection: pre-natal testing and termination of pregnancy, pre-implantation genetic testing of embryos, and sperm sorting.
Prenatal tests - Prenatal tests are one of the many ways your practitioner can check on the well-being of your growing baby and find out whether you're at risk for complications.
Genetic screening - Genetic screening is a process used to find out what diseases or birth defects a child might inherit from his or her parents.
Genetic counseling - Genetic counseling is the process of determining the risk you have of passing on an inheritable disease to your baby.
Birth control (contraception, pregnancy prevention) - Birth control is the practice of preventing or reducing the probability of pregnancy without abstaining from sexual intercourse; the term is also sometimes used to include abortion.
Male condoms - Condoms are thin barriers made of latex, plastic, or natural membranes. The male condom fits over a man's penis. The female condom fits inside a woman's vagina.
Female condoms - The female condom is a polyurethane sheath or pouch about 17 cm (6.5 inches) in length. It is worn by a woman during sex.
Diaphragm - A diaphragm is a rubber disc a woman places into her vagina. The diaphragm blocks a man's semen from entering the cervix (the opening to the womb).
Cervical cap - The cervical cap is a small latex cup that a woman inserts into her vagina before sexual intercourse. The cervical cap fits snugly over the woman's cervix.
Birth control pills - The birth control pill is a small, usually white, tablet that is taken orally (by mouth). The pill usually comes in a packet that has days marked off for a cycle lasting about a month.
Norplant - Contraceptive implants (Norplant?) are six match stick size implants inserted into the upper arm. Norplant is a form of progestin that is placed under the skin.
Depo Provera - Depo Provera is a hormone, much like the progesterone a woman produces during the last two weeks of each monthly cycle. Depo-Provera or progesterone stops the woman's ovaries from releasing an egg.
Spermicides - Spermicides are chemicals that make the sperm unable to function. Spermicide can be used alone or with other birth control methods to reduce the risk of pregnancy.
Emergency contraceptive pill - Emergency contraception is the use of certain methods after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
Natural family planning - Natural family planning is defined as the understanding and use of the natural phases of fertility and infertility by a couple in order to either achieve or avoid pregnancy.
Intrauterine device (IUD) - An intrauterine device (intra meaning within, and uterine meaning of the uterus), is a birth control device also known as an IUD or a coil.
Birth control patch - The birth control patch is a thin plastic patch (1 3/4 inch square) placed directly on the skin of the woman. It is a hormonal method of contraception obtained by prescription.
Sterilization (vasectomy) - Sterilization is a surgical technique leaving a male or female unable to procreate. It is a method of birth control.
Fertility awareness method (FAM) - Fertility awareness is a means of understanding a woman's reproductive cycle by observing and writing down fertility signs.
Abstinence - Periodic abstinence is a way that sexually active women prevent pregnancy by becoming familiar with their fertility patterns and abstaining from vaginal intercourse on the days they think they could become pregnant.
Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia - Pre-eclampsia is a condition which only occurs during pregnancy. It causes high blood pressure, protein leaks from the kidneys, and other symptoms may develop.
HELLP Syndrome - The HELLP syndrome is a complication of pregnancy featuring a combination of abnormal conditions including emolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count.
Intrauterine growth restriction - Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) refers to the condition in which a foetus is unable to grow to its genetically determined potential size to a degree that may affect the health of the foetus.
Premature birth - Premature birth is defined medically as a birth occurring earlier than 37 weeks. Infants born prematurely have an increased risk of death in the first year of life.
Stillbirth - Stillbirth refers to the death of a baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy but before birth. A pregnancy that ends before the twentieth week is called a miscarriage rather than a stillbirth.
Caesarean section - A Caesarean section (Cesarean section AE), is a surgical procedure to deliver one or more babies through an incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus.
Preterm labor - Preterm labor, or premature labor, is when the uterus (womb) contracts and the cervix opens earlier than normal.
Rh incompatibility - Rh incompatibility is a condition that occurs when the mother of a fetus or newborn has Rh-negative blood type and the fetus or newborn has Rh-positive blood.
Ectopic pregnancy - An ectopic pregnancy is one in which the fertilized ovum is implanted in any tissue other than the uterine wall.
Pregnancy diabetes (gestational diabetes) - Gestational diabetes is a condition in which the glucose level is elevated and other diabetic symptoms appear during pregnancy in a woman who has not previously been diagnosed with diabetes.
Group B strep - Group B streptococcus (group B strep) is a type of bacteria that causes infection among newborns, pregnant women or women after childbirth.
Morning sickness (NVP) - Morning sickness, also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), affects between 50 and 85 percent of all pregnant women.
Hyperemesis gravidarum - Hyperemesis gravidarum means excessive vomiting during pregnancy. The severe vomiting associated with hyperemesis gravidarum requires medical attention.
Miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) - Miscarriage is the term used for a pregnancy that ends on it's own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation.
Postpartum hemorrhage - Postpartum bleeding (severe postpartum bleeding) is the loss of more than a pint of blood within the first 24 hours after delivering a baby.
Pregnancy-induced hypertension - Pregnancy-induced hypertension (also referred to as toxemia, preeclampsia and eclampsia) is a condition that may develop during the second half of a woman's pregnancy.
Pica - Pica is a pattern of eating non-nutritive substances (such as dirt or paper), lasting for at least one month.