How do You Know if You Are Pregnant?

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In order to determine if you are pregnant, a pregnancy test may provide you with the answer. This test can be done in the privacy of your home using one of several available test kits. The test can be performed in your doctor's office. Home pregnancy tests are always done on urine, while those in a doctor's office or clinic may be done on urine or blood. Home pregnancy tests first became available in 1978.

All pregnancy tests are based upon measurement of the same hormone -- human chorionic gonadotrophin or HCG -- which is only present in a woman when she is pregnant. This hormone is made after the egg is fertilized, and its levels rise rapidly during early pregnancy. It acts to support progesterone, a hormone necessary to maintain the pregnancy.

Most home pregnancy tests are done because of a missed period. If a woman has regular menstrual cycles, a home test can be very informative. Sensitivity of the different home tests kits varies. Some kits may be able to determine whether or not there is a pregnancy three to four days prior to the anticipated onset of days of the menstrual flow.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/20/2015

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