Are you in the dreaded two-week wait to determine if you are pregnant? Chances are you are ready to rush out and buy a few u check pregnancy tests to determine if your attempts worked. Not all pregnancy tests work the same. Each comes with their set of instructions with unique ways to know if the results are positive or negative. Each brand has its sensitivity levels as well, so it is important to understand each test before usage.
Digital vs. Traditional Tests
One of the first things that you’ll notice is that there are now digital and traditional tests on the shelves at your local grocery store. The digital tests typically say NOT PREGNANT or PREGNANT in the results window. These seem like the best choice; how can you misread a digital test when the words clearly give you the answer?
While that’s true, there are reasons you might want to stick with the traditional pregnancy tests. By traditional, I mean pregnancy tests that show either one line (not pregnant) or two lines (pregnant). These are the iconic tests that have been used for years.
Traditional pregnancy tests tend to be more sensitive than digital tests. The second line may show up very lightly, which still indicates pregnancy when you test before missing your menstrual cycle. Some women love to test for pregnancy, especially if they’ve been trying for some time, and they prefer to be able to “squint” for a possible line. If you want to test before missing your period, it is best to stick with the traditional tests.
Digital tests aren’t bad! Companies are starting to make them more sensitive than ever before, detecting pregnancy around 25mIU/ml. There is no need to squint for a second line. The results will be in the window within a few minutes. That wait can feel like an eternity! Most digital tests need between three and five minutes to produce an accurate reading.
How Do U-Check Pregnancy Tests Work?
All u check pregnancy tests work in the same method. They are looking for HCG in your system. HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. The only time that your body produces HCG is during pregnancy, hence while pregnancy tests check for it. HCG is made by the cells formed inside of the placenta, which nourishes the fertilized egg as it attaches to the uterine wall.
During ovulation, your body releases an egg. In order to conceive, sperm needs to fertilize the egg. Once fertilized, the egg will slowly travel down the fallopian tubes. You probably think that it can’t take too long to reach the destination. Those tubes aren’t that long, right? However, it can take up to 11 weeks before the egg reaches the uterus and can attach to the walls!
Implantation is when the magic begins to take place. When the fertilized egg implants into your uterine walls, bells and whistles can go off. You are officially pregnant! However, it will be a few days before you know that. Once implanted, the egg begins to release HCG into your system.
It starts off slowly. The levels remain low for at least a week or so. HCG typically doubles every 48 to 72 hours. Your body naturally has an HCG level between 0 and four mIU. At this point, all pregnancy tests will indicate negative, including blood tests. It won’t be that way for long. Two to three days later, your levels could be up to 10. Then, two days later, it could be up to 20! Soon, any pregnancy test will give you a positive result.
Why Don’t They All Work at the Same Time?
Every woman has a different story. Some test up to 5 days before missing their menstrual cycle and can come out with beautiful positive tests. Other women get a light positive on the day of their expected cycle. How can results differ so greatly when the process is the same for everyone?
While the process of conception and the method of testing is the same for everyone, we all have different bodies. Pregnancy is unique each time, so you can’t even compare multiple pregnancies. With your first child, the egg might implant quickly, giving you a positive around ten days post ovulation. With your second child, it might not implant until 10 or 11 days post ovulation. If that’s the case, you may not get a positive result until your expected cycle.
On top of that, the rate of doubling differs with each pregnancy. If you are expecting multiples, you can expect that rate to skyrocket. The test may darken quicker than you could ever imagine. You are producing HCG for two or more humans! There are times when singletons produce HCG at a fast rate as well. You could also have a slower rising pregnancy, taking the full 72 hours to darken. Later in pregnancy, it takes up to 96 hours to double!
Things to Remember about HCG Levels
It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers of HCG. We focus on the line and ensuring that the results are darkening. Here are some things to remember about your levels.
- It is normal to have low HCG levels. It doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong. An ultrasound between 5 to 6 weeks gestation will answer your questions. Try not to get caught up in the darkening of the line.
- Anything above 25 mIU/ml is considered a positive result for pregnancy.
There are guidelines for typical HCG levels during pregnancy. Remember, these are simply guidelines! You will notice how widely the numbers vary, showing you that the range of normal is huge!
- 3 Weeks: 5 to 50 mIU/ml
- 4 Weeks: 5 to 426 mIU/ml
- 5 Weeks: 18 to 7,340 mIU/ml
- 6 Weeks: 1,080 to 56,500 mIU/ml
- 7 to 8 Weeks: 7,650 to 229,000 mIU/ml
When to Use a U-Check Pregnancy Test
As we mentioned earlier, every pregnancy test works differently. Some have a higher chance of working before missing your menstrual cycle than other ones. The most sensitive on the market is the First Response Early Results, quoted as being able to detect pregnancy up to 5 days before missing your period! The reason that it can detect so soon is because it should detect HCG at 6.5 mIU/ml. 0 to 4 is negative, so that is very early!
If you opt to test early, go with a First Response test. If you did in fact conceive, you have a 76% chance of detecting the pregnancy five days early. Once you get to the day that your cycle is due to start, the tests are 99% accurate. It’s important to remember that not all tests work the same way as theses.
For any other test, it is best to wait to as close to your cycle as you can. You are more likely to get an accurate reading closer then. Most tests detect HCG at 25 mIU/ml, which takes a few days to reach. Even popular brands, such as Clearblue, won’t detect before this level.
How to Use a U-Check Pregnancy Test
The time has to come, and you are ready to find out if you are pregnant or not! The method of testing is the same for most tests. You have two options: peeing directly on the test or peeing into a cup. Many mothers opt to use a plastic, disposable cup. It is less likely to oversaturate the test and get an accurate reading.
Read the directions! It will tell you how long to keep the test in the urine stream or cup. For most tests, it is between five to ten seconds. Anything more could cause a faulty reading, so be sure to check first!
After this, replace the cap on the top of the test. This prevents urine from getting anywhere else. Lay it on a flat surface, such as the bathroom counter. At this point, you need to wait for the results. Most tests, unless you are very pregnant, won’t show a positive result immediately. It takes at least three to five minutes to display an accurate result. These minutes can seem like an eternity!
After five minutes have passed, it is time to pick up the test and see what it says. It is important to remember not to read the test results after 10 minutes. If a line appears after 10 minutes have passed, it can’t be trusted. U check pregnancy tests can show evaporation lines, which appears as the test strip starts to dry and evaporate. So, always check the time on your clock when taking the test.
If your cycle doesn’t appear one week after you missed your period, it is a good idea to call your doctor. U check pregnancy tests can be wrong, and a blood test may be needed to determine if you are truly pregnant. Luckily, with all of the options on the market, you generally can know if you are pregnant with a few dollars and one of the many choices available!