Home Pregnancy Test Kit: What they are and how do we use them?

Whether you are pregnant or not is a question which can be stressful and affect your life. This is also a subject that Indians do not prefer comfortable talking about in public. Now, it has become easier to know if you are pregnant at home and in complete privacy.

If the result of a home pregnancy test is positive then it should be confirmed with a blood test done by your doctor. However being able to do it at home and get a result within few minutes is a great relief for many of us who do not want to rush to doctor every other day and at the same time cannot live with the anxiety about their pregnancy. The good thing about this home pregnancy test kits is that they are not very expensive and can be bought from most medical stores available in your neighbourhood.

How does most home pregnancy test kit work?

The Home Pregnancy Test kits checks for a hormone hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) in urine. The hormone hCG appears in the urine about 15-20 days after egg is fertilized. It is mostly after 20 days from the last menstrual cycle. After this the level of hCG hormone within 60 to 90 days from conception. Once you miss your period you can test for pregnancy using the kit. But sometimes you may not get the right positive result that early and may have to take the test again. Most accurate result can be obtained if the test is taken about a week after the missed period.

How easy is it to do the test at home using Home Pregnancy Test?

The answer in short is- Pretty easy. Next section explains the process in more detail.

Are there different types of Home Pregnancy Test Kit available in the market?

They are based on similar principles. However There are two types of home pregnancy test kits available in the market. They are different in the way the test is conducted.

  1. Hcg Pregnancy Cassette Test

    For this type of test, you have to collect urine in a clean & dry container and then using the dropper provided with the kit, you need to put 2-3 drops of urine in the "test well" present in the test kit. Check the result after waiting for the time interval specified in the test kit instructions, which in most cases is few minutes.

    How easy of difficult is it to read the result of test?

    Since these kits are meant to be used by individuals on their use, its operation is very easy and the reading the result of the test is equally easy. In most cases, one or two lines appear in the display area after the test. One like indicates the positive result, meaning the woman is pregnant. Two lines indicate negative result meaning the woman is not pregnant. Some devices show up positive or negative sign instead of lines. Positive sign indicating pregnancy and negative sign indicating the woman is not pregnant.

    What is the price of this type of test kit?

    This type of test kit costs between Rs.40 and Rs. 50.

    What are the popular test kits of this type available in India?

    Here are some of the commonly available Home Pregnancy Test Kits in India that work similar to the process described above-

    • Velocit
    • Pregcolor card
    • PregaNews
    • i-can
    • Acutest
    • Akon Kit

    Can you describe the procedure to do the test using kits of cassette test type in little more detail?

    One of the known brands of this type in India is Velocit from Dr. Reddy’s.

    The Velocit Kit contains a test device, a dropper and a user information leaflet.

    Follow the below step for the test:

    • Take the device out just when you are going to take the test.
    • The test device should not be kept in open for long and should be kept away from fan or breeze of air when test is being performed.
    • Put the Velocit test device on a flat surface
    • Collect the urine sample
    • With the help of dropper provided add 3 drops of urine sample in the well marked "S" (Sample Well).
    • Read the result within 5 minutes. Do not interpret the result after 5 minutes. Appearance of test lines after 5 minutes may not have any significance.
    • For re confirmation, repeat the test with a new device & fresh sample, do not use the used test device.

    Reading Results

    • Positive

      The test is positive if two color bands pink or purple appear within 5 minutes. One in region marked "T" (Test region) and one in region marked "C" (Control region).

      Positive result means you are pregnant.

    • Negative

      The test is negative if only one If only one color band, pink or purple appears in the region marked "C" (control region) within 5 minutes.

      Negative result means you are not pregnant. If you still feel that you are pregnant or your periods is still late you can repeat the test.

    • Invalid

      The test is considered invalid if no color band appears and it is better to take the test again.

      The change in color can be checked based on the specification of the particular brand that you are using.

  2. Pregnancy Test Strip or dipstick of In-stream test kit

    As the name suggests, this type of test kit provides a test strip which you can hold directly in the urine for 5-10 seconds when you are urinating. Or you can collect the urine in a clean container and dip the test strip in that container. This is easier to use compared to the other test kit.

    How easy of difficult is it to read the result of test?

    Like in the previous case, the result can be read within 3 minutes. The result is positive if two distinct coloured lines appear and negative if a single coloured line appears.

    What is the price of this type of test kit?

    The price of these kits is around Rs. 150.

    What are the popular test kits of this type available in India?

    Here are some of the commonly available Home Pregnancy Test Kits in India that work similar to the process described above-

    • Clearview
    • Velocit eazy

How is the Home pregnancy test different from the test done by doctors?

These days most of the doctors also use the Home Pregnancy Test Kit for the initial pregnancy test. this way it will not be any different from the test taken at home apart from the way. Sometimes we may make mistakes in carrying out the procedure and also in reading the results where the professionals have less chance to go wrong.

Sometimes doctors may go for Blood Test rather than Urine Test in which case chances of accuracy is much more. Blood Test also checks for hCG in the body but blood test is more sensitive compared to the Home pregnancy test kits.

Are there additional tests recommended for confirmation?

While there is no such test required for confirmation, you should definitely get a test done with the doctor for confirmation. Doctors usually do a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. Sometimes the first test may give a negative result and if you still feel that you are pregnant you should take the test after some days. Mostly if one is pregnant the level of hormone rises very fast so you the accuracy of the test increases as time passes. This test does not have any risk so can be performed again. It is a good idea to get 2 test kits.

Tips for conducting pregnancy test using Home Pregnancy Test Kit

The test can be done anytime. But to get more accurate result morning is the best time. If in the morning, the test should be done with the first urine in the morning. The urine sample being used for the test should be freshly collected. The test kit should be brought to the room temperature before use, mostly if it has been stored in a refrigerator.

While we look for the best pregnancy test kit available but the accuracy of result is dependent on how we perform the test more than the particular test Kit. While the process to do the test could be different for different kits, the result can be equally effective, if done properly. Therefore it is important you read the instructions properly and in great detail before you carry on with the test. While there is similarity in the way each of the test kits display results, it is critical that you read the directions about how to read the result for the specific kit that you use.