Home Pregnancy Test (HPT)

Definition - What does Home Pregnancy Test (HPT) mean?

A home pregnancy test (HPT) is a self-administered “pee on a stick” method of determining if a woman is pregnant. A positive test response indicates that a pregnancy is occurring, while negative response implies there is no pregnancy, or a pregnancy is too young to confirm. HPTs are typically accurate, however all pregnancies should be verified by a physician.

FertilitySmarts explains Home Pregnancy Test (HPT)

When a fertilized egg, known as an embryo, attaches the wall of the uterine lining, implantation has occurred. This takes place approximately six to seven days after fertilization. At this point, the body recognizes a pregnancy is developing and begins to produce increased levels of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. hCG levels rise rapidly during the first few days of pregnancy, and continue to increase throughout the entire pregnancy.

A HPT measures the levels of hCG present in a woman’s urine. The standard HPT most accurately recognizes hCG levels seven to ten days after a missed period. While some tests may advertise earlier timeframes, such as one day before a missed period, the accuracy may be limited due the body’s natural range of hCG at that time.

HPTs tend offer either qualitative or quantitative results. Qualitative results may show up as a “yes” or “no”, or “+” or “-“ symbol, or one line vs. two lines, and are the most common kind of HPT test used. Quantitative tests, also known as beta hCG, show the exact measurement of hCG in urine. Quantitative tests are useful in tracking pregnancy progress if complications are a concern. They may also be helpful in recognizing if a miscarriage is occurring, as the hCG numbers will stop rising.

HPTs are most accurate when used properly. This includes waiting until one week has passed since a missed period, following the package instructions, and taking the test in the morning. In these circumstances, HPTs are nearly 99% effective.

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