Pregnancy is considered the most beautiful period of any woman’s life. Previously elderly women could predict pregnancy by considering certain physical appearances of a woman, and their prediction was accurate. As there were not many ways of clinical testing of pregnancy, but nowadays various DIY test kits are available in the market for testing pregnancy.
But before going to the details of those kits for the test it is better to have some knowledge on how pregnancy happens.
Steps to Pregnancy
Unprotected sex can not result in pregnancy every time. Pregnancy is probably the most complicated process among all other biological functioning in our body. A sperm cell and egg are all that are needed for pregnancy.
Sperm are microscopic cells produced by the testicles in males. Sperm mixes with other fluids and becomes semen, that comes out of the penis during ejaculation.
Eggs are there in the ovaries of females and estrogen and progesterone hormones mature a few eggs every month. The mature eggs are ready to fertilize by a sperm cell. At the same time, those two hormones ready the uterus by making its lining thick and spongy.
Halfway through the menstrual cycle, one mature egg leaves the ovary, it is called ovulation and travels through the fallopian tube towards the uterus. The egg cells are there in the tube for 12 – 24 hours to meet any sperm cells. If within that period any semen gets into the vagina of the female, the sperm cells swim up through the cervix. The uterus also helps the sperm to move towards the fallopian tubes and meet the egg cell there.
A sperm cell has six days to meet an egg cell before it dies. The meeting of an egg cell with a sperm cell is called fertilization.
Fertilization does not happen right away after sex. The sperm can hang out for six days in the fallopian tube and uterus, and there are up to 6 days between sex and fertilization.
The fertilized egg moves down the fallopian tube towards the uterus. Cell division occurs in this stage and makes the fertilized egg grow into a ball-shaped blastocyst. After 3-4 days of fertilization, the blastocyst gets into the uterus. The blastocyst floats into the uterus for another 2-3 days. The ball of cells gets attached to the thick and spongy wall of the uterus, it is called implantation and that is the official beginning of pregnancy. Implantation starts after 6 days of fertilization and takes about 3-4 days to complete. That is the reason it is advisable to do any pregnancy test after 2 weeks of unprotected sex. The inner cells of the blastocyst develop into an embryo and the outer cells develop into the placenta.
The implanted fertilized egg now has two parts. Placenta and embryo. The placenta releases a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone (HCG). This hormone prevents the spongy lining of the uterus from shedding. That is why people don’t get periods during pregnancy. During the first trimester of pregnancy, the HCG hormone levels in the urine and blood of the mother rise quite high and that is the key substance to test the pregnancy as it is produced during the pregnancy only.
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Timeline for Pregnancy Test
Generally, pregnancy tests are done following the two weeks rule. That means two weeks after unprotected sex, a test can be done. But it is applicable for women having a normal 28 days menstrual cycle. Those who ovulate once at a regular interval.
Otherwise, the test can also be done after the missed period. In such cases, pregnancy tests can be carried out from the first day of a missed period. Sometimes the due date of the next period can not be remembered, in that case, the test can be done at least 21 days from the day of unprotected sex.
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What The Component Searched In the Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests search for HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone which is found in high levels in urine and blood. This hormone is produced only during pregnancy. The fertilized egg’s placenta produces and releases this hormone. It takes almost 2 weeks for the fertilized eggs to implant in the uterus and release this hormone.
Pregnancy is a very complex process. The pregnancy period is divided into three trimesters. In the first trimester, there is a high chance of getting aborted. It sometimes happens that the woman doesn’t realize her pregnancy and takes a certain physical activity that results in abortion. The fertilized egg should be given time and comfort level to strongly attach to the lining of the uterus.
Nowadays the market is overflown with urine test kits and emergency contraceptive pills that help women to avoid unwanted pregnancies and plan a family according to their convenience.