First step to do after missing period is pregnancy test to make sure you are pregnant or not. You might be excited while checking pregnancy test results. Pregnancy test will be positive only after successful implantation of fertilized egg to the uterine wall there by releasing hcG or pregnancy hormone in enough quantities into the blood stream. Pregnancy test kit detects hcG levels in urine. To know well about positive pregnancy test one should be aware of what is pregnancy and Implantation.
Implantation is a stage when the blastocyst or fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall lining. Pregnancy is marked only after the successful implantation. As per medical experts, a woman is not considered pregnant until the implantation has taken place. So, successful implantation means starting of a pregnancy.
The Pregnancy Journey
Understanding the entire pregnancy journey is the best way to clearly understand implantation. Let us have a look at the steps involved in successful implantation
- After sex, the sperm gets released into vagina and passes through the cervix and reaches uterus before finally entering the fallopian tubes. The sperm generally joins an egg here.
- Sperm can live in womb up to 5 days but which is very rare. Sperm joins the egg cell and results in zygote cell or fertilized egg. This is known as fertilization or conception.
- In about 1-2 weeks after sex, implantation takes place in which fertilized egg attaches to the uterus lining. Some women bleed after successful implantation.
- In medical terms, now woman is considered as pregnant.
When Does The Implantation Take Place?
Implantation is when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall successfully. When does it take place? It can be better answered by taking another look on how women get pregnant. The important step is woman needs to be ovulating i.e., release of an egg. Having unprotected sex around 5 days before ovulation to 24 hours after completion of ovulation can result in conception. Pregnancy can take a few days as the fertilized egg begins a very long journey.
Fertilized egg makes it way to the uterus to get implanted. The fertilized egg or blastocyst continues to grow while travelling to the uterus. The cells of the blastocyst divide and grow in number. After ovulation, the blastocyst can take around 9 days to get implanted. After fertilization, blastocyst travels to the uterus and find a suitable spot to attach to the uterine wall to complete implantation. After sex, this entire process can take up to 2 weeks to complete. After successful implantation, a woman becomes pregnant.
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Production Of hCG and Pregnancy Tests
It is only after implantation that a woman’s body starts producing hCG, popularly known as pregnancy hormone. In a way, implantation triggers the production of hCG. All the different types of pregnancy tests, like pregnancy kits and blood test for pregnancy look for hCG’s presence for confirming the pregnancy. Implantation is a compulsion for the production of this hormone. If there is no implantation, the pregnancy tests would not be able to detect this hCG and the test result would be negative.
So, Are You Pregnant Now?
The pregnancy is not considered complete until the fertilized eggs get implanted in uterus lining after a long journey from the stage of fertilization. It grows in size and the cells get divided on its way to the uterine before implantation. You are pregnant once successful implantation takes place. You can use a pregnancy test to confirm whether or not you are pregnant.
You can use pregnancy test kit at home to check pregnancy. If the test result is positive, it indicates successful implantation and the body have started producing pregnancy hormone or hCG which the test has detected. If the test is done before the implantation, the result will be negative as the body has not started producing hCG.
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What Can Help In Determining Positivity Of A Pregnancy Test ?
- Implantation Timing – After successful implantation body starts secreting hCG or pregnancy hormone into blood stream. hCG detection depends on implantation timing. The pregnancy test can detect hCG in blood in 9-16 days from ovulation. Once the hCG is detected in the blood, within 2-3 days it can also be detected in the urine.
- hCG Level In Blood – The hCG levels can widely vary between two pregnant women. This range affects how sooner pregnancy gets detected. Women who have low hCG levels in their blood can need a higher number of days for the pregnancy test to detect the pregnancy.
- hCG Level In Urine – hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin detection in urine takes place in about 10 days after missed period. It is a qualitative test in which it confirm the presence of hCG in urine but not reveal how much is the level. The hCG level varies due to many factors like concentration of urine, consumption of water etc. So it is advised to conduct the test at first urination after waking up in the morning. Urine is more concentrated in the morning there by high levels of hCG, if you take lot of fluids your urine gets diluted, making hCG detection in urine harder.
- Pregnancy Test Sensitivity – Even the sensitivities differ between pregnancy tests and affects how sooner the test detects pregnancy. If the sensitivity is lower, the test result would be positive earlier. This is the reason why it is highly recommended that every woman using pregnancy test kits should check the sensitivity of the kit. mIU/mL is used for determining the sensitivity. As compared to a sensitivity level of 40 mIU/mL, a sensitivity level of 20 mIU/mL will need half the hCG amount in the urine to turn positive and even the result would be positive sooner.
Other Symptoms Of Pregnancy
While the pregnancy test can confirm the pregnancy, there are also a number of symptoms which suggest that a woman is pregnant. They include
- Missed period
- Implantation bleeding
- Vomiting and nausea
- Implantation cramps
- Breast tenderness
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Frequent urination
- Sleeping difficulty
Read more on Early Pregnancy Symptoms
The pregnancy test results depend on the sensitivity of the kit and how well the person followed instructions and interpreted the results. With the majority of the pregnancy kits now available, hCG detection in urine can be done within 3-4 days once the implantation is done, it often takes much longer. If test conducted early, it may not detect hCG because of low concentration. The hCG level in blood can rapidly rise after implantation and is at its peak within 7-10 weeks and starts declining thereafter.
When a woman is pregnant and she misses her period, around 75% of the tests can be positive while 25% of them can still be negative. As a result, you should not 100% rely on the first pregnancy test results. Continue retesting until you are 100% sure. In most of the cases, if the test result is still negative after you miss the period, the chances of pregnancy are very low. The positive result of a pregnancy test would show up after or even before you miss the period.