Either because a woman is apprehensive of having to deal with a positive result or because a woman trying to get pregnant cannot wait for a positive result, many women would like to know the best method of early pregnancy detection.
This can be done by using specialized tests that can confirm or deny a pregnancy even before a missed period, or by taking careful note of pregnancy symptoms that could help in early pregnancy detection.
Pregnancy test kits and other testing procedures
The usual drug store varieties of pregnancy test kits need you to put a few drops of urine on the stick or strip to measure the amount of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) present in the urine. This is usually detectable after implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus.
The amount of hCG that is required to be present in the urine to make the detection of the pregnancy possible can be between 20 mIU/mL to 100 mIU/mL, depending upon the brand that you use.
The home pregnancy test kits are typically less sensitive than the Quantitative Blood (serum beta) Tests that can also be used to detect a pregnancy very early on. These tests can detect hCG levels as low as 1 mIU/mL.
What is even more accurate for early pregnancy detection is the Rosette Inhibition Assay which uses an enzyme assay (a laboratory testing procedure) to detect the early pregnancy factor (EPF) by measuring the enzyme activity. This can give results in as little as 2 days after fertilization, but it could be a time consuming and expensive procedure.
Early pregnancy detection by symptoms
Most women report that the first indication that they had of a pregnancy was the fact that they missed a period or that there was some change in the sort of bleeding they experienced (which could be implantation bleeding rather than a normal period).
However even before this time there could be telltale signs that a woman may be pregnant – there could be nausea, breast tenderness, soreness or enlargement, changes in libido, the urge to urinate more often, strange cravings or changes in taste and smell, feeling tired or fatigued or just the feeling of being pregnant. These symptoms could all occur fairly early on in a pregnancy and could be a way to detect pregnancy early.
Early pregnancy detection by ultrasound exam
A pregnancy ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the baby to see that the baby is progressing properly. It is also used to ensure that there are no abnormalities in the pelvic formations of the pregnant woman. A woman is usually offered her first ultrasound at 8 or 12 weeks gestation.
However in some cases an ultrasound could also be used for early pregnancy detection. This procedure can be used at about four and a half weeks of gestation (after last monthly period and approximately two and a half weeks after ovulation). The procedure can detect the gestation sac or the yolk sac that indicate the existence of a pregnancy. Even the heartbeat can be detected at about 6 weeks.