When it comes to how accurate are pregnancy tests, you should know that although there are different kinds of brands, they all work in the same manner: they measure the hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels of the urine.
This is a pregnancy hormone that rises when the egg gets fertilized.
The accuracy of the pregnancy tests
In the majority of the cases the manufacturing companies claim that the accuracy of the products is of 99% or even higher. Nonetheless this may be somewhat misleading. Keep in mind that this accuracy can only be achieved if you take the test on the first day of your missed period.
According to the studies that have been conducted regarding the accuracy of the pregnancy tests, the majority of the claims are false only because the levels of hCG fluctuate daily after implantation takes place. According to these studies, the majority of the tests weren’t able to detect the pregnancy on the first or second day.
Market research vs. scientific progress
Even more, when the researchers were testing how accurate are pregnancy tests, 18 brands were tested and only one, made by First Response, was able to accurately indicate a pregnancy on the second day of the missed period. Since it is this sensitive, its accuracy should be of about 95%.
Regarding the accuracy of the pregnancy tests there were three other brands as well that were quite sensitive, but in this case the accuracy is of only about 80% on the first day of the missed period.
Determining the sensitivity
In case you are asking how accurate are pregnancy tests you should know that the more sensitive a test is, the earlier it can detect the pregnancy. According to the tests that have been performed the most sensitive tests offer an accuracy of 90%.
When it comes to the accuracy of the pregnancy tests, you may want to know that there are some cases when the hCG level of women is elevated, for example in case of a recent birth, fertility drugs or a miscarriage. In this case it is better to get a test that has a lower sensibility to get more accurate results.
In case you would know how accurate are pregnancy tests it is a good idea to check the packaging of the test. This should indicate the lowest level of hCG that the test can detect. The problem with the test is that it detects one kind of hCG, but women produce different kinds during pregnancy, and it is possible that it doesn’t pick up the right one.
The reason for false claims regarding the accuracy of the pregnancy tests
According to the FDA for a test to claim that it is 99% accurate, it should offer accurate results in 99% of the cases and to function as well as the existing product. Naturally the new products work better than the previous ones because of the advancements of technology and so all the tests are considered to be accurate.
Here is the answer to how accurate are pregnancy tests: you can tell until you try.