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PREGNANCY TEST - HOW IT WORKS


This is how it all started when I found out I was pregnant...


First thing first, we had a wedding coming up in a few months, and I was determined to wait until after the wedding...cuz, well...I dreamed to have mermaid dress, which would be impossible with a belly...


SYMPTOMS


I remember like it was yesterday.


We were at the gym, working out when I started to feel a light nausea...again. Besides that, I noticed pain in my breasts, which I thought was a reacrion from the last session.


However, I admit I had this thought back in my mind, that there might be something else behind it...


THE PERFECT ANNOUNCEMENT


I was prepared. I had a pregnancy test in the closet. Two of them actually. Standard one and digital...cuz hey, you have to be ready, and if positive, double check is necessary...


At that time my (almost) husband was asleep, so I took a chance and snuk out to the bathroom.


First test...

It showed in instant...positive. My hands were shaking...


Second test...

Positive...2-3 weeks pregnant...


O my god! I had so many ideas, how to reveal it to my hubby...


I just, could not hold back...not even a minute...


I ran to the kitchen, took 2 dusty wine glasses (he still makes fun of it)

poured in Coca-Cola Zero (cuz this is all we had), put pregnancy test on the table and covered it with a plastic bowl.


Very creative, I know...


Then I took 3 deep breaths and went to the bedroom. At this time was awake.


I had to put myself together and act like, normal...which was so darn hard!


I took his hand and I asked him to help me with something. I took him to the kitchen, where those dusty glasses and plastic bowl were all sat...


Not Fairy-tale like scene, but we didn't care much about it...we were both happy and scared at the same time :)


THE NEW BEGINNINGS


So, I got pregnant 2 months before our wedding. But, I managed somehow to put that mermaid dress on anyway :)



However, let's get into more interesting stuff...


Have you ever wondered how pregnancy tests actually work?

Let's dive into..


WHAT IS A PREGNANCY TEST?


For some women, the first signs of pregnancy come before they decide to buy a pregnancy test. Tiredness, a missed period, nausea, breast tenderness and vomiting, those are usualy symptoms related to pregnancy.


HOW DOES IT WORK?


Pregnancy tests work by detecting the presence of the hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by cells in the placenta.


This usually happens (not always) about 6 days after fertilisation. If you're pregnant, levels of hCG continue to rise rapidly, doubling every 2 to 3 days.

hCG is eliminated from the mother’s body through urine, and this is what pregnancy tests use to detect it.


Photo credits: Andy Brunning/Compound Interest

Urine is applied to a sample pad at the end of the test stick and is drawn up the strip.


REACTION ZONE


The first area it reaches is the reaction zone. If hCG is present in the urine, where it binds to proteins called antibodies. These antibodies have an enzyme attached to them which can participate in reactions further along the test strip.


TEST ZONE


The test zone contains different antibodies which are attached to the strip and unable to move. These antibodies also bind to hCG, creating something of an hCG sandwich between the two different antibodies.


The enzyme on the mobile antibodies triggers a colour change in dye molecules on the test strip. This line only appears if the urine contains hCG – and hence, if the woman is pregnant. If there’s no hCG, the mobile antibodies just sail on past.


CONTROL ZONE


Whether the woman is pregnant or not, another line appears on the test in what’s known as the control zone. Here, more immobile antibodies bind to the excess mobile antibodies that didn’t pick up hCG and continued travelling up the strip.


Again, this triggers a colour change. This proves that the test is functioning correctly – whether a woman is pregnant or not, the control line should show.


On the other hand, digital tests use a sensor to detect the colour changes and determine whether to display ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ on their screens.


Let me know, how did you announce your pregnancy :)...



DISCLAIMER:


As a Women’s Exercise Specialist and Wellness Coach, I am not holding myself out to be a Medical Provider (including doctor/physician, nurse, physician’s assistant or allied health professional). Rather, I serve as a trainer and guide to help you reach your own health and lifestyle goals. All references which are out of my scope of practice are always presented at the end of the post. Please see the additional information here.



Reference:

  1. Chard, T. (1992, May). Pregnancy tests: A review. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1639991

  2. Home Pregnancy Tests: How & When To Take Them. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-tests#1