What Is hCG Pregnancy Test? Will Drinking Water Affect The Results?

What Is hCG Pregnancy Test? Will Drinking Water Affect The Results?

So you are planning a child and wants to know if you are pregnant or not before your first appointment with the doctor. Certainly, it is an exciting experience and every woman wants to know that by going self-pregnancy test at the comfort of home.

Highlights

  • Most of the women perform pregnancy test at home
  • The hCG level shows you are pregnant or not
  • There is risk involved but wait and watch is the best way to confirm pregnancy

Today, most of the women in the developed world conduct urine hCG test at home to confirm the pregnancy.

What is hCG?

The term hCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone that is secreted by pregnant women through urine and blood. The hCG hormone is detectable in blood shortly (within 7-12 days) after conception while in urine, it can be detected after the first day of the missed menstrual period.

When a woman takes a pregnancy test by urinating on a test strip, it indicates whether her body is producing hCG hormone or not. This test strip doesn’t tell you the level of hCG your body is making but confirming that your body is producing some amount of hCG hormone to be detectable.

How Drinking Water Affects Pregnancy Test Results?

Drinking water is very good for health but not at certain times. This is especially true when we are undergoing some kind of test. If you are doing a pregnancy test at home, drinking water or any other fluid can affect your test results.

As mentioned above, the hCG hormone is detected shortly after the first missed period and usually, this is the most easier way of confirming pregnancy. 

So if you drink water, the urine could become diluted means, it becomes clear color from pale yellow color and this lowers the hCG levels. The lower the hCG levels, the more difficult it becomes to detect the hormone by the test strip.

Due to lower hCG levels, it might happen that you are pregnant but the test strip is still showing a negative result. This is called false positive result. 

That is why doctors recommend doing this test right after you wake up in the morning when urine color is pale yellow. This shows the most accurate results and then after you can take water or some tea and coffee.

When are hCG levels at its peak?

The hCG levels keep on rising for several weeks after confirmation of pregnancy. It usually increases between 8th to 11th week of pregnancy. It then decreases and becomes even for the rest of pregnancy term. 

Hence, the chances of false-positive results are likely to occur in very early pregnancy i.e. if you are testing in the first week.

What if I get negative or false positive result?

In both of the conditions, it is best to wait for a week to get the most accurate results. Another option is to meet the doctor and ask for a blood test if you are really excited about the news.

The fact is, even if you have got positive results in the home-based urine test no matter how many times you have done, your doctor might still want to confirm the pregnancy with the blood test.

The blood test is called a quantitative hCG blood test and in this test, it doesn’t matter you are drinking water or any other fluid because the fluid does not change the make-up of your blood.

Are there any risks of hCG urine test?

The only risk associated with hCG urine test is the false positive result. You may think you are not pregnant but you actually are and you might not take necessary precautions needed to give the best possible start to your baby. 

So the best way is to wait for at least a week after a missed menstrual period and then perform the urine hCG test.