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What is a pregnancy test and how does it work?

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Pregnancy tests are designed to tell if your urine or blood contains a hormone called

human chorionic gonadotropin

(hCG). This hormone is made right after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of a woman's uterus.

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

From: Pregnancy Tests WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Pregnancy Association: "Understanding Pregnancy Tests: Urine & Blood." 

American Pregnancy Association: "Taking a Pregnancy Test." 

American Pregnancy Association: "Pregnancy FAQ: Early Pregnancy."

Department of Health and Human Services: "Pregnancy Tests: FAQs."

Lab Tests Online: "hCG."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 11, 2019

SOURCES:

American Pregnancy Association: "Understanding Pregnancy Tests: Urine & Blood." 

American Pregnancy Association: "Taking a Pregnancy Test." 

American Pregnancy Association: "Pregnancy FAQ: Early Pregnancy."

Department of Health and Human Services: "Pregnancy Tests: FAQs."

Lab Tests Online: "hCG."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 11, 2019

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What types of pregnancy tests are available?

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