Early Pregnancy Confirmation Crucial

An article appearing in Women's Health speaks of the crucial nature of detecting pregnancy at an early stage. The focus of this article is the research conducted by Church & Dwight Co. Inc., who created the popular home pregnancy test known as First Response. The study found that home pregnancy tests vary in their effectiveness with some being much more sensitive than others. The most sensitive tests can detect variations of the important pregnancy hormone hCG.

Early Days

Study author Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine comments that good prenatal care in the early, first days of a pregnancy set the stage for the healthiest fetal development as well as a safe and healthy pregnancy experience for the mother. Minkin says that First Response is so sensitive that it gives the earliest possible confirmed diagnosis of pregnancy so that a woman can begin, right away, to make healthy lifestyle choices for her and her baby-to-be.

Home pregnancy tests work by detecting the levels of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone that is linked to pregnancy. However, sensitivity differs among the various over-the-counter home pregnancy tests. During the earliest stage of pregnancy, only miniscule amounts of hCG are contained in a woman's urine. The least sensitive tests can't detect these very low levels of this hormone.

Also, some of the variants of the hormone are only found in very early pregnancy. The tests are not all able to detect these variations on the hCG hormone. Minkin believes that a pregnancy test that is sensitive to these hCG variants gives the pregnant woman an advantage over what the other tests provide, since it can predict a pregnancy at an earlier stage.  

Greater Sensitivity

A second study echoes Minkin's own in stating that First Response is head and tails above any other brand of home pregnancy test because of its greater sensitivity. This second study was published in Clinica Chimica Acta. The results of this research effort found that First Response was able to detect the lowest hCG concentrations in comparison with other such tests. First Response has been found to be quite consistent in detecting three common variants of hCG in early pregnancy.

The importance of early pregnancy detection cannot be overstated since confirmation of pregnancy most often leads a woman to seek prenatal care. Newborn infants whose mothers never had the benefit of prenatal care have a tripled risk for low birth weight along with five times the risk for infant mortality in comparison with the babies of mothers who received early, quality prenatal care. The mother who receives early pregnancy confirmation is also likely to make changes in her lifestyle in an effort toward preserving her health and that of her fetus.