How do pregnancy tests work?

how do pregnancy tests work

Congratulations! If your urine is turning pregnancy tests positive, that means that there is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG present in your urine!

Pregnancy tests measure HCG

Before your baby’s placenta develops, a trophoblast, which becomes the chorionic sac and your baby’s side of the placenta, secretes Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) which helps the corpus luteum survive and thrive so it can produce enough progesterone and estrogen that your menstrual cycle stops. So your menstrual cycle not occurring might have been the first clue that you were pregnant! When HCG shows up on a urine pregnancy test, the placental hormone made by a baby’s placenta after it is attached to the wall of your uterus is present. 

fetus embryos

Human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG

Human chorionic gonadotropin is a placental hormone that protects your baby from being rejected by your immune system by inhibiting your immune response. It also promotes the synthesis of the hormone progesterone that supports your growing baby’s development. The HCG hormone is also responsible for secreting hPL or human placental lactogen. This placental hormone will help your breasts prepare for breastfeeding. HCG also secretes relaxin, the hormone to blame for your pelvic discomfort later in pregnancy. It softens the ligaments in the pubic symphysis to prepare your pelvis to widen during childbirth.

My go-to Pregnancy tests

OKC Doula Oklahoma DoulaOKC Doula Oklahoma Doula

I learned early on that the standard pregnancy tests you get from Target, Walgreens, or any other store are super expensive. If you are frequently testing, this could get expensive fast! Because of this, I switched to these tests, pictured above, instead. When my husband and I were trying for one of our babies, I was too excited to wait and would test each morning with these little strip tests! They work well, and you can get 25 tests for $8! 

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Jenni Jenkins Sekine Student Midwife

Jenni Jenkins – Sekine is an Oklahoma Student Midwife, Midwives Assistant, Birth & Postpartum Doula, and Child Birth Educator who serves her Central Oklahoma  community. She began her journey as a student midwife in 2022 at the Midwives College of Utah.

To learn more about Jenni, please click here.

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