One of the most important diagnostic tools an ob-gyn provider uses is a pregnancy test and while it’s great that there are companies that make over-the-counter tests, in the wrong hands it can be abused and even dangerous.
There is a new phenomenon that has emerged called “tweaking” which involves enhancing the pregnancy test result to make the test line clearer. This is accomplished by using a digital camera on a macro setting for the clearest picture. According to an article on the Baby Center, “There’s even an app called Early HPT+ to do the deed, for $1.99, or blog tutorials. “ There is also a “Tweaking Board” where women may post their results.
Okay, let’s hit pause for a second and review a little history about pregnancy tests. Using urine to detect a pregnancy is not new. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Egyptians would detect a pregnancy by pouring a woman’s urine over a barley field for seven days and if the barley grew, she was pregnant. If there was no growth, there was no pregnancy. Please don’t laugh, in 1963, this theory was tested and 70 percent of the time, the urine of pregnant women did promote growth, while the urine of non-pregnant women and men did not. The bottom line is that there is something in the urine of a pregnant woman that is unique and different. It’s called beta human chorionic gonadotropin or commonly knowns as beta HCG. Beta HCG is what that second line represents when a pregnancy test is positive and it is usually present 3 days after fertilization occurs.
Tweaking is not going to reveal something that is or is not there. It’s only going to frustrate the tester and perhaps even give false positive results which is never good. Let’s try using some old fashion patience instead. And what if you’re not patient? Then please, see a healthcare provider and get a blood test. It is THE most accurate form of test and can save a lot of heartache and disappointment.
A pregnancy test is not a toy and certainly nothing to play with.