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What is Pregnancy Test Sensitivity?

Dec 30, 20 3 min
What is Pregnancy Test Sensitivity?

Are you doing research on which pregnancy test is right for you? You may have heard about “sensitivity,” but what exactly does it mean? In this guide, we’ll answer all your questions about pregnancy test sensitivity. 

By Courteney Bechtel

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is the pregnancy hormone detected by an at-home pregnancy test. hCG is made by cells formed in a placenta, and if you are pregnant, you can begin detecting it in your urine. When testing for pregnancy at home, you’ll want a test with a high sensitivity, meaning it can detect pregnancy as early as possible. 

What does “sensitivity” mean when testing for pregnancy?

Taking a step back, the sensitivity of a test is a test’s ability to correctly give a positive result. So, the more sensitive the test, the fewer false negative results (e.g. a result that shows up as negative when in fact the person is pregnant).

In the world of pregnancy tests, the sensitivity of a test is the lowest amount of hCG (pregnancy hormone) in the urine that can be detected by that test. Since hCG levels start off low and get higher as the pregnancy progresses, a higher sensitivity test means you can test sooner when levels of hCG are lower.

Since hCG levels start off low and get higher as the pregnancy progresses, a higher sensitivity test means you can test sooner when levels of hCG are lower.

Natalist pregnancy test

The Natalist At-home Pregnancy Test is highly sensitive and can detect pregnancy early. Whereas other tests have a sensitivity of 20 mIU/mL (meaning there needs to be at least 20 mIU/mL of hCG in the urine), our test has a sensitivity level of 10 mIU/mL and can detect the hCG hormone up to five days before your expected period.

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What level of hCG is considered pregnant?

An hCG level of less than 5 mIU/mL is considered negative for pregnancy, and anything above that is considered positive for pregnancy. 

What's the normal range for hCG levels when testing?

Typically, the hCG levels will double every 72 hours. The level will reach its peak in the first eight to 11 weeks of pregnancy and then will decline and level off for the remainder of the pregnancy.

How does the Natalist pregnancy test compare to others in the market?

Unlike other tests that make you wait for a higher level of hCG to be present in your urine, the Natalist pregnancy test is an FDA-cleared test that can be used up to five days earlier than your expected period. We are a team of moms, and we understand how important it is to find out if you’re pregnant as soon as possible!

What does a faint line mean with hCG levels?

If the line is faint, it usually means that the hCG level is still low. If you are pregnant, one reason why hCG levels could be low is because you're still very early into your pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, the levels of hCG will rise, so if you choose to test again, you may see a much stronger positive test line.

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Featured Image By Jill Burrow

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