The SELFCheck Pregnancy Blood Test is a rapid home test for the detection of raised levels (>25 IU/L) of human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) from a finger prick blood sample in just 5 minutes. Urine pregnancy test kits are usually able to detect hCG about 1 week after a missed period, but some sensitive blood tests can detect pregnancy before a missed period and when used correctly are around 97 to 99% accurate US National Library of Medicine.
Blood tests can be more reliable than urine tests for showing that you are pregnant and, for this reason, are sometimes used in hospital labs to confirm a urine pregnancy test. Unlike urine pregnancy tests, you can use a blood test at any time of the day and are unaffected by dilution from drinks. Because of this, you may get a positive result with the new SELFCheck pregnancy blood test before you would with a urine test.
The same device used in the SELFCheck pregnancy blood test is also used in hospitals. Nevertheless, due to the increased complexity of a home pregnancy blood test compared to a traditional urine test, more skill is required to perform the test correctly. It is therefore even more important to thoroughly read and understand the instructions provided with a home blood test to ensure the correct amount of blood and diluent is added to the test device.
Sadly, the rate of miscarriage is very high during early pregnancy occurring in around 10% of women under 30 and 50% of women over 45 years old. Due to this high risk of miscarriage during the early stages of pregnancy it is important to appreciate that using the test very early on in pregnancy will mean that some women will initially get a positive result which may subsequently be negative when tested later on. Please see NHS Miscarriage Causes for further information.
An early pregnancy test result can help women consider lifestyle and health changes such as stopping smoking or drinking alcohol but should be encouraged to speak with their GP before stopping or changing any medication.
It is important to take into account that using any blood or urine pregnancy test too early or, unknowingly misinterpreting the instructions, may result in an increased risk of false positive or false negative results.
The test was launched on the 1st May 2020.