n. a piece of test equipment that determines whether a woman, or by extension, a female animal is pregnant
n. a physiological test to determine whether a person is pregnant
A pregnancy test attempts to determine whether a woman is pregnant. Markers that indicate pregnancy are found in urine and blood, and pregnancy tests require sampling one of these substances. The first of these markers to be discovered, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), was discovered in 1930 to be produced by the syncytiotrophoblast cells of the fertilised ova (eggs). While hCG is a reliable marker of pregnancy, it cannot be detected until after implantation: this results in false negatives if the test is performed during the very early stages of pregnancy. Obstetric ultrasonography may also be used to detect pregnancy. Obstetric ultrasonography was first practiced in the 1960s; the first home test kit for hCG was invented in 1968. The kits went on the market in the United States and Europe in the mid-1970s.
Usage examples of "pregnancy test".
She had had to sneak to a pharmacy to buy a home pregnancy test, though she had been sure fairly early on that she was pregnant.