The currently used method to confirm pregnancy depends on the detection of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is present in the blood and urine of a pregnant woman. The hCG hormone is produced by the placenta in increasing amounts within 10 days after fertilization. The home pregnancy test kit detects this hormone in the urine of the pregnant woman.
An absence of a menstrual period in a sexually active female is usually the first reason to do a pregnancy test. Many women may experience some symptoms and signs of pregnancy as early as 5 to 6 weeks after the first day of their last menstrual period, provided she has a regular menstrual cycle. These may include: