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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

New home pregnancy test reveals how pregnant you are

PREGNANCY TEST REVEALS HOW FAR AlONG IT IS

Women have grown accustomed to learning in the privacy of their own bathrooms whether or not they’re pregnant, but now they can also find out just how far along they are.

A new test, called Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator, retails for about $16, a few dollars more than other home pregnancy tests. Instead of a simple line or plus-sign to indicate pregnancy, the test will tell women whether they’re 1 to 2 weeks pregnant — right around the time when they’d expect a period — 2 to 3 weeks, or more than 3 weeks along. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration earlier this year.

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While standard pregnancy tests contain a single strip to detect the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the new test contains a second strip to measure hCG levels. The hormone rises in predictable amounts during the first three weeks of pregnancy. Levels continue to rise less predictably before dropping at 11 weeks.

“It’s great for women with irregular periods” who may not know when they ovulated, said Dr. Laura Riley, medical director of labor and delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

But the test won’t replace an ultrasound to date a pregnancy during the first trimester, Riley added. D.K.

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