Making sure your home pregnancy test is accurate
During Monica and Chandler’s wedding on “Friends,” Rachel reveals that she’s pregnant. “Are you sure you peed on the stick right?” Monica asks. “How many ways are there to do that?” Rachel replies, before agreeing to take another test.
Well, there are more ways than you may think — and how you do it really does matter.
Even though home pregnancy tests are 99 percent accurate IF done correctly, you can get a false positive or false negative. So…
–Check the package’s expiration date; out-of-date tests may be inaccurate.
–Pregnancy tests check levels of hCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, that’s present only during pregnancy. It’s best to test upon waking up, as urinary levels of hCG are most concentrated. Don’t drink lots of liquid before a test. This could dilute hCG levels and give you a false negative.
–A false positive may result if an egg is fertilized but fails to implant.
–Check results within the suggested time frame; the water line left by dried urine can look like a second line and mislead you.
–If you recently had a miscarriage or abortion, hCG remains in your body for about two weeks and can cause a false positive.
–Some infertility medications contain hCG and can produce a false positive too.
–Certain cancers, ovarian cysts, kidney disease or UTIs can raise hCG levels, causing a false positive.
A positive result? See your doc to confirm. And if you experience any unusual pain after missing a period also head to the doc, even if your pregnancy test was negative.
Learn, Nap, Repeat: How sleep consolidates learning
At the 2015 World Yo-Yo Contest in Tokyo, Yang Yuan-Ching from Taiwan won the “Long Sleeper” contest with a time of 29 minutes and 45 seconds; that’s how long the yo-yo napped at the end of its fully extended string before being reawakened and rewound without trouble. And that’s just about the perfect naptime for people, too!
Napping is a winning strategy, and that’s been confirmed in a new study of almost 3,000 folks 65 and older who volunteered to learn, nap and recall. Researchers, writing in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, asked the volunteers to try to memorize a list of words and then hit the hay for less than 30, 30 to 90 or more than 90 minutes after lunch; and one group got no nap at all. Turns out that the moderate (30 to 90 minute) nappers were able to remember the most, correctly recalling 10 to 16 words. That was significantly more than the other nappers. The non-nappers could only come up with around seven or eight words.
Our recommendation: Siestas for everyone! They’re not just pleasant, they’re a brainy idea. But if you’ve got no time for a nap, a study in Psychophysiology found that you have a better shot at retention of info if you learn it right before bedtime and then sleep on it rather than learning it earlier in the day. So before you make big decisions or need to trot out your expertise, be smart, stretch out and nap on it!
* * *