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Detection of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in urine or serum is an easy first method of diagnosis of pregnancy. hCG can be detected as early as the sixth day after conception.
Pregnancy detection kits containing a strip with anti-hCG globulin are readily available. The test is executed by immersing the proper end of the strip in urine or sprinkling three drops of urine on the indicated site of a card. The result is readable within five minutes.
Healthy women are fertile from puberty until menopause, although fertility is typically much reduced towards the extremes of this period. The onset of puberty is typically identified by menarche and the presence of secondary sexual characteristics such as breast development, the appearance of pubic hair and changes to body fat distribution. The end of a woman's fertile years typically comes somewhat before menopause, as fertility declines to a point where establishing a viable pregnancy is very unlikely.