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How to Take a Pregnancy Test at Home

by Erika Wright
  • Overview

    Home pregnancy tests can be an effective way to find out if you are pregnant in the privacy of your own home. When used according to package directions one week after a missed period, they can be a very accurate early indicator of pregnancy.
 
  • Step 1

    Determine if you have missed your period.
  • Step 2

    Go to the pharmacy and buy a home pregnancy test one week after your missed period. Although many tests claim to be effective the day after you have missed your period, it is during the first two weeks after fertilization of the egg that your body begins to produce the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which is detected by a home pregnancy test.
  • Step 3

    Choose the test that best suits you. There are a variety of tests on the market and, for the most part, your choice will come down to what most appeals to you. For example, many home pregnancy tests ask you to hold a test strip in the stream of your urine, while others might ask you to urinate into a cup, add a powder that is provided, and then wait to see what color it becomes.
  • Step 4

    Read the directions carefully. Because pregnancy tests vary, it is important that you follow the directions exactly. Be sure to pay attention to the warnings.
  • Step 5

    Read the result. Again, be sure to follow the directions carefully. If you read the result too soon or too late, you might not get an accurate result. The indications are different for different tests. One might say "pregnant" or "not pregnant." One might use different colors or display one line versus two.
  • Step 6

    Make an appointment to see your doctor if your test is positive. If you are pregnant, it is important to begin your medical care. In the rare case that your test is a false positive, your doctor will be able to verify whether or not you are pregnant with a blood test or pelvic exam. A false positive can happen if you have traces of blood or protein in your urine, as well as with certain prescription drugs such as diuretics and promethazine.
  • Step 7

    Make sure that you did the test correctly if your test is negative. (See tips for more information.) Wait one week and if you still have not had your period, take another pregnancy test or see your doctor. If the second test is negative and you still have not had your period, see your doctor. Many things can affect your cycle, including stress, hormone imbalances, excessive exercise or illness, which is why it is important to seek medical advice.
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  • Home pregnancy test
  • Home pregnancy test
  • Wait one week after your missed period. If you collect your urine, use it within 15 minutes. Time the test carefully according to package directions. Take the test first thing in the morning when your urine is most concentrated. Too much fluid can dilute your urine and could result in a false-negative.
  • Wait one week after your missed period.
  • If you collect your urine, use it within 15 minutes.
  • Time the test carefully according to package directions.
  • Take the test first thing in the morning when your urine is most concentrated. Too much fluid can dilute your urine and could result in a false-negative.

References & Resources