Home Pregnancy Tests: What You Need to Know

Finding out you’re pregnant can be one of the most deeply rewarding as well as the most stressful time of your life. If you think you might be pregnant, a home pregnancy test can confirm your suspicions with up to 99% accuracy. If it comes back positive, you should meet with your doctor for a follow-up test to confirm. There might be some confusion as to how soon you can effectively use a home pregnancy test. According to the Office On Women’s Health, some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others, but for the best results, you should wait at least until the first day of your missed period. The amount of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in your urine doubles every couple of days, so the sooner you take the test, the more difficult it would be to detect.

If your home pregnancy test indicates that you’re pregnant, get in touch with your doctor immediately so that they can perform a blood test to confirm the results and get you started with your prenatal care so that you and your baby stay healthy.

If you suspect that you might be pregnant and your home pregnancy test says that you’re not, take another pregnancy test after a few more days have elapsed to be sure. If you still think you’re pregnant after multiple negative tests, call your doctor.

All home pregnancy tests come with written instructions. For the most part, they’re very similar. You can hold the stick in your urine stream, urinate in a cup and dip the stick in the cup, or urinate in a cup and use a special dropper to put a few drops of urine into a special container. The wait time is generally around 2 minutes. No matter how faint the positive indication may be, the result still indicates positive. Taking the test first thing in the morning can boost the accuracy of a home pregnancy test according to the Office On Women’s Health.

Most medicines have no effect on your home pregnancy test. Over-the-counter and prescribed medicine including contraceptives and antibiotics will not cause a false positive, nor will alcohol. However, medicines such as those used for infertility are known to cause a false positive or any medication that contains the hCG hormone as an active ingredient.