When to Take a Pregnancy Test and Other Tips

Here are some tips to ensure that your home pregnancy test is as accurate as possible:

  • Be sure to read the directions for the test completely before using it to make sure that you are using it correctly.
  • If you are not using first morning urine, make sure that your urine has been in your bladder for four hours
  • It is best to have a watch or an easy to read clock close by to that you can time the length of the test correctly. If you end up reading the test too early, or too late, you may end up skewing the results.
  • If you are on any type of medication (e.g. fertility drug), read the package inserts before testing to see if your medications will affect the results.
  • Make sure that all the equipment in the test are clean and never reuse them.
  • Do not drink excessive amounts of water in order to increase the volume of urine as this can dilute the concentration of hCG and give a false negative result (i.e. negative test result when you are actually pregnant).
  • While you are waiting, it is best to place the sample on a flat surface where it won’t be disturbed or come into contact with extreme heat or cold.
  • If you are performing a retest to confirm the results, it is best to wait a few days before trying the second test.
  • Remember, home pregnancy tests are not designed to take the place of an examination by a doctor. You should always have a positive test confirmed by a physical exam and then proceed to a prenatal appointment.

Blood Pregnancy Test

An even more sensitive test can be performed by your doctor who can test the hCG levels in your blood. This test can detect pregnancy with virtually 100 percent accuracy as early as one week after conception, using just a few drops of blood. This test involves drawing blood from your arm and is more accurate than conventional home pregnancy tests because it can detect lower levels of hCG.

A benefit of this test is that it can also be used to date the pregnancy by measuring the exact amount of hCG in the blood. hCG levels change predictably as pregnancy progresses, so hCG levels can be used to date the time of conception and determine the estimated date of birth. If your home pregnancy test is positive, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor right away who will be able to verify your pregnancy and begin your prenatal care.

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Table of Contents
1. Home Pregnancy Tests
2. Tips on taking a pregnancy test
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