No-Cost and Confidential Women's Center

Home Pregnancy Test Tips

Walking through a store looking for a pregnancy test can be daunting because there are so many different kinds. Don’t stress over which one to buy…any pregnancy test bought from a reputable store should work just fine.

At home urine pregnancy tests work by detecting the presence of a hormone called hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin).  A woman begins to produce hcg and can have a positive pregnancy test once the tiny baby implants into her uterus.  On average this takes place seven to ten days after the egg is released from her ovary.  Pregnancy tests can show positive as early as five days before a missed period.  Be careful though because such an early test can give you a false negative if the hormone level has not increased enough for the pregnancy test to detect.   Also, there are a few rare reasons why a positive hcg may not mean you are pregnant so it is very important to have your pregnancy confirmed with a physician.

Here are some tips for taking and reading your home urine pregnancy test. 

You can watch a video about home tests here.

-Read the instructions!  Don’t assume that because you have taken a home test before that this one is the same.  Are you supposed to you pee on it for 3 seconds or 5 seconds or 10 seconds?  Or maybe you dip the test in a urine cup. Make sure you understand the instructions so your test is accurate.

-Do not use an expired test.  If you have old tests, check the dates before using.

-The best time to take the test is in the morning when you first wake up and need to urinate.  Women generally have the highest hcg level in their first morning pee.

-Take the plastic cover off the test prior to applying the urine and be sure to apply enough urine to the collector to make it wet.

-For most tests (the exception being digital tests) one or two lines will appear once the urine is absorbed. One line will show up if you are not pregnant.  This is a control line that lets you know the test is working.  The second line will show up if you are pregnant. If no lines show up the test may be faulty.

1 line= Not pregnant.

2 lines=pregnant  (This could also look like a +).

0 lines= invalid test.  This test did not work properly.

-Be sure to follow the package instructions about when to read the test.  Have a timer ready or check your watch when you first apply the urine.  If the instructions say “don’t read the test after 5 minutes” then you need to check how many lines show up (read the test) within five minutes to see if it’s positive; the test will be invalid after the five minutes have lapsed.

I’m pregnant now what?

If your test is positive call your doctor right away to schedule an appointment for prenatal care.

If this pregnancy is unplanned and you are not sure what to do, give True Care Women’s Resource Center at call at 307-215-9684 for an appointment.  Our nurses can confirm your pregnancy and help you learn about the options and resources available to you.

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