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Pregnancy Tests

At-home pregnancy tests provide millions of families each year with an immediate answer as to whether they are pregnant or not. With the improvement on technology, they are also able to provide accurate results. With the convenience these products offer, it is little wonder that at-home tests are the preferred initial method.

How does an at-home pregnancy test work?

Pregnancy tests are designed in a way to detect human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This hormone is coined the pregnancy hormone as it only appears in a woman's urine if she has a fertilized egg embedded in her uterus. Tests that are able to detect the faintest amount of human chorionic gonadotropin are able to determine if you are pregnant earlier than other tests. The lower the number of hCG, the more sensitive the early pregnancy test is and the better chance of getting an early result.

How precise are home pregnancy tests?

As a general advertising rule, no test is considered more than 99% accurate. As long as you follow the included instructions, most tests are considered a reliable way to determine if you are pregnant.

What happens if you get a negative result?

There are a few things that a negative pregnancy test could mean. Did you wait to take the test after a missed period? If not, you could have tested too soon. Did you follow the directions included with your device? If not, that may be why you got a negative. If you get a negative and still haven't gotten your period, most makers of at-home kits recommend waiting a week and then testing again. If you still haven't gotten your period, call your doctor. If you followed the directions in the box and still got a negative, call your doctor to have them weigh in.

Is it possible to get a false positive?

It is highly abnormal to get a false positive result on a pregnancy test strip with an at-home test. If you feel like that may be what happened with your test strip, make an appointment with your doctor. They will do a pelvic exam and an ultrasound, which will give you a definitive answer one way or the other.

When is the most ideal time to test for pregnancy?

The most ideal time to take a home pregnancy test is after you have missed your period. Then, taking a test first thing in the morning is a great way to ensure you get an accurate reading. When you take it in the morning, if you are pregnant, your hCG levels will be most concentrated.

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