Home pregnancy tests are 95% to 100% accurate. They cost $10 to $15. Many women buy several, just to be sure!
Home pregnancy tests work by measuring the level of hCG in your urine. hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone produced by the developing placenta. The hormone enters the mother’s blood within 8 to 10 days after conception has occurred, at which point it can be detected by a pregnancy test.
These tests can detect pregnancy early, but not too early. The best time to use these tests is the first day after the day you expect your period. Test your morning urine. This urine is more concentrated, so the hCG is more likely to show up. Saturate the testing tool with urine. Test the urine right away. Regardless of the test’s results, many women do a second test to be sure. Some tests come with two test kits.
If you test too early, the level of hCG may be too low to detect. That means you could get a false negative — the test could say you are not pregnant, when you are. But different women may have different levels of hCG at the same stage of pregnancy.
A false positive is not as common. A false positive means that the test says you are pregnant when you are not. It may occur if you have levels of hCG in your blood from a recent pregnancy, or if you have recently had a miscarriage. It can also occur if you are receiving fertility injections to bring about ovulation.
To use a home pregnancy kit, read the directions carefully. The tests are all similar in that they test your urine for hormone levels.
If a home pregnancy test indicates positive results, you should schedule a visit with your health care provider. He or she can perform a blood test to confirm the results. You can often get the results back that same day. If you strongly believe that you are pregnant but the results are negative, you should also call your health care provider.