A missed period
Are you pregnant?
How do home pregnancy tests work?
A pregnancy test detects one thing: the presence in your body of a hormone called hCG.
hCG is produced by cells that will develop into the placenta. hCG first enters your bloodstream when a fertilized egg starts to implant in the lining of your uterus. Home pregnancy tests can usually detect hCG in your urine within 2 weeks after fertilization. The test is MOST accurate if you wait to take it until after missing a period.
How to take a home pregnancy test
First, make sure the test has not expired. Read the directions carefully. For some tests you pee directly on the stick. For others you pee into a cup and either dip the stick into the cup or use the dropper provided to drip urine onto the stick. For the best results, take the test first thing in the morning, when your urine is most concentrated.
The test starts when urine is applied to the fibers on the stick.
The fibers are coated with antibodies that bond with hCG. If enough hCG is present, you'll see a positive result!
False negatives are more likely than false positives.
False negatives can happen if:
- You take the test too soon
- You check the test too soon
- Your urine is too diluted
False positives can happen if:
- You lost the pregnancy soon after the fertilized egg attached to your uterine lining
- You do a pregnancy test too soon after taking a fertility drug that contains hCG
- You use an expired pregnancy test
If you get a faint positive result and you're not sure if it's accurate, wait a few days and take the test again.
Fingers crossed you get the news you're looking for!