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  1. You can purchase a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests all work in the same way. They detect the presence of the hormone, hCG, in your urine. You should check the expiration date of the pregnancy test box before you buy it. Also, make sure the box is not damaged or worn. This could impact your results. If you are looking to test early, it is worth considering a brand that includes 2 test sticks. If you receive a negative result, you can wait up to a week before you try again. [3]
    • Experts recommend buying a pregnant test from a large, well-respected store with a high turnover rate to increase your chances of getting a brand newer test than one that has been on the shelf for months. If you have a used pregnancy test that has been sitting around for a while, you should consider getting a new one. [4]
    • Some brands claim they can detect pregnancy as early as the day after your missed period. Although the tests can detect higher levels of hCG in your urine, they may not be sensitive enough to detect it. However, your body may not be producing as much hCG at this stage. You run the risk that you will get a negative result even if you are pregnant. [5]
    • Generic brand pregnancy tests manufactured in the same factories and using the same technology as big-name brands are available at drugstores. If you are trying to save money, don’t be concerned about the quality of generic brands.
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  2. The test should be taken within one day of your missed period. However, it is recommended that you wait up to a week before you take the home test. Although this can be difficult if you’re anxious to find out whether you’re pregnant. However, waiting allows you to take the test more accurately as the hCG levels in pregnant women rise quickly. [6]
    • Only after fertilizing eggs implants in the uterus, hCG can develop in a woman’s body. The 6th day following the sperm-egg fusion, the fertilized egg is usually implanted. Home pregnancy tests will not detect any hCG in the early stages of pregnancy, regardless of whether you are already pregnant.
    • If you have irregular periods or are unsure if your period is normal, wait at least 3 weeks before you take a pregnancy test. If you’re in a rush, most tests will not work for you after two weeks (approximately when it is due). [7]
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  2. The test should be done in the morning. Your urine is more concentrated in the morning which can lead to higher levels of hCG. Do the test the first time you urinate during the day. [9]
    • Do not drink large quantities of water as this could dilute your urine.
    • To make your urine more concentrated, you should wait at least four hours before taking the test.
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  2. It is important to read the instructions. Each pregnancy test will have its own specifics, including the method for collecting urine, how long you need to urinate on a stick and the symbols that are used to indicate if you are pregnant. [10]
    • It is better to know the symbols in advance than to have to search for them when you get the results.
    • If you have any questions about the procedure or product, there should be a toll free number listed on the instructions.
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  2. Prepare emotionally. It can be nerve-wracking to take a home pregnancy test, especially if you are anxious about the outcome. You can take the test privately, give yourself enough time and have a friend or partner help you.


Take the Test

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  2. You can urinate on the test stick. Wash your hands with soapy water and soap. Then, carefully take the stick out of its wrapper. Depending on which type of test you are doing, sit down on the toilet and urinate on the stick or in the cup. [11][12] Some instructions might recommend that you collect a midstream sample. This means that you should first pee before inserting the stick or collecting urine in the cup. [13]
    • Follow the instructions carefully if you have to urinate on the stick. You will need to urinate directly on the stick for certain tests. For example, it should be used for exactly five seconds. If necessary, you can use a stopwatch or a watch to time it.
    • Place the absorbent end on the stick in the urine stream. Then, turn the display window so that it faces upwards.
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  2. The dropper can be used to add a small amount urine to the test stick. This is not necessary for the plastic cup method. Drop the urine in the designated well on the stick. [15]. Some brands also require you to dip the absorbent end in the urine. You can hold it for between 5-10 seconds or as long as the instructions require.
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  4. Wait the required time. The average wait time is between one and five minutes. However, some tests can take up to ten minutes to provide an accurate result. For more information on the time required for your test, please refer to the instructions. [16]
    • Do not stare at the stick during the waiting period. It will make time seem slower and cause you to become more anxious. You can distract yourself by making a cup or doing some exercises or stretches.
    • A few sticks have a line or a timer symbol to indicate that the test is running. If the function on your test stick does not appear, it is likely that your test is not functioning properly. You may need to try a different one.
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  2. After the specified time has expired, you can check the test stick to see the results. You may not be pregnant if the symbols you use to indicate this vary from one test to another. If you aren’t sure, you can read the instructions again. A majority of home pregnancy tests use a plus/minus sign, a coded colour change or the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant” on a display. [17]
    • Sometimes, a line or symbol may only appear very briefly on the screen. This is a good sign that the test has detected hCG in your urine. False positives can be very rare. [18]
    • If your results are positive, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor. You can do this by using a urine or blood test. [19]
    • Negative results: Wait a week and if your period hasn’t begun, take the test again. False positives are quite common, especially if the test was taken too soon or you miscalculated when your ovulation would occur. Many home pregnancy tests include two test sticks. If your second test is negative, you should consult your doctor to determine if there are other problems that could be affecting your period or causing symptoms. [20]

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