Thinking of using a home pregnancy test? Wondering about how they work and the accuracy of the results?

Here are a few facts that may help you understand better.

We Know: How Home Pregnancy Tests Work

There are basically two types of pregnancy tests. The first is called "qualitative," and you use it at home simply to determine whether youíre pregnant or not. The other is "quantitative" and you usually take this test at the doctor when you need to know more information about your pregnancy.


Home tests are qualitative. That means, they simply tell you whether your are pregnant or whether you are not. They tell you nothing about how far along you may be or give you any additional information.

Most home pregnancy tests work by sampling the userís urine to test for the presence of the hormone HCG, which is produced by the placenta the day an egg is implanted in the wall of the uterus.

The kits provide you with a test stick that you hold directly in the urine stream. Or, you can usually collect urine in a cup, and then dip the stick into it. After a specified number of minutes, you look for a line or other indication on the stick which tells you whether you are pregnant or not.

How soon can I take a home pregnancy test?

Sometimes you can get a positive result from a home pregnancy test as early as the first day a period is missed. A test taken a week later is far more likely to produce an accurate result.

Is it possible to be pregnant and get a negative result?

Yup. Even pregnancies that have implanted donít always produce enough HCG hormone to be detected by a kit the day after a missed period. You may have to try again later.

Should I test more than once?

Always a good idea. In fact, most pregnancy tests come with more than one test kit. Once you test, try again a week later.

What are some common brands of test kits?

First Response, Answer, Clear Blue Easy, e.t.p., Target, Walgreens, Rite-Aid.

Related Articles:

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