Managing to Take a Home Pregnancy Test

Reading the rules of a home pregnancy kit, once you have it in hand, is a real killjoy, but it has to be done. You may have to read them twice or three times before you understand that you’re holding the leaflet upside-down, but despite your nerves, take those few minutes to figure out what needs to be done, from start to finish. Otherwise you might just be wasting the kit.

Here are the preparatory instructions that they never show on TV dramas:

    • It is good to do the test first thing in the morning. This is when your urine is most concentrated and can give the most accurate results.
    • If you take the test shortly after drinking large amounts of fluid, you may reduce the accuracy.
    • With the less accurate kits, you should test at least 4 hours after the last time you urinated. This will ensure your urine collects enough hCG in it to be detected by the test, if you are pregnant.
    • Any medication that you take for fertility or other purposes might affect the results. Read what is written about this in the instruction booklet, and if you are unsure, consult with the doctor who gave it to you.
    • Each test will tell you how long you need to wait for the results to show. It is usually between 2 and 5 minutes. Often, when a woman is pregnant and sufficient time has past, the result will show up clearly in a minute or two. But, confirming that you are NOT pregnant will mean waiting out the full amount of time. You should not wait much longer because if you leave the test lying unchecked longer than you should have (while you kill time doing something else), it could blur the results.
    • If the reference / control line does not appear, you must run another test
    • If the reference / control line does show up, the test is working as well as this particular test is going to work on that day. There is not much use in redoing the same type of test. If you feel the need for a second opinion, you should try a different brand, which may have a different sensitivity or specificity (accuracy) level.
    • If the result is negative, consult a fertility chart to make sure you have not miscalculated your cycle. If your cycle is irregular, you may need to wait a few days and retake the test.
    • If the result is positive, you should make an appointment with a gynecologist or reproductive health care worker to confirm the result and take it from there.

Background on Home Pregnancy Tests

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