The Facts About Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain hormone in the urine or blood that is only there when a women is pregnant. Your doctor can test you, or you can use a home pregnancy test (HPT). HPTs are inexpensive, easy to use, and highly accurate if used correctly.

  • HPTs are urine tests. Most HPTs can tell if you are pregnant about one week after a missed period. Blood tests can tell sooner than urine tests. You need to see a doctor to have a blood test done
  • You can buy HPTs in most drugstores. Make sure to check the expiration date and follow the instructions carefully. If you have questions, call the toll-free number that is usually listed in the instructions.
  • Most HPTs work in a similar way. Usually, you wet a stick by holding it in your urine as you urinate. Sometimes, you may collect urine in a cup and then dip the stick into it. Then you wait a few minutes. For best results, wait about 10 minutes.
  • If a line or plus symbol appears in the stick's window - no matter how light it is - you are pregnant. Digital tests show the words "pregnant" or "not pregnant".
  • If your HPT is negative, you might still be pregnant. Test again in a few days or a week. If you keep getting negative results but think you might be pregnant, talk with your doctor right away.
  • If your HPT test shows that you are pregnant, call your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can use a more sensitive test and a pelvic exam to tell if you are pregnant. Seeing your doctor early on in your pregnancy will help you and your baby stay healthy.