What’s the Proper Way to Use a Pregnancy Test, Anyway?


Tips for Finding the Right Home Pregnancy Test

Missed your period? Feeling a bit nauseous and dizzy lately? If yes, then you may already be on the new, exciting, and nerve-wracking journey that is pregnancy.

The prospect of having a bun in the oven brings up all kinds of different emotions. Whether it’s excitement or dread (or a revolving mix of both), don’t spend all your time wondering “what if”. Rather than prolonging your anticipation and agony, it is best to buy yourself a home pregnancy test kit and find out for yourself whether you are really pregnant or not.

These tests are easily bought over the counter or online. While many of them are accurate, be careful because there are those who make false claims. As the menstrual cycle varies from one woman to the next, it is quite difficult to obtain 99% accuracy in all pregnancy tests as promised by most manufacturers.

So how do you avoid the unreliable tests out there?

Factors to Consider in Choosing Pregnancy Tests

hCG Detection

The majority of pregnancy kits sold in health stores today are able to identify 25 mIU/ml of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which means that it can detect pregnancy as early as the first day following a missed menstrual period. As a rule, it is always more advantageous to look for those with higher sensitivities that are more accurate. After all, a panic attack over nothing isn’t the best way to spend your day.


One step kits are by far the easiest to use. Simply dip the strip in your urine sample, and in a few minutes find the answers you seek.


As pregnancy kits come in different designs and patterns, it is best to go for one that is easy to read. The lines should be easily seen so that you know exactly if you are expecting or not. A great alternative is to spring for the more expensive digital tests to lessen your fears about reading the lines incorrectly.

Expiration Dates

To ensure accuracy, make sure to always verify its expiration date, which is usually printed along the box or on the foil itself. These tests make use of specific chemicals to check for hCG levels. Efficacy diminishes over time, so be sure to use one that has been recently manufactured.

Tips When Taking a Pregnancy Test

  1. Don’t put all your hopes on one test – Pregnancy tests are only 90% accurate, it would be wiser to even the odds by buying more than 1 kit, especially if you have an irregular menstrual cycle. After taking the first test, wait a couple of days before taking a new one to verify your earlier results.
  2. Do your test in the morning – Your first urine for the day contains the highest levels of hCG, making it more ideal for accurate testing. If you absolutely can’t wait till the next morning to get answers, try to hold off going to the bathroom for as long as you can. This will help get your urine’s hCG concentration up.
  3. Follow the instructions – Not all kits are the same, which is why you need to carefully follow the instructions to the letter in order to generate the most accurate result.

Lastly, make sure to schedule a follow up exam with your doctor who can best determine if you are indeed on the road to becoming a new mom.

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