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Pre-Pregnancy | Falling Pregnant

How and When to Take a Pregnancy Test

A home pregnancy test is generally the first confirmation of the fact that you are expecting a baby. Urine tests such as these are generally preferred over a doctor’s blood test for your first confirmation, as blood tests do tend to be considerably more expensive.


A home pregnancy test is approximately 99% accurate if used as instructed, and is generally performed by placing a few drops of urine on a test stick. This will then detect if the pregnancy hormone called hCG is present in the urine. This hormone is released by the placenta when a woman is pregnant, and accounts for the early symptoms of pregnancy.

The pregnancy hormone hCG can be detected as early as 10 days after conception, but it is advisable to wait until your period is about a week late before performing a pregnancy test – as this will help to avoid a false negative result.

In order to increase the accuracy of a home pregnancy test, the test should be performed when urinating for the first time in the morning – when the levels of hCG will be higher because the urine has been in your bladder for over four hours.

Remember to read the instructions thoroughly and have all the necessary equipment (a cup to collect the urine sample and a watch for timing the test) at the ready before performing the test.

A typical positive pregnancy test will reveal two lines, while a typical negative pregnancy test will reveal only one line. Sometimes you might want to do another test once the result of your first test is revealed – just to be on the safe side and perhaps to convince yourself of the fact that the result is indeed real.

If you obtain a positive result from a home pregnancy test, you may want to confirm the results with your doctor by having a blood test performed. A blood test, while being more expensive than a urine test, is more sensitive to hCG and can detect this hormone as early as a week after conception. A doctor will draw blood and send it to a laboratory for analysis, after which results can take up to a day to be delivered.

Once you have confirmed the fact that your are pregnant, it’s time to celebrate and share the news with your loved ones… Enjoy!

4 Responses to “How and When to Take a Pregnancy Test”

  1. Elaine says:

    i’ve done a pregnancy test this moring and the one test were positive with both lines being very dark, the second came out with both lines being lighter but visible and the third had no result. Can this mean that i’m pregnant?

  2. Editor says:

    @Elaine: It is possible that you are pregnant. The best is to have a blood test done as that will provide you with a definite yes or no. Also read the Q&A on a chemical pregnancy.

  3. Karlien says:

    Just want to find out about a pregnancy blood test. I went directly to Lancet for this test and the test indicates that I am 2-3weeks pregnant. Should I add +-2 weeks to know more or less how far along I am, which mean I am then actually 4-5 weeks pregnant???

  4. Michelle says:

    Hi There, i missed my period and it is now 11 days later. However I am still taking my pills as usual. if i am pregnant can the pill harm my baby?

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