Pregnancy tests measure the level of the pregnancy hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in your urine or blood. This hormone can be detected in your blood as early as 6-8 days after conception happens, but not in your urine until a day or two before you expect your period. If you test your urine too soon, you may get a negative result when you are actually pregnant. Some test kits recommending testing again a week or two after a negative result, if you have not had a period by then. Be sure your test hasn’t expired, and read the instructions before you use the test.
If the test is positive, you are very likely pregnant! Home pregnancy tests are quite accurate and will not register the presence of HCG unless it is actually there. False positives (testing positive when you are actually not pregnant) are extremely rare. The test only tells you that you are pregnant, and doesn’t give any information on the health of the pregnancy or likelihood of miscarriage. Once you see a positive test, it’s time to book an appointment with your health care provider. (You should already have a health care provider, and in some circumstances should have seen him or her before planning your pregnancy). In the meantime, eat well and avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Continue taking a folic acid-containing prenatal vitamin every day.