Pregnancy tests

What is a pregnancy test?

Pregnancy tests measure the level of the pregnancy hormone HCG in your urine or blood. HCG 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. The easiest thing to do is to wait until you have missed a period and then test. 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 menstrual period by then. Be sure your test hasn’t expired, and read the instructions before you use the test.

Are home pregnancy tests ever wrong?

If the test was 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 having problems with your pregnancy (e.g., bleeding, miscarriage). Once you see a positive test, it’s time to book an appointment with your health care provider. In the meantime, eat well and avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Continue to take a folic acid-containing prenatal vitamin every day, if you have not been taking one already.