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How accurate are pregnancy tests?

You should know that waiting at least a week after a missed period may give you the most accurate result. Results may also be more accurate if you do the test first thing in the morning, when your urine is more concentrated.

Urine home pregnancy tests are about 97% accurate. Blood tests are even more accurate than this.

How accurate a home pregnancy test is depends upon:

  • How closely you follow instructions.
  • When you ovulate in your cycle and how soon implantation occurs.
  • How soon after pregnancy you take the test.
  • The sensitivity of the pregnancy test.

 

Is it expensive or hard to do a home pregnancy test (HPT)?

You can buy a home pregnancy test in a drugstore without a prescription. The cost depends on the brand. But most tests are relatively inexpensive -- from $8 to $20.

Home pregnancy tests are quick and easy to use. They are also very accurate if you carefully follow directions. These pregnancy tests all work in a similar way. You test the urine in one of these ways:

  • Hold the test's stick in your urine stream.
  • Collect urine in a cup and then dip the test's stick into it.
  • Collect urine in a cup and use a dropper to put urine into another container.

With all of these techniques, you need to wait a few minutes before seeing the results. Results may show up as a line, a color, or a symbol such as a "+" or "-" sign. Digital tests produce the words "pregnant" or "not pregnant."

If you have any questions about the pregnancy test or the results, call your doctor or the telephone number listed with the home pregnancy test.

What do the pregnancy test results mean?

It's important to know what a positive or negative result means.

If you get a positive result, you are pregnant. This is true no matter how faint the line, color, or sign is. If you get a positive result, you may want to call your doctor to talk about what comes next.

In very rare cases, you can have a false-positive result. This means you're not pregnant but the test says you are. You could have a false-positive result if blood or protein is present in your urine. And certain drugs, such as tranquilizers, anti-convulsants, or hypnotics, may also cause false-positive results.

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