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Home Pregnancy Tests

How To Prepare continued...

Home pregnancy kits can be used on the first day of a missed menstrual period. But the test results are more accurate if you wait a few days longer. If you do the test as soon as you have missed a period and the results show you are not pregnant (negative results), repeat the test in 1 week if your menstrual period has not started, or have a pregnancy test done at your doctor's office or a clinic.

General instructions

For any home test, you should follow some general guidelines:

  • Check the expiration date on the package. Do not use a test kit after its expiration date—the chemicals in the kit may not work correctly after that date.
  • Store the test kits as directed. Many kits need to be stored in a refrigerator or cool place.
  • Read the instructions that come with your test carefully and thoroughly before doing the test. Look for any special preparations you need to take before doing the test, such as avoiding certain foods or limiting your physical activity.
  • Follow the directions exactly. Do all the steps, in order, without skipping any of them.
  • If a step in the test needs to be timed, use a clock. Do not guess at the timing.
  • Many home kits show color changes on a test strip. If you are color blind or have trouble seeing different colors, have someone else read the test results for you.
  • Record the results of the test so you can discuss them with your health professional.

How It Is Done

Carefully read the instructions that come with the home kit. Instructions vary from kit to kit. Be sure to read the result at the appropriate time indicated in the instructions for accurate results.

If you have a kit that asks for a morning urine sample, test urine that has been in the bladder for at least 4 hours. A first morning urine sample (that has collected in the bladder overnight) gives the most accurate test results. Test the urine within 15 minutes of collecting the sample.

If you are using a midstream kit, urinate a small amount first and then hold the dipstick in your urine stream as you finish urinating. Test the urine sample according to the directions included in the test kit package.

Specific instructions

  • Dipstick test. For a dipstick test, you place the end of the dipstick or test strip into a sample of urine. You will either urinate directly onto the labeled end of the stick for 5 to 10 seconds or put the stick into urine in a collection cup. If you are pregnant, a positive result (a color change or a symbol showing) will appear in that area of the dipstick or test strip.
  • Collection cup test. For a test that uses a collection cup, you urinate into the cup included with the kit and then collect several drops of the urine with a dropper or syringe. Place 5 or 6 drops of urine directly onto a test disk to complete the test. If you are pregnant, a positive result will appear in a special area on the disk as a color change.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 04, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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