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Home Pregnancy Tests

What To Think About

  • Some home pregnancy tests are easier to use and read than others. Be sure to follow the instructions exactly for accurate results.
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) can be found in the blood before it can be found in the urine. A blood test can confirm a pregnancy about 6 days after the fertilized egg implants into the uterus (even before a missed menstrual period). To learn more, see the topic Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG).
  • Many women are able to tell if they are pregnant simply by knowing their body has changed. A missed menstrual period, breast tenderness, morning nausea, and fatigue may be early signs of pregnancy. But a home pregnancy test can confirm pregnancy when a menstrual period is late.
  • Some health professionals may want to do another pregnancy test in their labs to confirm the pregnancy before beginning prenatal care.
  • If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, think about making changes in your nutrition (such as avoiding alcohol and taking a vitamin containing folic acid) to lower the chance of birth defects. Good nutrition before and during your pregnancy helps your health and the health of your baby.
  • If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, try to find your most fertile time (ovulation). This can be checked in several ways. To learn more, see the topic Fertility Awareness. Ovulation test kits may help you know your most fertile time. These are available without a prescription in supermarkets and pharmacies.
  • Confirming your pregnancy early can be very useful. It allows you to start prenatal care during the first month of pregnancy. Or, if the pregnancy is unplanned, you can talk with your health professional about other choices.

Common questions about home pregnancy tests

  • Why did I see a faint positive line an hour after I did the test? You may be pregnant but your hCG level may not be high enough in your urine. Take another test in a few days or talk to your health professional about a blood test.
  • Why was my test positive right before I started my menstrual cycle? You need to have a blood hCG test to check for other causes of a high hCG level.
  • Can I be pregnant but get a negative test? Yes, most women will get a positive test within a few days of missing their menstrual period but some women may get a negative test early in their pregnancy.
  • Can alcohol or drugs change the test? Most test results are not affected by alcohol or drugs, but you should not use these substances if you want to become pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

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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