Taking A Pregnancy Test: What You Need To Know
Whether you take a pregnancy test at home or at your local doctor, hospital or clinic, the test works in a similar way. It detects a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), which is only produced by your body when you have conceived.
It takes around 3-4 days from the moment of conception for traces of the hCG hormone to be present in your urine. However, it will usually take longer than this for a pregnancy test to detect the hormone as the amount in your body will increase every day.
For that reason, if you believe you could be pregnant (have missed a period or have irregular periods) but the test shows as negative, wait 1 week and take another test as there may not be enough build up of hCG for the test to detect at this early stage.
Home Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests are very reliable, and you can now purchase early detection pregnancy tests and tests which estimate you how far into the pregnancy you are.
Pregnancy tests can be purchased over the counter from a chemist or at your local supermarket. Simply dip the test stick into your urine and in around 2 minutes you will have a reading.
Pregnancy Tests At Your Local Doctor/Clinic
You will be asked to provide a sample of urine (usually in a container provided). First thing in the morning is the best time to collect a test sample of urine, as the hCG hormone will have been able to build up overnight allowing a stronger chance of a clear reading.
Pregnancy Test Results
Although you can be certain about the accuracy of a positive result, a negative result can be quite misleading. If the test is taken too early then you may find it reads negative even when you are pregnant.
If you receive multiple negative pregnancy test results but have missed your period and are still unsure, consult your doctor.