How to Take a Pregnancy Test

Purchasing a Pregnancy Test

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Do you ever wonder how to take a pregnancy test? Pregnancy testing is not a difficult task. However, it is one that carries a lot of importance to the test taker. This means that you will want to be sure to read all of the instructions before taking the test to ensure that you do it properly and that you don't make simple mistakes. This will help you have the most confidence in your pregnancy test results.

You will first need to select a pregnancy test and purchase it. Some women feel more comfortable with certain brands or types of tests. Most tests are fairly equal to one another, despite branding, packaging and cost. You may wish to look into purchasing a multiple pack of pregnancy tests as many women like to confirm the first test in a few days. It can also save you money to purchase tests in bulk, even if it's only two or three tests.

Read the Instructions on the Pregnancy Test

Woman looking at the pregnancy test instructions.
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Even though pregnancy tests are fairly simple, be sure that you read all of the instructions before starting the test. You can easily blow the simple test by not following the instructions. Most test kits provide you with a number to call if you have further questions. The instructions usually also come with drawings and in English and Spanish. Be sure to ask the company if you have any questions, before or after taking their pregnancy test.

Opening the Test

Couple with a positive pregnancy test
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Only open the sealed portions of the test when you are ready to take the test. Have a clean space set up for you to lay the components down. Be sure that you have everything you need before you begin. The watch really is the crucial part that many people forget. Having the watch can help you answer many questions about the reading of the pregnancy test.

Hit or Miss?

Pregnancy test held by happy woman
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If your test kit included a small specimen cup for you to catch your urine, or if the instructions tell you to aim for the pregnancy test stick and you're worried about it, never fear! You do not need to use that exactly. It is perfectly acceptable to collect your urine in a clean cup and simply dip the test stick in the collected urine or use the dropper included with your test. This makes it potentially less messy and requires less aim on your part.

When to collect urine?

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Your first morning urine (FMU) is the most likely to contain large enough amounts of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Pregnancy tests work by detecting small amounts of hCG in your urine. Since you tend to not get up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night more hCG builds up in your urine.

Most pregnancy tests request that you wait until the morning that you expect your period or the next day prior to testing. Some tests are designed to test a couple of days before that, but they are still best done when you awit until the date you expect your period. hCG builds in amount as you advance in your pregnancy. Blood tests are more sensitive than urine tests.

Reading the Test

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Most pregnancy tests are designed with two windows: a control window to tell you that the test was working correctly and a testing window to give you your results. You should always have a line in the control window. If there is a line present in the testing window then you are pregnant.

Some pregnancy tests use lines, some use pluses, and others use other types of signs. Be sure to look specifically at the instructions for your pregnancy test. You should also be sure to follow the time instructions on reading the test, most say not to read the test after a certain period of time.

What comes next?

Pregnancy test
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If the test is negative.

You should expect your period to start within the week. If your period does not start within the week you should retest. If you still get a negative result it is time to consult your doctor or midwife for further testing.

If the test is positive.

Congratulations! Be sure that you are avoiding things that are bad for your baby and pregnancy like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and even some medications. If you take a regular medication call the prescribing physician immediately to ask what you need to do.

Take a prenatal vitamin. The ones at the store are fine for now. Your midwife or doctor will tell you if you need something else.

Call your midwife or doctor to make an appointment. Sometimes it takes awhile to get in. Don't worry. If you have questions or problems you can still call for help prior to your appointment.

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