A home pregnancy test allows you to determine if you are pregnant in the comfort of your own home. Typically you can tell as early as two weeks after you ovulate if you are pregnant. Regardless of what test you choose it is imperative that you read all of the directions and follow them explicitly. If you think you are pregnant and still have a negative result after waiting and taking a second test, you should consult your doctor.

How Does a Home Pregnancy Test Tell if You’re Pregnant?
A home pregnancy tests look for the presence of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in your urine. This is a hormone that is only present in pregnant women. The amount of the hormone increases every day you are pregnant, and thus the test is more accurate the longer you have been pregnant. Some tests claim to be able to detect the hormone in as little as a few days after fertilization, however, if you think you might be pregnant it is best to retest a few weeks after getting a negative result. 

How Do You Take the Test?
The process for all home pregnancy tests is fundamentally the same. You must expose the absorbent part of the test to urine. This can be done by placing the absorbent end into a stream of urine or you can collect the urine in a disposable cup and place the absorbent end into the cup for approximately three minutes. It is important to note that exposure time can vary depending on the test. After exposing the test to urine you will need to lay it flat and wait three to five minutes for the test to produce the results. While you wait most tests will have an indicator to let you know the test is working. Finally, you will see either a positive or negative result.

When taking an at home pregnancy test, it is important to note that false negatives can occur but false positives are VERY rare. If the pregnancy test reads you are pregnant, it is best to contact your gynecologist for a blood test to verify the pregnancy.

Being pregnant is a happy and wonderful time. With the advent of at home pregnancy tests, women are able to discover they are pregnant as soon as 3 days after they have missed their monthly cycle. Due to the variations in the monthly cycle, the hCG based test may not pick up the increased levels of the hormones on the first test so make sure to test again if your monthly cycle does not begin.

If you think you are pregnant and the at home pregnancy test says you are not pregnant, a blood test can verify if there is a real pregnancy or the possibility that there are underlying problems with the monthly menstrual cycle. Until a definitive result has been found, keeping healthy and staying away from smoking and drinking is important.