How a Pregnancy Test Works

When should a home pregnancy test be used?

If you think you may be pregnant, a simple test using a small sample of urine can usually provide the answer.

Home pregnancy tests can detect if you are pregnant as early as 7 to 10 days after conception. If your home pregnancy test is negative, test your urine again within a few days to a week. If you think you might be pregnant despite a negative test result, call your doctor or health care provider and schedule an appointment.

If you are pregnant, begin taking a multivitamin each day to keep your body strong and prevent birth defects. Prenatal vitamins have the most folic acid in them, but any daily multivitamin, including children’s chewable, will have enough folic acid to prevent the birth defects. Your doctor may change the recommendation as the pregnancy progresses.

What are the advantages of using a home pregnancy test?

Home pregnancy tests are inexpensive, easy to use, private, and require only a few minutes of time to obtain results. Furthermore, the test kits are available in most drug or discount stores and do not require a prescription. According to pregnancy kit manufacturers, most at-home pregnancy tests are 97% to 99% accurate when used as instructed. Positive results can be trusted, but falsely negative results can be seen very early in the pregnancy.

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