Pregnancy tests look for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine or blood. HCG, sometimes called the pregnancy hormone, is only there when a woman is pregnant. There are two kinds of pregnancy tests: urine and blood.
Urine pregnancy tests
Many women use the urine or home pregnancy test (HPT), to find out if they are pregnant because it is cheap and easy to use. There are many types of home pregnancy tests. With some, you collect your urine in a cup and dip a stick into the urine. For others, you place a stick into your urine stream. The best tests are those that notice the smallest amounts of hCG, so look for one in the 15 to 30 hCG level. Your pharmacist or clinic sister can help you.
Home pregnancy test kits claim to be 97 to 99 percent accurate if they are used correctly. That's why following the directions are so important. Also, check the expiration date on the package—an old kit won't give you accurate results.
If you get a negative result
If you take the test too soon, the pregnancy test may show that you are not pregnant when you really are. Most brands of HPT tell you to take the test again in a few days regardless of the results you got the first time. If you keep getting a negative result but still think you're pregnant, talk with a health care provider right away.
If you get a positive result
If you get a positive result on a home pregnancy test, make an appointment with a health care provider right away. The health care provider can confirm you are pregnant with a blood test and a pelvic exam and talk to you about your options.
Blood pregnancy test
If you would like to take a blood test instead of a home pregnancy test, make an appointment with a health care provider.