How do you do a home pregnancy test?

There are many different types of home pregnancy tests, or HPTs. Most drugstores sell HPTs over-the-counter. They cost between $8 and $20 depending on the brand and how many tests come in the box.

Most popular HPTs work in a similar way. The majority tell the user to hold a stick in the urine stream. Others involve collecting urine in a cup and then dipping the stick into it. At least one brand tells the woman to collect urine in a cup and then put a few drops into a special container with a dropper. Testing the urine first thing in the morning may help boost accuracy.

Then the woman needs to wait a few minutes. Different brands instruct the woman to wait different amounts of time. Once the time has passed, the user should inspect the “result window.” If a line or plus symbol appears, you are pregnant. It does not matter how faint the line is. A line, whether bold or faint, means the result is positive.

Most tests also have a “control indicator” in the result window. This line or symbol shows whether the test is working or not. If the control indicator does not appear, the test is not working properly. You should not rely on any results from a HPT that may be faulty.

Most brands tell users to repeat the test in a few days, no matter what the results. One negative result (especially soon after a missed period) does not always mean you’re not
pregnant. All HPTs come with written instructions. Most tests also have toll-free phone numbers to call in case of questions about use or results.