When it comes to taking a pregnancy test at home, there are a few things you should remember and keep in mind before, during, and after taking one. The tips listed below are simple bits of advice to keep in mind while taking a pregnancy test.
Read the instructions first – It’s important to remember that you’re not an expert at this, even if you’ve done it before. Each test bought over the counter has specific directions that need to be followed correctly to receive real results. Knowing what you’re doing, and what you’ll be doing from beginning to end is crucial to avoid false results, so read the instructions first.
Don’t test too early – Many women think they know their cycles, when in fact for most women their cycles change from month to month. It’s important that you don’t waste money, time, or emotions on taking a pregnancy test too early.
Know your cycle – If you are trying to conceive it’s important you know your cycle. There are many other factors that determine whether or not you are fertile, such as your ovulation date. Using fertility charting methods, you can accurately determine when you are fertile. If you’re not trying to get pregnant, it’s still just as important to know your cycle, so that you can take extra precautions during your most fertile days.
Read your results correctly – All pregnancy tests that are sold over the counter give you a time frame in which you should read your results. Reading the results too early or too late can yield false results.
Follow all instructions properly – Reading the instructions before taking the test is one thing. Following the instructions step-by-step is crucial to receive real results. This includes dipping the stick in urine for an approximate time, urinating in the appropriate place on a test stick or strip, and reading the results in the time frame given.
Have a clock or timer with you – Before taking a test, it’s a good idea to bring a clock, wristwatch, timer, or stopwatch with you into the bathroom. You usually want to wait until you’ve urinated in the proper location before starting the clock, and having this item with you and handy can prevent delays. With most at-home pregnancy tests, it’s crucial for you to read the results in the given time frame, so it’s even more important that you have a way to keep this time accurately.
Use morning urine– It’s a proven fact that your urine has the highest concentration of hCG right after you wake up. This is why most doctors and test kits encourage you test in the morning time versus afternoon or evening times.
Know the factors that can interfere with results– If you are taking medications, receiving infertility treatments, or waiting until later hours to take your test, this could be interfering with your test results. Taking certain medications or receiving certain medical treatments can also dilute your urine, leading to false pregnancy test results.
Be confident when testing– It’s important that you are completely confident when taking a pregnancy test at home. Reading instructions and even practicing a couple of times before taking the actual test is recommended if you have the jitters. This is an emotional time, so uneasy feelings are expected. Take the test in your comfort zone at a time when you feel confident to help with accurate results.
Call the number on the box – There is an 800 number on the box of most pregnancy tests. If you’re unsure about something such as directions or instructions, call the number. The people on the line are there to help you understand and get through it.
If you’re not sure, call your healthcare provider– If you’ve taken the test multiple times without seeing real results, or if you are too nervous or unsure about the process, make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can administer the test easily since they are trained to do so. There are even clinics and services out there that provide free pregnancy tests if you can’t afford it.