Managing Your Expectations: How Accurate Are Home Pregnancy Tests?



It is normal to look at the results of your pregnancy test and wonder whether you can trust it. Maybe the results were not what you had expected or maybe you are just about to begin your celebrations. So, how accurate can these tests be? When it comes to the home pregnancy test, here’s what you need to know.


How the Tests Work

The home pregnancy test is one that is used to detect the degree of human chorionic gonadotropin in urine. This hormone, also known as hCG, is produced after a fertilized egg has been attached to the uterus wall. A test kit may contain a dipstick or a strip. The strip is usually held in a urine stream whereas the dipstick is dipped into a urine sample. If you are pregnant, color changes on one end of the dipstick or the strip. There are home kits that have devices which contain wells that collect the urine after it is dropped into it.  When color changes in the other wells, then you are pregnant. Pregnancy kits often vary depending on manufacturers and hence, the symbols used in indicating the result may also differ. The results indicated may be a plus or minus sign, a color, or even words such as ‘pregnant’ and ‘not pregnant.’



The human chorionic gonadotropin hormone often takes a week to show in urine and blood. Therefore, it is advisable to take your home pregnancy test after a week of missing your period. Home pregnancy tests are usually accurate, but the level of accuracy will depend on a few factors. For instance, these kinds of tests are usually more accurate when you do them in the morning when your urine is more concentrated as opposed to doing the test during the day. Apart from that, once you are through with loading the urine sample, you need to wait for a few minutes to view your results. If you get positive results, you are most likely pregnant. However, you may get false positive, but this does not mean the kits were not accurate or were faulty. For example, you can get false positive if you take the test wrongly, use expired kits, read results after the suggested reaction time, or had an hCG injection during an infertility treatment.


Negative Test

A negative test result may mean that you are not pregnant. However, there are instances when you could actually be pregnant but the results are negative. This may take place if you did not take the test as required or perhaps you took the test too soon. HCG is not detectable until implantation has taken place and this is usually six to twelve days after ovulation. You also need to remember that pregnancy kits usually vary in their sensitivity. Urine tests which are less sensitive may take a few more days after implantation to depict result or detect hCG.


Final Word

If you have undertaken various tests and obtained negative results, there is a high chance you are not pregnant. Nevertheless, if you haven’t seen your period after one week or so, make an effort of visiting your obstetrician for further advice. You can also visit to learn more about pregnancy.






Site Policy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.