How to Successfully Take a Pregnancy Test

pregnancy-test

If you have been trying for a baby, missed a period, or had unprotected sex, you might need to take a pregnancy test to learn if you’re expecting a baby. 

A pregnancy test is the most reliable option from when you miss your first period. However, there are some steps you must take to ensure an accurate reading. Read the following advice on how to successfully take a pregnancy test. 

When Should I Take a Pregnancy Test? 

You can take a pregnancy test from your first missed period for an accurate reading. If you can’t remember when your period is due, you should take a pregnancy test 21 days or more after you last had unprotected sex. However, you can purchase sensitive pregnancy tests that provide an accurate positive result before your first missed period. 

When is the Best Time to Take a Pregnancy Test? 

Timing is important when taking a pregnancy test. It is best to take a pregnancy test first thing in the morning, as your urine will contain more human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). As urine is more concentrated at the start of the day, it is wise to take a test as soon as you wake up. 

If you haven’t had a missed period yet, your hCG level might not be high enough to detect pregnancy, especially in diluted urine. If you have missed a period, you can take a test at any point in the day to potentially receive a positive test result. 

Can You Drink Too Much Before Taking a Pregnancy Test? 

Yes. It is important not to consume too much liquid before taking a pregnancy test. If you do so, you might dilute the hCG levels in your urine, which may cause a negative test result when you’re pregnant. However, this is unlikely to happen after you have missed your first period, as you will have high levels of hCG in your urine. 

Can I Use an Expired Pregnancy Test? 

No. It is essential to review the expiry date on a pregnancy test box, even if you have recently purchased it. An expired test could provide an inaccurate result. 

How Do I Take a Pregnancy Test? 

Most tests will come with strict instructions to follow for an accurate reading. You can either urinate directly onto the test or collect a sample in a clean cup before placing the test in the urine. 

How Long Should I Wait After Taking a Pregnancy Test? 

Different pregnancy tests will feature different wait result times. For this reason, you must follow the instructions to the letter to ensure you take a pregnancy test correctly and don’t miss a result. 

Most tests often take between one to five minutes, and you must  lay the test on a flat, even surface immediately after taking it. The instruction leaflet inside a pregnancy test will help you interpret the results. 

Are they Always Accurate? 

If you follow the instructions correctly, pregnancy tests are often accurate. However, a negative test result can be less reliable than a positive. 

A positive test result requires more hCG levels in urine for a diagnosis, and it is likely correct. However, you may receive a negative result if you take a test too early or fail to take it correctly. Also, your medication might affect a pregnancy test result. 

If you still suspect you’re pregnant after a negative result, wait a few more days before taking another test. If your period hasn’t arrived and you have received one or more negative results, book an appointment with a GP. 

Where Can I Receive a Free Pregnancy Test in the UK? 

Pregnancy tests are available over the counter in many supermarkets and pharmacies; however, various venues and services provide free pregnancy tests in the UK. 

For example, under 25s can receive a free test from a Brook Center, and you can request one from the National Sexual Health helpline on 0300 123 7123. Also, a GP or sexual health clinic might be happy to provide a free pregnancy test. 

Can I Receive Confidential Advice? 

Yes, various options are available to provide free, confidential information following a positive pregnancy result. If you’re unsure whether to move forward with a pregnancy and are 13 years of age or older, you can receive support from: 

Of course, you can book an appointment with either a GP or nurse at your local GP surgery for confidential information, pregnancy advice, and more. 

The staff at all the above services will not inform your parents of your pregnancy if you’re 13 years or older. However, they will likely encourage you to discuss the pregnancy with your parents. Brook, a sexual health charity, can provide under 25-year-olds with advice and support, and its website provides information about various pregnancy options. 

What to Do If You’re Happy with a Positive Pregnancy Test

If a pregnancy test result is positive and you’re happy to continue with it, organise an appointment with a midwife or GP to commence antenatal care. Click here to find out what to expect at your first midwife appointment. 

What to Do If You Receive a Negative Result

If you have been trying for a baby, a negative pregnancy test can feel heartbreaking. However, you must not worry, as parenthood could one day be a part of your future. 

It is possible you took a pregnancy test too early, especially if it was before your first missed period. You may need to take a test a few days later for a more accurate result. 

If you aren’t pregnant, continue to try for a baby. In addition to having intercourse every other day, you should time sex near your ovulation cycle. Also, making many lifestyle changes can increase your chances of conception, such as enjoying a good night’s sleep, eating well, maintaining an active lifestyle, and taking prenatal vitamins.  

READ NEXT >>> Pregnant or Period? Spot the Signs You’re Expecting 

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