Home Pregnancy Test Primer

Should you wait to test if your cycle is longer than 28 days?
If you have a cycle longer than 28 days, it would be best to add a day for each day you typically go longer than 28 days. In other words, if you typically have a 40-day cycle, you should wait until you are 45 days from the first day of your last period before testing.

Should you test using first morning urine?
To get the best results and to save the cost of repeat tests (average cost is $10 for a single test), it can be more accurate if you use the pregnancy test with a first morning specimen when your period is at least five days overdue. Your morning urine is more concentrated because you are not drinking during the nighttime hours.

Does it matter how you “collect” the urine specimen?
The specimen should be collected according to package instructions. In other words, if the test is designed to “collect” urine, passing the device under the urine stream is not indicated. If the test is designed to pass through the urine stream, then it is more accurate not soak the device in the urine.

What if your test results seem inconclusive?
Instructions are usually very clear, but occasionally odd things happen that can make you question the result. Sometimes the “line” is not very dark or the “yes” is not as distinct as you would like. Most test kits have toll free numbers staffed by nurses to answer any questions.

Should you retest?
Any time a pregnancy test is “equivocal” (you can’t tell if it is negative or positive) it should be repeated. Manufacturers encourage repeat testing if you have a negative pregnancy test but your period is still delayed. Repeat tests are best done with scrupulous attention to instructions and best accomplished using a first morning urine specimen. If your test is negative but you still don’t have your period, wait a week and repeat the test.

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