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Home Pregnancy Tests

These days it is very easy to test at home whether you are pregnant or not - you can use home pregnancy test kits, which are explained in this article.

Home pregnancy tests will detect a hormone called hCG in your urine if you are pregnant. You can either buy a kit and do it yourself, or visit a health professional to have a test done.

How does a home pregnancy test work?

Home pregnancy tests (HPTs) have absorbent sticks or cards that test your urine. There are two main types of test kit - one which is a stick that you hold in your urine flow whilst sitting on the toilet (this is called a midstream urine test), or one where you collect some urine in a small container and then dip the tester in.

The tester detects human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG - a hormone of pregnancy) in your urine if you are pregnant. When a woman becomes pregnant the placenta will start producing hCG within 6 - 10 days of conception. The level of this hormone increases rapidly, doubling every 1 to 2 days until it peaks after about 10 to 12 weeks.

Most kits need you to hold the stick in the urine for 5 - 10 seconds, and will give you the result within one to two minutes.

test_1.jpg The stick testers usually have two little windows which are empty / blank initially.The first window will show a line to indicate that you have used the tester correctly so that it has absorbed enough urine. The second window will show a line if there is hCG present and you are pregnant - this is called a positive result. If you are not pregnant, this window will be blank - this is called a negative result.

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