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We have this big issue in our culture where many things are not explained to you and everyone just assumes you’ll figure it out yourself. This applies to sex, hygiene, and even something as simple as pregnancy tests. You’ve probably seen women peeing on a stick in movies, but there’s more information that you need to know when taking a pregnancy test.
When can I take a pregnancy test?
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to pregnancy tests is that you should take it as soon as your period is late. However, if you take a pregnancy test too soon, it will most likely give you a false negative.
You should take a pregnancy test if your period is more than 9 days late. But there are a few things to consider such as which phase of your menstrual cycle you’re in, when you last had unprotected sex and how regular your cycle is.
For regular cycles
It is recommended to wait at least two weeks after your ovulation day before you take a pregnancy test. While you could take one sooner, the chances of getting a false negative are higher.
For irregular periods
If your period is irregular, then it is best to wait at least two weeks after the last time you had unprotected sex or even wait a few days longer.
How to use a pregnancy test
- Buy a pregnancy test from a trusted pharmacy
- Check the expiry date and make sure it hasn’t passed
- Follow the instruction on the test as it can vary from brand to brand and can affect the accuracy of your results
- However, most tests ask you to collect a sample of urine on the absorbent part of your stick. You should:
- Urinate in a clean plastic container
- Remove the cap of the pregnancy test
- Place the sample application window in the liquid for 10 seconds
- Recap the pregnancy test and leave it on a clean surface horizontally for 5 minutes
Understanding pregnancy results:
While result readings can differ from brand to brand, in most cases, your pregnancy test will look like an at-home COVID antigen test and the readings will be quite similar. If you have one line at the C line, then your results are negative and you are not pregnant.
If, however, there are distinct lines on both the T and the C lines, then you’ve received a positive result that indicates you’re pregnant.
It is always best to get a lab result to ensure the accuracy of your readings, especially if your period is still late after a negative at-home pregnancy test.
- 4 Reasons Your Pregnancy Test Is Negative, Yet You Are Pregnant
- Symptoms and Earliest Signs of Being Pregnant with Twins
- Pregnancy Week By Week: Week 1 to 9
Sources used in this article:
- Pregnancy test instructions – med.unc.edu
- Pregnancy test – Mediniline Plus
- Doing a pregnancy test – NHS