How to Read a Pregnancy Test: 3 Best Tips

Let’s discuss positive and negative home pregnancy tests.

Step 1 – Read the directions

Most HPTs today guarantee a 99.9% accuracy by the 1st day of your missed period when used properly. Now since each brand can vary from test-to-test, make sure that you read and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Step 2- Place test in your urine stream

Typically with the midstream test, you want to open up the package, take the cap off of the home pregnancy test, now this is the absorbent tip and this is the part of the test that you want to pee on. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here So you want to place it downwards into the path of your urine. You can either take your thumb and cover up the result window to make sure that you don’t get any urine on it altering your result or either you could take the test and turn it away from you facing the ground and then pee on it for roughly 10 seconds.

Step 3- Replace cap and wait 5 minutes

When you’re done, take the cap, place it back on the home pregnancy test, and then you want to lay it horizontally on a dry flat surface. Wait about 5 minutes before you read the result. I know this may feel like an eternity when you’re anxiously awaiting the news!

Wondering when to test? Do you have to wait for your missed period? Use this handy pregnancy calculator to determine what day is the best day to test. Check out step-by-step instructions on how the pregnancy calculator works.

What about false negatives & false positives?

Now some women choose to keep their sanity by not testing too early. You can see possible false negatives or you could even see a faint second line. It can leave you in agony trying to analyze the test results using sunlight, flashlights, staring at it wondering is it actually there? Am I seeing things? And especially women that are trying to conceive, you want to see it so bad that you start questioning yourself, “Am I making myself see a second line that doesn’t actually exist?”

Two lines, +, or ‘pregnant’

However not all tests nowadays just require two lines. Some have a positive sign (+) and some have them are clear as day with saying PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT. These tend to be a little pricier, of course, but they do take the guessing out of it. Now I actually have some tests laying around that I want to give you an example with. This is a Clearblue Easy and this test reads ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not pregnant.’

The next test I have is a midstream test and it works basically the same way as this one. Except for this is a smaller test strip, and this is a midstream applicator test. The only difference is the size, and that one has a longer applicator for ease of use than the smaller ones. However they work identically. One line for negative, two lines for positive.

And the last test I have on hand is an Equate test. Now the control line on this one will have a line for negative or positive but the second one has a positive (+) sign for positive pregnancy test and just one line for a negative pregnancy test. It looks like a positive and then negative.

What if my test is negative?

Now if you take a pregnancy test and you get a negative yet you still suspect pregnancy, wait roughly 2-3 days before testing again. This will allow your HCG levels enough time to double giving you possibly a different result with your home pregnancy test. A positive pregnancy test will not be able to tell you if you’re experiencing a healthy pregnancy or miscarriage. Even if your body is already experiencing a miscarriage, your test can still show positive until your HCG levels have dropped enough for the pregnancy test to result in a negative. This can take days, sometimes even weeks for some.

So unless you’re taking fertility drugs that contain HCG, if you get a positive home pregnancy test, Congratulations! You’re pregnant.

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How to Read a Pregnancy Test: 3 Best Tips, 4.1 out of 5 based on 34 ratings
  • Anonymous

    So I haven’t had my period for the month of January 2016 but taken 3 tests one being negative the other two positive , just wanna get some input being my first if I am confirmed pregnant at the doctors tommorrow.

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  • nivedita

    hi, iam nivedita, i missed my period or about a week,i have mild cramping,am i pregnant?

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  • kemp

    It’s four weeks and still faint line. Should I take another course of mfgt tablets

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  • Crystal

    I took two pregnancy tests at home. My breasts are sore I’m real tired and I feel like I am going to throw up all the time.. I don’t know if I missed my period because my periods are irregular. Can someone help me??

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  • nisha

    Delaying my periods for 10 days I had tested for 4 time and it gave negative results every time bt still no periods….what does it means

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  • Alexa

    My boyfriend and i played a little, he penetrated me twice after i gave him oral. We were also using lube. I did a pregnancy test because my period is one week late and it came out negative but the line wasn’t really bright, it was a little blurry. I think i have a little infection or something like that since i pee often and my under belly hurts a little. Are there still chances for me to be pregnant?

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  • samantha

    hi i am about 5 days late for my period (4/20/16 was my last cycle, and i normally have about a 30 day cycle) . I took a pregnancy test about a week ago and had gotten a faint positive…. well 3 of them to be honest, but a few days later i took 2 more, (same brand) and they were negative. i decided to take another one last night and this morning, and im now getting the faint positives again. I mc in Feb of 2016, and my hcg was back to 0 in the middle of march. could this have anything to do with my period being late?

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  • RichelleA

    I took a test and one line was bright and define and about 5 or so minutes later a faint pink line that seemed to be still faint but a bit brighter. My boob’s have been sore and heavier for a fee days now and seem to be growing fuller as the days go on. It is still 3 days before I am supposed to get my period but I’ve taken test before and haven’t ever gotten a false positive. For me it’s either negative or it’s positive .

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  • Taylor Haltner

    I just took a pregnancy test. A plus sign being positive.
    At first glance it looks like I have only the one minus line.
    But if you look closer, below the minus line is a very very faint small blue line.
    However. The blue line is not perpendicular to the minus sign. And therefore wouldn’t make a plus sign anyways, even if it were darker….

    Does anyone know what that means? Is the test invalid?

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  • Rae

    1 am 48. After my youngest was born 8 years ago my periods wede extremely light and maybe a day or 2. Then they just stopped. Its been 2-3 years no periods
    But no menopause signs either. Well my husband and i had sex about 3 weeks ago (before he was hospitalized) well a feww days ago my breast was so tender then tne feeling of wanting to nurse very tired. I started getting comments i looked so pretty and my boobs looked bigger???? I took a test very faint positive then took another same thing. Could i be??? I didnt think i could

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