How to Read a Pregnancy Test: Checking for Results

You can take a pregnancy test at any time of the day, but the hCG concentration in urine is higher in the morning, so you’d better do a test after waking up. If you’re going to use the test after a missed period the time of the day is not so important, but in very early terms (before a missed period) you may get an incorrect result.

Don’t drink a lot or take diuretics before using a pregnancy test.

The test doesn’t require any specific manipulations from you: there is no need to take a shower or do any other procedures.

Alcohol intake shouldn’t influence the results of the test but take into consideration that many alcoholic drinks render diuretic effect which is undesirable because the concentration of the urine may change and the pregnancy test will be wasted.

Remember to read the instructions before using the test. Make sure you follow them.

How To Read A Pregnancy Test?

All the tests usually have two different result windows or zones: one of them is a control window. It usually shows a line almost immediately after you use the test. This line means that the test is working properly and in due time will give you correct results.

If after 3-5 minutes (no more than 10 minutes) you can see the second line next to the control line you are pregnant.

Even a faint second line on a pregnancy test is considered a positive result.

When you are able to see only the control line it means the results are negative and you are not pregnant.

If the pregnancy test doesn’t show you even the control line, then it’s faulty, or defective, or has been used incorrectly. In this case, the results are not valid.


Common Mistakes When Using A Pregnancy Test

  • Insufficient amount of the urine
  • Checking for results too soon or too late (in less than 1 minute or more than 10 minutes)
  • Wrong positioning of the test under the urine stream (when you have to urinate directly on the test and it absorbs not enough or too much urine)

How To Read A Digital Pregnancy Test?

Digital pregnancy tests are the easiest to read. After the required period of time check the digital display for results. It will show the words “Pregnant” or “Not pregnant”.

Digital tests also usually show your approximate pregnancy term: 1-2 weeks, 2-3 weeks, 3+ weeks.