When you think you might be pregnant, it’s usually difficult to think about anything else. So when you want to be sure, you will likely look into getting some form of pregnancy test. The most common forms of pregnancy tests are urine and blood based tests. While many types of urine tests can be performed at home, only a doctor can perform a blood test. Learn more about the differences between these two tests and about which type of test can more accurately determine whether or not you are pregnant.
Home Pregnancy Test
Most women will start with an at home urine pregnancy test. These tests are very easy to take and only require seconds to minutes to produce a result. Almost every at home pregnancy test works the same. Take off the cap covering a cloth strip hanging off the end of the plastic stick. Pee on the stick for a few seconds (but be sure not to over saturate the test with urine). A symbol showing that the test is working should then appear almost immediately. You then need to wait for a second symbol to determine whether or not you are pregnant.
However, at home urine pregnancy tests usually only will show positive results after a woman has missed her first period. It is also recommended to use the first urine of the day as this urine is the most concentrated. You also have a higher risk of inaccurate results with a home pregnancy test than you do with a blood pregnancy test given at the doctor's office.
If you are unsure of your at home pregnancy results or if you want to confirm a result received at home, ask your doctor to perform a blood pregnancy test. This test is more accurate and can determine pregnancy sooner than an at home test can. Blood is taken from your arm just like when any other blood sample is taken. The blood will then be examined for the pregnancy hormones that become present when a woman becomes pregnant. If these hormones are there, then you are pregnant.
If you are just considering becoming pregnant, however, than you may want to begin monitoring your ovulation to determine when you are most likely to conceive. A urine-based ovulation test is one way you can keep track of your menstrual cycle and improve your chances of getting pregnant. Just like with a home pregnancy test, you just pee on the stick and wait to see if the symbols appear showing that you are ovulating. This then will help you determine the best days to try for a baby (or to avoid having sex if you don't want to become pregnant). You can also use these ovulation tests inconjunction with basel body temperature tests and cervical mucus tests.