Home Pregnancy Tests: Here's the 411

The Stir Bloggers

home pregnancy testsWhen you think you might be pregnant, the desire to take the test already and find out is intense -- and a lot of potential baby mamas-to-be around here are talking about it. When to test, which test to use, how accurate the results are. Here's some basic info on test day.

When to test is a biggie. According to the Mayo Clinic, as tempting as it might be to test early, it's better to wait until after you've missed your period -- testing too early can sometimes yield inaccurate results (most likely a false-negative), as some women develop detectable amounts of pregnancy hormones later than others. (That said, some mamas do take their chances and test early.)

Are they accurate? According to the American Pregnancy Association, home pregnancy tests are about 97% accurate if performed correctly. And again, waiting to test will make the results more reliable.

Which test should you take? GoneHollywood wondered if the inexpensive tests at the dollar store worked as well as the more expensive varieties found in drug stores -- moms shared differing stories. Some found they were accurate; others said they didn't get the most reliable results and in the end they bought a spendier test to find out the news.

Parents.com has a slide show on popular pregnancy tests and how to use them -- if you're looking for proof beyond the test, consider these symptoms of early pregnancy:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Slight bleeding or cramping
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

If you've missed your period, if you've tested and gotten a positive (or two or three), and if you're experiencing any of the symptoms above, it's time to call your doc for a blood test.

What about you? How soon did you test and what test did you use? Were the results accurate the first time?

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