At-home pregnancy tests offer almost instant results to determine if you are or are not pregnant and, according to BabyCentre.com, they are very accurate if you follow the directions closely. While you may be chomping at the bit to find out if you’re expecting or not, take your time and use the test correctly to make sure you get the most accurate results possible.
Wait until you’re at least a day late on your period, preferably one week late. While some pregnancy tests may deliver accurate results sooner, waiting until you actually miss your period will deliver the most accurate results. Some pregnancy tests also state that using your first urination of the day will give the most accurate results. Your morning urine contains a more concentrated level of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin, often rendered to as simply hCG. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions to find out whether the test requires you to use your first urination.
Wash your hands with soap and water prior to taking the test. Open the box and remove the pregnancy test. Most times, the pregnancy test will be in a sealed wrapper inside the box.
Remove the pregnancy test from the wrapper. Apply your urine to the stick end of the pregnancy test. Some pregnancy tests require you to urinate directly onto the stick for about five seconds, while others call for you to urinate in a small cup and place the stick in the cup. Some even come with a dropper that you’ll use to introduce the urine into a testing strip. Read the instructions on the pregnancy test carefully to determine which method is required for that specific test. If you’re required to urinate on the stick, hold the tip downward and allow the urine to hit it directly for the recommended amount of time.
Sit the test down on a counter or other flat surface. Wash your hands with soap and water.
Wait the recommended time according to the package instructions. Some tests will show up almost immediately while others require several minutes to display results.
Check the pregnancy test for results. Some tests will display a plus or minus sign, while others may use lines or other symbols to indicate pregnancy. Refer to the pamphlet that came with the pregnancy test for specific instructions on deciphering the results.