Facebook Pixel

Home Pregnancy Tests

Rate This
Pregnancy related image Photo: Getty Images

Home pregnancy tests are urine tests that check if there is human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG) present in the urine. If there is, it usually means you are pregnant.

Pregnancy tests come in varying varieties.

HCG Strips

The most basic type of pregnancy test is a simple strip of paper that you dip into a sample of urine. The strip of paper then changes color if you are pregnant. Some HCG strips have a one line result if you aren’t pregnant and a two line result if you are. These types of tests are the cheapest available and you can buy them in bulk packs from online pharmacies for as little as a few cents each. If you are on a budget this is an ideal option.

Mid-stream Tests

These are test strips encased in a plastic cover and have two result windows. You put the test stick into the urine stream while you are emptying your bladder and after a minute or two a line appears in one window to show the test is working. If you are pregnant, a second line will appear in the second window.

Cassette Tests

Cassette pregnancy tests are HCG strips encased in a cassette shaped plastic cover with two result windows and a sample window. The test comes with a pipette to drop a tiny sample of urine into the sample window. If you are pregnant, two lines will appear, one to show the test is working and another to confirm pregnancy.
Some tests show a cross for pregnancy instead of two lines. The lines may be pink or blue depending on the brand.

Digital Pregnancy Tests

These are the most expensive pregnancy tests but also the easiest to understand. Instead of having lines or crosses to diagnose pregnancy, the words and ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not Pregnant’ will appear in the result window. If you are pregnant, some digital tests can also inform you how long ago you conceived by showing 1-2 for one to two weeks ago, 2-3 for two to three weeks ago and 3+ for more than three weeks ago.

Early Pregnancy Tests

These urine tests can detect levels of HCG lower than 10miu, associated with very early pregnancy and so can sometimes identify a pregnancy before other tests can. Some tests can diagnose pregnancy six days before the woman’s period is due so it is not always necessary to wait until your period is late if you are worried about the possibility of pregnancy or excited about having a baby. The downside of these tests is they can sometimes be inaccurate. If you test too soon it may give you a false negative (a result of not pregnant when you are), so you may have to repeat the test at a later date.

Pregnancy tests are available from supermarkets, chemists, family planning clinics, online pharmacies or your doctor.

Clearblue Digital with Conception Indicator, Clearblue. Web. 25 August 2011. http://www.clearblue.com/uk/new-clearblue-digital-pregnancy-test-with-conception-indicator.php

Home Pregnancy Tests, Accurate Pregnancy Tests. Web. 25 August 2011. http://accuratepregnancytests.com/home_pregnancy_tests.html

Access Diagnostics, Advanced Ultra Home Pregnancy Tests. Web. 25 August 2011. http://www.accessdiagnostics.co.uk/acatalog/Ultra_Home_Pregnancy_Test.html

Joanna is a freelance health writer for The Mother magazine and Suite 101 with a column on infertility, http://infertility.suite101.com/. She is author of the book, 'Breast Milk: A Natural Immunisation,' and co-author of an educational resource on disabled parenting. She is a mother of five who practised drug-free home birth, delayed cord clamping, full term breast feeding, co-sleeping, home schooling and flexi schooling and is an advocate of raising children on organic food.

Reviewed on August 25, 2011
by Maryann Gromisch
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



Get Email Updates

Pregnancy Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!