What’s the first step you do when you are planning a baby and you miss your periods. You take a pregnancy test, right? While your doc’s the best person to guide you through the process, people mostly go for a DIY test at home before booking their appointment. Enter pregnancy test kits! These kits are the easiest way to check if you’ve conceived or if it’s just a false alarm. Now if you’re wondering how to use pregnancy test strips, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a full-fledged guide you and help you with some of the most important things to know about these DIY test kits:
When Should You Take A Pregnancy Test?
These test kits are easily available at a chemist and can be used to test for pregnancy after having unprotected sex. But before we get to how to use the pregnancy test kit, let’s understand when should you use them in the first place.
Situation 1: If You’ve Missed Your Period
Missing your period can be quite scary if pregnancy is not on your mind. Sometimes, the irregularities could be a result of hormonal changes, stress, and medicines. However, taking a pregnancy test can help you seek clarity on what’s going on. The best time to check is a week after your period date is due as taking a test too early can lead to a false negative on the strip.
Situation 2: After Unprotected Sex
According to the guidelines by the United Kingdom National Health Service, you must wait at least 21 days after having unprotected sex before you take the test. This helps give more accurate results because by this time, the implantation has already happened. So your body produces enough human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone that can be easily detected in the urine to indicate a pregnancy.
Situation 3: Early Test
Folks, you can also take an early test if you’ve had unprotected sex and are experiencing a few symptoms of early pregnancy like breast soreness, fatigue, and cramps. But remember to use a sensitive pregnancy strip in this case as the regular ones might indicate a false negative.
How Do Home Pregnancy Test Kits Work?
Most OTC pregnancy strips test your urine for the HCG hormone, which is only present in the body if you’re pregnant. The hormone is released when a fertilised egg attaches outside the uterus or to your uterine lining. The pregnancy strip indicates its absence or presence through one or two lines respectively. Now, let’s understand how to use a pregnancy test strip correctly.
How To Use A Pregnancy Test Strip
A pregnancy test strip is usually a plastic device that has three parts: a urine well, an opening that displays the test results, and a plastic-shielded region. Here’s an easy-breezy two-step guide on how to use a pregnancy test strip:
Step 1: Urine Collection
Different test kits have different testing methods. But in most cases, you’ve got to collect your urine in a sterile, disposable cup before you go on to test the presence of HCG. Some test kits might need you to simply pee on the strip instead of collecting the urine. So, read the instructions on the kit carefully before taking the test.
Step 2: Stick Usage
Most kits also come with a disposable plastic dropper. It is meant to transfer a (one-two) few drops of the urine from the cup to the urine well of the strip. Once that’s done, you’ve got to wait for five to 10 minutes for the results, depending on the strip that you’re using.
How To Analyse The Results?
So what are you supposed to do after peeing on the stick or oozing out a few drops of urine from the dropper? Well, it’s time to analyse the results. Here are four possible outcomes of the test you need to know about:
Congratulations! If the strip indicates two lines or a plus sign, it means you’re preggo! You must visit a doc and confirm the same with a blood test.
A single red or pink line on the strip indicates you’re not pregnant.
A blank strip with no lines can mean that HCG hormone is not adequately present in the urine to indicate a clear result. It can also mean that the test wasn’t taken the right way. In this case, you must take a test again after a few hours or days.
Although pregnancy test kits are quite accurate, sometimes, they may indicate a false positive or negative result. It is always advisable to confirm it with a blood test suggested by your doc.
How To Get Accurate Results?
If you’re wondering how to use pregnancy test strips to get accurate results, these precautions are the answer
Always Wash Your Hands
Handling a pregnancy test strip with dirty hands can interfere with the accuracy of its results. It can contaminate the strip and lead to a blank strip or a false positive/ negative. In fact, you must steer clear of touching the urine well and the result display area completely.
Pee On The Marked Area
When peeing directly on the strip or transferring the urine through a dropper, make sure to do so only on the pit-like area marked for it. Urine splashes on the other areas can lead to a blank result and you may have to take the test again.
Choose The Right Time
Taking a pregnancy test too early can indicate a false negative due to lack of HCG hormone in the urine. So wait for 21 days after having unprotected sex to take the test.
POPxo Recommends The Best Pregnancy Test Kit: PeeBuddy’s Preg Rx
This product from Sirona’s PeeBuddy range is super easy to use. It comes with an HCG-integrated funnel to test pregnancy at home without the hassle of collecting urine in a cup. You can pee straight into the funnel and check the results on the strip attached above it. Simple, mess-free, and accurate, we say!
That’s all you need to know about how to use pregnancy test strips at home, folks! It’s easier than you can imagine and our fool-proof guide will help you do it like a pro.
Featured Image: Pexels
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