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  Shelby Leith   July 9, 2017   Pregnancy 2 Comments

5 things you should know about pregnancy tests

Velocity Care takes a look at some of the most common questions about pregnancy tests and gives you the answers you need.


Scientists developed the first at-home pregnancy test in the late 1960s. It offered women the convenience of checking for a suspected pregnancy at home, without a visit to the doctor’s office. Through scientific and technological advancements, pregnancy tests are more accurate now, although they essentially work the same as when they were first introduced.

  1. How does a pregnancy test work?

When you become pregnant, your body releases a substance called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This chemical can be detected in the blood as early as eight days after fertilization or in the urine approximately 10 days after fertilization. The pregnancy test measures the amount of hCG present and gives either a positive or negative result based on these levels. If you use an at-home test sooner than 10 days after fertilization, the results may be inaccurate as the proper levels of hCG won’t yet be present in the urine. This could result in false positive or false negative results.

  1. When is the best time to use a pregnancy test?

To receive the most accurate results from an at-home pregnancy test, doctors recommend you wait until after you’re due to begin menstruating. By this time, there should be enough hCG in your urine for an accurate, positive result if you are pregnant.

  1. How do I use a pregnancy test?

All pregnancy tests are slightly different depending on the brand and the manufacturer. You should carefully read the instructions and follow them exactly as directed for the most accurate results. Some tests will have you urinate directly onto the test, while others will have you urinate into a small plastic cup and use a dropper to dispense a small amount of urine onto a testing stick. Most tests require you wait 5 to 10 minutes until the results are ready. Carefully read the instructions to determine what each of the result symbols mean. Some tests use positive and negative signs, while others use a combination of different lines to show positive or negative results.

  1. Which test should I buy?

There is no right or wrong brand or type of pregnancy test that you should purchase. The most important thing is that you understand how to properly use the test that you buy. Also, be sure to check the expiration date and make certain that the packaging hasn’t been previously opened or tampered with.

  1. Should I go to the urgent care clinic?

An urgent care clinic can provide the most accurate pregnancy test. Your doctor will collect a urine or blood sample from you to perform the test. Your urgent care clinic can also offer you advice and support if needed and answer any other questions that you may have.

If you suspect that you’re pregnant, a visit to your doctor can give you the answers that you need. At Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center, we offer private and confidential pregnancy test results as well as support and guidance for all aspects of your family planning needs. With multiple convenient locations, Velocity Care is around every corner, ready to help when you need it most. Visit our website for a full list of our services and locations in the Arkansas and Louisiana areas.

Learn about Velocity Care's healthcare services

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.  If reading after hours, one option for treatment is to seek an urgent care or  walk-in clinic for medical advice. 

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