There are two main kinds of pregnancy tests available: urine tests, which can be conducted at home or in a healthcare setting and blood tests, which are typically performed at your doctor’s office. Both are designed to detect the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG is produced right after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus, which typically happens about 6 days after fertilization. Levels of hCG continue to increase rapidly during pregnancy.
Because of factors such as convenience, affordability, and privacy, many women choose to purchase home pregnancy tests, which can be bought at most major pharmacies, food and mass retailers.
How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
On average, home pregnancy tests are about 97% accurate.1 e.p.t® is over 99% accurate when used on the day of your expected period. The sensitivity of the test you buy can influence the accuracy of your result, so can other factors, such as:
- How soon you test. Waiting at least a week after a missed period will give you the most accurate result.
- The time of day that you test. Results may be more accurate if you do your test first thing in the morning when urine is more concentrated.
- How closely you follow instructions.
- How soon after pregnancy you take the test. Women who have recently given birth or who have suffered a miscarriage may still have hCG in their system, which could be detected with a home pregnancy test.
- Medications you may be taking. Certain drugs such as tranquilizers or anti-convulsants may cause false-positive results (getting a positive result when you are not really pregnant). Diuretics or antihistamines in your system may lead to false-negative results (getting a negative result when you really are pregnant).
Testing for pregnancy is often a very emotional moment for a woman—a moment that should not be left to chance. When choosing a home pregnancy test, be sure to choose a brand such as e.p.t® that is proven to deliver accurate results.
WebMD Web Site. Available at:
Accessed July 27, 2011.
- 35 YEARS
- Getting Pregnant
- How to Read Your Test
- Healthy Pregnancy
- e.p.t® Products
- Digital Tools