Pregnancy tests - When to take one, best accuracy, and what to do next
If you think you might be pregnant, you may be trying to figure out when you can take a pregnancy test, so that you get an accurate result.
According to the HSE, you are more likely to get the correct result if you wait until the day of your missed period - or any time after that.
However, there are very sensitive pregnancy tests on the market that you can do as early as 8 to 10 days after conception.
Doctors generally recommend that if you think you might be pregnant, you should visit your GP as soon as possible.
They can confirm your pregnancy and talk to you about your feelings.
Home pregnancy tests
There are so many brands and types of home pregnancy tests that you can buy over the counter in your pharmacy or Boots as well as in many other shops and supermarkets.
It’s important that you read the instructions on the pregnancy testing kit before using it so you know what the different colours or symbols mean.
Accuracy of pregnancy tests
A positive pregnancy test is almost always correct, the HSE advises.
However, some negative tests may not be correct. In other words they give you a 'false negative' which means your test is showing negative, but you are pregnant.
This may happen because:
- you did the test too early
- you did not wait long enough before checking the result (always follow the instructions - results often take 3 minutes to appear)
- your urine is very diluted because you drank a lot of water
- there is a fault with the test
If the result of the test is negative, and you still think you might be pregnant, repeat the test a few days later.
What to do next
If the result of your pregnancy ends up being positive, the HSE says you should firstly visit your GP to confirm the pregnancy
Once it is confirmed, you can sign up for antenatal care.
“If you are not sure you want to be pregnant, it may help to discuss your options with your GP,” the HSE advises.
Either way, the best next step is speaking with your GP.
For more information on the topic of pregnancy, click here.
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