* This tool is for guidance purposes. Always use the leaflet provided with your product to work out when you can test.
What are the advantages of using a home pregnancy test?
One of the many perks of home pregnancy tests is convenience. No longer do you need to schedule a doctor’s appointment and wait hours or days for test results to confirm a pregnancy. Most tests allow you to either place the absorbent tip directly in your urine stream or dip the tip in a collected urine sample. Follow the test’s instructions on the insert to ensure you use the test correctly.
Can a digital pregnancy test be wrong?
All Clearblue® Pregnancy Tests are over 99% accurate from the day you expect your period.2 When using any home pregnancy test, there are a few reasons you may get a false positive or false negative result.
A false positive is rare. False positives can occur if you’ve recently had a birth, miscarriage or termination, if you’re taking fertility medications that contain hCG or if you have a rare medical condition. It’s also possible to get a positive result and then experience early pregnancy loss.
You might get a false negative if you don’t have a detectible amount of hCG in your system yet, or if the hCG in your urine is too diluted to detect (which can happen if you drink too much water before testing, for example). Or you may have miscalculated the due date of your next period. False negatives also can occur if you use an expired test or store it improperly.
If you think you’re pregnant and the test is negative, it’s a good idea to wait and test again. If you hadn’t hit your expected period date when you used the test, test again on the day you expect your period. If you’d already reached your expected period date when you used the test, test again three days later. If the results are still negative after testing again but you think you may be pregnant, talk to your doctor.
What should I do if my pregnancy test is positive?
If you get a positive pregnancy test, you are almost certainly pregnant, so it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor. They can help you discuss your plans and options and ensure you get the care you need.
Your doctor can give you the support you need for a healthy pregnancy, including any advice about any lifestyle changes you may need to make to get the proper prenatal care.
While you are waiting for an appointment, there are a couple of things you can do to support your pregnancy:
- Talk to your healthcare provider about starting to take prenatal vitamins, especially folic acid, if you are not doing so already.
- Start making healthy lifestyle choices, like quitting alcohol and smoking, reducing caffeine consumption, and following a healthy and nourishing diet.
Whether your pregnancy is planned or completely unexpected, your doctor can help support you with the right healthcare you need and can even offer advice or direct you to someone like a midwife or a councillor should you need one. You can also seek advice and care at your local Family Planning Clinic or Sexual Health Clinic.
Which test is right for me?
You may feel overwhelmed by the number and types of pregnancy tests on the market. See our guide to Clearblue® tests to find the right test for you:
- Easy, fast testing. If you’ve missed a period and just want to know whether or not you’re pregnant as fast as possible, then why not try the Clearblue® Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test? You’ll see a plus “+” sign for “pregnant” as fast as 1 minute when testing from your missed period or a minus “-” for “not pregnant” in as little as 3 minutes, making the result easy to read.
- Early testing. If you want to know whether you are pregnant but don’t want to wait until you miss your period, you can use our Early Detection Pregnancy Test, which you can use from 6 days before your missed period1
- Digital testing. If, like many women, you want the confidence of an unmistakably clear “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” result in words, then our Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown could be a good option for you.
How to read a pregnancy test?
After taking a pregnancy test, waiting for your result can be an exciting or nerve-racking time, and you want to be confident you are interpreting it correctly. Studies demonstrate that the type of test you choose can make a big difference on how easy they are to read. Tests like Clearblue® Early Digital Pregnancy Test gives you clear results in words. Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 women can misread some types of pregnancy test?5
Pregnancy tests at the doctor's office
The urine pregnancy tests your doctor uses contain the same technology as home pregnancy tests. Doctor’s pregnancy tests also detect hCG just like some home tests, some doctors' tests can be used before you miss your period.
As home pregnancy tests are so reliable, your doctor may not do a second test to confirm a positive test result, though routine practice varies from country to country. If they do a second urine test, often you will have the result in a few minutes. Alternatively, your doctor may do a blood test, either taking a blood sample (blood draw) from your arm, or just a few drops of blood from a finger prick. If a blood sample is taken, it may be sent away to a laboratory, and results will usually take a few days.
FAQs about pregnancy tests
When can I take a pregnancy test?
It depends on the pregnancy test – some even let you test up to 6 days before your missed period.
What is the best time of the day to take a pregnancy test?
If you take a pregnancy test after you have missed your period, then you can test at any time of day as your hCG levels will be high enough to be detected by most home pregnancy tests.
However, if you’re testing before you expect your period, when any hCG level would be much lower, you should test with the first urine of the day (when hCG levels are most concentrated) and avoid drinking a lot of liquid (including water) before testing.
Also, make sure to use an “early test” if you are testing before you miss your period.
Can you test too early for pregnancy?
Should the result be negative, but you still suspect you are pregnant, test again in a few days’ time, or when your period is due.
What are the signs that you should take a pregnancy test?
If you’ve had unprotected sex (especially around your fertile window) and you’ve missed your period, or you’ve noticed other early signs of pregnancy, you may want to take a test.
If you are worried you might be pregnant for any reason, it won’t hurt to take a test.
- Nepomnaschy PA, Weinberg CR, Wilcox AJ, Baird DD. Urinary hCG patterns during the week following implantation. Hum Reprod 2008 Feb;23(2):271–7.
- Clearblue® Early Digital: 78% of pregnant results can be detected 6 days before your missed period.
- Clearblue® Early Detection: 77% of pregnant results can be detected 6 days before your missed period.
- > 99% accurate at detecting typical pregnancy hormone levels. Note that hormone levels vary. See insert.
- In a study of 111 women in the UK using and reading different test type. Data on file.
- “What is HCG?” (n.d.), American Pregnancy Association, https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/hcg-levels/.
How to use a pregnancy test
When and how you can test depends on the test you use, but in this article you will find everything you need to know before starting a test.