If your home pregnancy test is negative–or if you’re not sure what the result is–wait a few days or even a week and take the test again. We can do a blood test in the office, but it’s only slightly more sensitive than the urine test and it takes several days for the lab to return the results. By the time the results come back, you could have taken a second test at home and received more valuable information that way.
If you haven’t missed your period yet, it may be too soon for any test to detect a pregnancy. Pregnancy tests work by detecting the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is released once a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. This usually occurs about a week after fertilization and prevents menstruation. The level of hCG in your urine increases steadily during early pregnancy, so most at-home pregnancy tests are accurate at detecting hCG about a week after your first missed period.
One Medical Group offers prenatal care in San Francisco. Call 415.291.0480 for more information.
Editor’s Note: If your home pregnancy test is positive and you’re wondering about next steps to take, take a look here.