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How To Use A Pregnancy Test Strip

Do you think you are pregnant? Are you still uncertain? Do you want to find out in minutes?

A pregnancy test strip is for you!

What Is A Pregnancy Test Strip?

A pregnancy test strip is a quick test to check if you are pregnant.

It can be used manually in the comfort of your home to get results in minutes. It works by detecting a hormone that is present in the urine during pregnancy.

Source: Shutterstock

How Accurate Is The Pregnancy Test Strip?

A lot of pregnancy test kits claim to be 99% accurate.

However, this is greatly affected by how well you use them. You need to follow the instructions accurately to get accurate results. Misusing or misunderstanding the test kit would give you wrong results.

Also, make sure the kit you are using is not expired.

When Can I Use Pregnancy Test Strip?

The best time to use a pregnancy test strip depends on the kit in question. Some kits are more sensitive than others and can be used earlier, usually fourteen days after you had sex. For less sensitive kits, waiting till you miss your period would give you a more accurate result.

It is best to take the test very early in the morning; Let it be the first thing you do.

This is because once you start consuming a lot of liquids during the day, your urine could become too dilute, giving a negative result even if you are pregnant.

Guide to Using a Pregnancy Test Strip

Here are easy steps you could follow for more accurate results;

Step 1:

Get a clean and dry plastic or glass container to collect your urine.


Some brands might require you pee directly on the stick. In that case, you would not need this.

Step 2:

Remove the test strip from its pack and dip it inside the urine collected in the container. Make sure the urine does not pass the maximum line of the strip. This could affect your results.

Different Pregnancy test strips

Read the instructions carefully. Some test strips may ask you to put a drop of urine on an indicated area on the stick instead.

Step 3:

Check the instructions for how long you should leave the stick for, regardless of if you are peeing directly on the stick or placing it in a cup of urine. The length of time is usually just a few seconds. Place it on a clean, dry and non-absorbent surface after removal.

Step 4:

Wait for the stated length of time, usually about five to ten minutes.

Step 5:

Check your test strip for results. The symbols used to indicate results differ from test strip to test strip. Here are the most common ones;

  • A plus (+) or minus (-) sign. A plus sign indicates you are pregnant while a minus sign means you are not pregnant.
  • Colour Bands;

-One colour band means a negative result. You are not pregnant.

-Two colour bands means a positive result. You are pregnant.

-No colour band means an invalid result. Your test failed. You need to repeat or get a new test kit.

Ensure to read your kit instructions carefully.
Source: Shutterstock
  • A digital display with direct words of “pregnant” or “not pregnant”.

Can A Test Be Wrong?

It is possible to get a negative result even though you are pregnant. This might happen if;

  • the test is taken too early
  • you check the test results too soon
  • diluted urine is used.
  • you have a cryptic pregnancy

It is also possible to get a positive result even though you are not pregnant, although this is rare. This might happen if;

-You just had an abortion

-A miscarriage occurred recently

-A woman is on fertility drugs that contain HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)

-There’s a problem with your ovaries


A pregnancy test strip is a very convenient way to check if you are pregnant, especially if you want to keep it private.

In addition, we recommend that you take repeated tests within a few days to be sure of your result. However, a blood test is still the most accurate way of confirming pregnancy.

Regardless of your result, remember to visit your healthcare provider for more guidance.

  • Geneva Reed 2020, How To Use Pregnancy Test strip, Instructables Living, Viewed on July 5, 2020, <https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Use-Pregnancy-Test-Strips/>.
  • Lori Smith 2020, Pregnancy Test: All You Need To Know, Medical News Today, Viewed July 5, 2020, <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295001>.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff 2020,Getting Pregnant, Mayo Clinic, Viewed on July 5, 2020, <https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/home-pregnancy-tests/art-20047940>.



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