No matter the result you're anticipating, there's something about taking a pregnancy test that makes you feel like no matter how many times you read the instructions, you're doing something wrong. I mean, the concept is basic: pee on a stick and it will tell you whether or not a tiny person will soon reside in your uterus. But sometimes carrying it out feels like you're getting graded, even though it's not that kind of test. Though the process is simple enough, there are a few common pregnancy test mistakes you're probably making that will cause you to stress out more than you already are and possibly skew your results.
I remember when I saw the first positive on my pregnancy test. Though I read (and re-read) the instructions, I was convinced I did it wrong. Of course, the next four pregnancy tests yielded the same result: pregnant. But because of my incessant disbelief of the result and the conviction that I was somehow messing the process up, I caused myself unnecessary stress that could have been avoided had I had confidence in my abilities to pee on a stick.
Although most of these mistakes can simply be summed up with the phrase "follow the instructions on the box," sometimes that is easier said than done. Whether it's with high levels of anxiety or anticipation that you take the at home pregnancy test, it's important to make sure you're doing it correctly, because whether or not you're pregnant isn't really something to leave up to chance.
1. You're Taking The Test Too Early
Though it largely depends on the type of test you're taking, Baby Center noted that some of the more sensitive tests can detect hCG as early as four days before your period or seven days after the day of conception. Although it's tempting to take a test the next day or as soon as your period is late, making sure to follow the directions on your test and waiting till it can detect an adequate amount of hormones will ensure your result is accurate.
2. You're Not Waiting Long Enough To Read The Results
According to Parents, most pregnancy tests require you wait two to five minutes before reading the results. However, as always, reading the instructions on the package will help insure you don't accidentally read the wrong results while the true answer is still "cooking. "
3. You're Waiting Too Long To Read The Results
According to Baby Med, waiting too long to read the results (longer than the recommended time on the package) can cause your test to change from the correct answer, giving you a false positive or false negative.
4. You Have Overly Diluted Urine
Mayo Clinic recommends taking the test first thing in the morning, when your urine is the most concentrated. Having overly diluted urine will make the hormone levels harder for the test to read, possibly skewing your results.
5. You're Not Following Up On A Negative With Another Test
Although this one isn't necessarily required, it's recommended by the Mayo Clinic that if you receive a negative on a test and your period is still late, to follow up with a second test. Sometimes the gap between tests is enough time to hCG to become strong enough for the test to read.