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10 Home Pregnancy Tests (and How to Use Them)

Feeling some early pregnancy symptoms? It's time to take a home pregnancy test! Here's everything you need to know about how they work, the earliest you can try them, and how to make sure you're doing it right.
excited woman holding pregnancy results When to Test

It's been a couple of weeks since you did the deed, and the suspense is killing you. Could you be pregnant? We know the box says you can take a home pregnancy test three to four days before your missed period -- but if you test too early, it may not be accurate, says Laurence Cole, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chief of women's health research at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. "You're more likely to get a false negative, where the test says you're not pregnant but you really are," he says.


Whenever you decide to test, here's how to get the best results: Test first thing in the morning, pop the stick in midstream, lay it flat, and give it a few minutes to work. If it's positive -- congrats, mama! If it's negative, try again in a few days if your period's still MIA. If you get a faint, is-that-what-I-think-it-is positive, chances are you are indeed pregnant, since false positives (where the test says you're pregnant, but you're really not) are very rare. Wait a day or two and test again.


Now, which test should you buy? We did the legwork for you. After poring through the instruction books and trying them out, here's how to use the most popular home pregnancy tests on the market.