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.

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Home Pregnancy Test How-Tos

Home Pregnancy Test How-Tos

The suspense is killing you: Could you be pregnant?! If you're thinking about buying a home pregnancy test, we did the legwork for you. Keep clicking to find out how to use the most popular home pregnancy tests on the market.


When should you test? You can take most home pregnancy tests three to four days before your missed period -- but if you test too early, you're more likely to get a false negative, where the test says you're not pregnant but you really are, says Laurence Cole, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chief of women's health research at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.


Whichever test you buy, 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 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're indeed pregnant. Wait a day or two and test again. And if it's positive -- congrats, mama!

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More Pregnancy Test Tips

Tips for Taking an At-Home Pregnancy Test

More Pregnancy Test Tips

When it comes to home pregnancy tests, there's one other decision you'll have to make: Should you spring for a digital test, or stick to the traditional two-lines version? Watch the video to get tips on which at-home test is right for you!

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First Response Gold

Courtesy of Church & Dwight Co, Inc.

First Response Gold

What it is: A new digital test. It may be more sensitive for early testing because it detects two types of hCG, hormones your body starts producing shortly after you've conceived.


When it says you can test: 4 days before your expected period


How to take it: Your wait time is 3 minutes. A clock lets you know the test is working until a "yes" or "no" appears. A question mark indicates an error, and there's a 1-800 number to call with questions.


What it costs: $21.10 for 2 tests

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First Response Early Result

Courtesy of Church & Dwight Co, Inc.

First Response Early Result

What it is: A standard stick test that's been shown to be more sensitive than other brands. A 2005 University of New Mexico study found that of seven popular pregnancy tests, First Response tests were best in detecting early pregnancy.


When it says you can test: 4 days before your expected period


How to take it: Pee on the stick for 5 seconds (no more and no less), and then set it down for 3 minutes. Two lines (even if one is lighter) means your eggo is preggo; one line means it's not.


What it costs: $18.99 for 3 tests

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How to Take a First Response Pregnancy Test

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Accu-Clear Early Pregnancy Test

Ashley Craiger

Accu-Clear Early Pregnancy Test

What it is: Standard stick test


When it says you can test: The day you expect your period


How to take it: A borderline-TMI illustration shows you exactly how to pee on the stick (um, thanks). The tip will turn pink, then you wait 3 minutes for the results. A line, even a light one, in the left test window means you're pregnant; the lack of a line means you're not. Bonus: An abbreviated version of the instructions is on the back side of the stick itself, and there's a key on the stick's plastic cap, since the last thing a nervous, possibly pregnant woman needs is a scramble to find the "What does this mean?"


What it costs: $15.75 for 2 tests

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e.p.t. Certainty

Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson

e.p.t. Certainty

What it is: Digital test


When it says you can test: 4 days before your expected period


How to take it: It only takes 3 minutes to find out if that bun's in the oven, and you can't misread the results -- it says either "pregnant" or "not pregnant." An hourglass symbol means it's still processing. A book symbol appears to refer you to the instructions if you've somehow done it wrong.


What it costs: $21.99 for 2 tests






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e.p.t. Pregnancy Test

Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson

e.p.t. Pregnancy Test

What it is: Standard stick test


When it says you can test: 4 days before your expected period


How to take it: After peeing on it, wait 3 minutes for a line to show up in the square control window. A plus sign (even a light one) means you're pregnant, a minus signs means you're not.


What it costs: $17.99 for 2 tests

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How to Take an EPT Pregnancy Test

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Answer Quick & Simple Early Result Pregnancy Test

Courtesy of Church & Dwight Co, Inc.

Answer Quick & Simple Early Result Pregnancy Test

What it is: Standard stick test


When it says you can test: 4 days before your expected period


How to take it: Do your thing and get results in 3 minutes. One line is negative, two lines (even if one is lighter than the other) means it's positive.


What it costs: $15.99 for 2 tests

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Clearblue Easy

Ashley Craiger

Clearblue Easy

What it is: Standard stick test


When it says you can test: 4 days before your expected period


How to take it: The tip of the test turns pink once you pee on it. Wait 2 minutes for the blue line in the control window to appear, then look for the plus sign (you're pg) or the minus sign (you're not). Don't worry if one of the lines of your plus sign is faint -- if it's there, congrats!


What it costs: $17.49 for 3 tests

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How to Take a Clearblue Pregnancy Test

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Fact Plus One-Step Pregnancy Test

Ashley Craiger

Fact Plus One-Step Pregnancy Test

What it is: Standard stick test


When it says you can test: 4 days before your expected period


How to take it: Remove the cap, pee on it for 5 seconds -- and only 5 seconds (the instructions make a big deal about how more or less time can skew the results) -- and then wait 2 minutes for the results. A plus sign (dark or light) means you're preg, a minus sign means you're not.


What it costs: $16.49 for 3 tests

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CVS Digital Pregnancy Test

Courtesy of CVS

CVS Digital Pregnancy Test

What it is: A two-step digital test


When they say you can test: The day you expect your period


How to take it: After opening the test stick, pop it into the test holder, line up the purple arrows until it clicks into place, and then take the test. A flashing illustration of the test lets you know it's processing. After three minutes, either a "pregnant" or "not pregnant" reading will appear. A "see leaflet" message lets you know there's an error. Press the eject button to pop out the stick (and save for the baby book), and keep the plastic holder for another use.


What it costs: $13.79 for 2 tests





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Other Drugstore Pregnancy Tests

Ashley Craiger

Other Drugstore Pregnancy Tests

What it is: Standard stick test


When it says you can test: 4 days before your expected period


How to take it: Psst! The generic-brand pregnancy tests on the shelves of your local Walgreens, Target, and Rite-Aid are made by the same manufacturer as Fact Plus -- you get the same technology for less $$. Results appear within 3 minutes, after you see the blue stripe in the control window. A plus sign -- even a faint one -- in the left result window means you're preg, a minus sign means you're not.


What it costs: Walgreens One-Step Pregnancy Test, $11.99 for 2 tests; Target Pregnancy Test, $9.99 for 3 tests; Rite Aid One-Step Pregnancy Test, $12.99 for 2 tests


 

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How to Take a Target Pregnancy Test

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How to Take a Walgreens Pregnancy Test

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How to Take a Rite Aid Pregnancy Test

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Are You Pregnant? How to Know for Sure

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How Accurate are Pregnancy Tests?