Pregnancy Testing Instructions, Timing

Home Pregnancy Test Instructions Vary

Most pregnancy tests work in a similar way. However, there are absolute differences - for example, how long you hold the test in your urine stream (midstream tests) or how long you dip the stick (test strips), how long you wait to check for results, how positive or negative is indicated by the test, etc.

So, before you test, make sure to read the manufacturer's instruction sheet thoroughly and make sure to follow them exactly.

And, even if you are a pregnancy test pro, if you are switching brands, it's time to re-read the new HPTs instruction sheet!

Timing is Everything When Testing

As if P-ing on a little stick or a tiny cup isn't hard enough, we need to be especially mindful of time as we pregnancy test!

Have a timer available - a watch, clock, timer, or timer app will do the job.

What needs to be timed:

  • How long you P on the stick, or, if you've opted to P in a cup first, how long you hold the absorbent tip in the cup.

    Note: Pregnancy Test Cassettes do not have this step.

  • How long you wait until you can read the test to see if it's negative (not pregnant) or positive (pregnant).

    Comment: It may seem like an eternity, but it's usually 2 to 3 minutes!

  • How long you have, after the wait time, to read the results. This is very important, because after this window of time, the results are no longer valid.

We can not emphasize this enough (so we'll throw on some bold): read the pregnancy test's instruction sheet for each of the above times. They can, and do, vary widely per HPT.

For example, e.p.t.® requires you wait 2 minutes to read your results, as does Clearblue® easy +/- Results. However, Clearblue® easy Digital shows results within 3 minutes.

In terms of how long the results are valid, as examples: the Answer Quick and Simple® indicates that a positive test result will display for 48 hours, but a negative result should not be read after 10 minutes; Clearblue® easy Digital indicates your results are displayed for 24 hours; Factplus® indicates that results should not be read after 10 minutes.

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