If you think you might be pregnant, the best way to confirm it is with a pregnancy test. Knowing you are pregnant as soon as possible can help you make the decisions that are right for you.
How does a pregnancy test work?
Pregnancy tests are usually simple urine tests that show if a woman is pregnant or not. They test for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). HCG is released when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. HCG is only found in pregnant women. Tests can usually determine if you're pregnant within 1 or 2 days of a missed period.
When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?
You can take a pregnancy test as soon as your period is late. Tests are most accurate once you have missed your period. However, some tests may even work a few days before a missed period. Be sure to read the instructions to find out when the test is most effective.
If you've had sex without birth control in the last 2 weeks, you might be pregnant but it could be too early for detection by a urine pregnancy test. Wait until you have missed period and take another test to be sure.
Are pregnancy tests results always accurate?
Home pregnancy tests work 99% of the time, if used after a missed period. They can be less effective if you take the pregnancy test too early, if you do not use it correctly, or if the expiration date on the pregnancy test has passed.
Where can I get a test?
You can take a home pregnancy test or go to a health care provider for one. Home pregnancy tests are sold in most drugstores and cost about $15.
You can also call your primary care or health insurance provider for testing and referral services. If you don't have a provider or insurance, try calling a provider from the pregnancy test provider list (PDF). These clinics give pregnancy tests and provide information on all pregnancy options – abortion, adoption, and parenting – as well as birth control. They will also refer you to community agencies so that you can get the right care for the option you choose. Clinics vary on cost, hours, referrals and whether or not you need an appointment.
- Clark County Public Health no longer offers pregnancy testing.