How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Pregnancy tests work by detecting human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your blood or urine (hCG is a special hormone that’s present in your body when you become pregnant).

At-home pregnancy tests utilize a urine sample, and they can be found in most drug stores. When taking an at-home test, following the directions is essential to ensure you receive accurate results.

Most often, this means urinating on the test strip (or urinating into a cup and dipping the strip into the urine sample), setting the test aside, and waiting for a specific amount of time before checking the result.

Blood pregnancy tests utilize a blood sample, but these must be done in a clinical setting. These tests are more sensitive than at-home tests, and they can measure the actual amount of hCG in your blood (unlike urine tests).

This feature is essential for women who are at risk for miscarriages. However, for most women, a urine pregnancy test is a sufficient first step for detecting pregnancy.

When Should I Take A Pregnancy Test?


Most at-home pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate if taken on the first day of a missed menstrual period. However, knowing when to expect your period can be difficult if your periods are irregular.

If this is the case, you can estimate when you should have your period and take your test then. If it comes back negative and you still haven’t started your period after a week, try taking another test.

Since your hCG levels start low and rise quickly, a few days can make all the difference between receiving a negative or positive result.

What If My Pregnancy Test Comes Back Positive?

If your pregnancy test comes back positive, this likely means you are pregnant. While you’re probably overwhelmed with difficult feelings and questions, taking a deep breath is important.

Before making any decisions, you’ll want to get an ultrasound. This scan will confirm your pregnancy and give you the essential information to make an informed decision.

Safe Harbor Women’s Medical Clinic offers no-cost, lab-quality pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds to give you the clarity you need.

Contact us today to schedule your confidential appointment. You’re not alone in this. We’re here for you.

STI Testing

If you are sexually active, it’s essential to receive regular STI testing, even if you don’t have physical symptoms. This is because many common STIs don’t present with symptoms, so it’s possible that you or your sexual partner(s) has an STI without knowing it. 

At Safe Harbor Women’s Medical Clinic, we offer no-cost, confidential STI testing and treatment for the most common STIs. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and protect your reproductive health.