Pregnancy testing

Advice on the different pregnancy testing kits available, what to expect when taking pregnancy tests and the reliability of positive and negative test restults.
Whether or not you have had a pregnancy test, you should see your doctor as soon as you think you are pregnant. Being pregnant may affect your GP's treatment of any current or future illness. Your GP will also be able to advise you about antenatal care in your area and put you directly in touch with a midwife if you wish.

The earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy, for women who have a regular monthly cycle, is a missed period. Sometimes women who are pregnant have a very light period, losing only a little blood. Other signs of pregnancy are:
  • Feeling sick, you may feel sick, or even be sick, not necessarily in the morning, but at any time. If you are being sick all the time and can't keep anything down, tell your doctor.
  • Changes in your breasts, often the breasts become larger and feel tender, rather as they may do before a period. They may tingle. The veins may show up more and the nipples may darken and stand out.
  • Needing to pass water more often. You may find that you have to get up in the night to do so.
  • Being constipated.
  • An increased vaginal discharge without any soreness or irritation.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Having a strange taste in your mouth, many women describe it as metallic.
  • 'Going off' certain things like tea or coffee, tobacco smoke or fatty food, for example.
  • Some women don't even need these signs. They just 'know' that they are pregnant.
In order to be certain about your pregnancy symptoms you will need to take a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests can be carried out on a sample of urine from the first day of a missed period, that is, about two weeks after conception. You can collect urine at any time of the day. Use a clean, soap-free, well-rinsed container to collect it. You can get pregnancy tests free or for a small charge from your GP or family planning clinic. Many pharmacists and most pregnancy advisory services also offer tests, usually for a small fee.

You can also buy do-it-yourself pregnancy testing kits from pharmacists. They can be expensive but give you a quick result and you can do the test in private. Follow the instructions to be sure of a reliable result.

A positive test result is almost certainly correct. A negative result is less reliable. You could wait a week and try again, or go straight to your doctor.

You may feel very happy or excited when you discover that you are pregnant, but you shouldn't worry if you don't. Even if you have been looking forward to pregnancy, it is not unusual for your feelings to take you by surprise. And if your pregnancy was unplanned, then you may feel quite confused. Give yourself a little time to adjust to the idea of being pregnant. Even though you may feel rather anxious and uncertain now, this does not mean that you won't come to enjoy your pregnancy or to welcome the idea of the baby.

You may want to share the news with family and friends immediately or wait a while until you've sorted out how you feel. Others in your family/extended family may have mixed feelings. Do begin to think about your antenatal care (that is, the care you'll receive leading up to the birth of your baby) and where you would like to have your baby. The earlier you begin to organise this, the more chance you will have of getting what you want.

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I took a rapid rosponse PT and it took awhile to show up and when I later on looked at it there was two lines but the positive was smudged so I really dont know what to think am I pregnant or is the test bad even though it says positive? Please help
by JacquelynBarry 20th Jun 2013, 3:46pm
Hi, I am new to this site but was wondering if anyone could help, I am currently on the fertility drug clomid and after the first attempt they said it had no effect what so ever so would try the second month on a bigger dose, my cycle is always 21 days but so far I am now 28 days and still no period, is it too early to do a preg test and whats the chance of me being pregs if they said the clomid had not made my folicles big enough? Thanks everyone xx
by Tiger124 20th Jun 2013, 3:42pm
LMP: July 19, 2012
Menstrual due: August 19, 2012
frequent urination all the time without drinking anything, sore itchy swollen breasts, lower back pains, lower stomach cramps, fatigue, uncomfortable to lay on stomach, trouble sleeping sometimes, blue veins in breasts are visible, white milky discharge from left breasts, breasts feel very heavy, nauseous sometimes, very thirsty all the time and would only drink water, cold like symptoms (stuffy, runny, congested nose),8 days late with period, lower stomach is very tender and hard. I took a HPT and it came back neg and then took a blood test on Tuesday August 21 and it came back neg also. Could it be too soon to detect something? My last period was weird because it came for 3 days, left for 1 and then came back for 2 more days. I am usually very heavy but this time I was nowhere near that. I am very confused and almost in tears. Please help me figure this out.
by LadyAngel28 20th Jun 2013, 3:25pm
If a pregnancy test comes back 2 lines, one dark and one faded does that mean ur still pregnant?
by SatanBitch 13th Feb 2012, 9:15am
hi, i had a misscarrige at 10 weeks on 21st febuary 2011. me and my partner have been trying to concive ever since. the first month we didnt stop (sorry tmi) but my period came! .. quess i didnt ovalate. this month (may) i am currently 5 days late on my period, all the pregnancy syptoms (nausea, frequent urinatation, extra tierd.) but i have been having cramps for 2 weeks now, i have took 4 pregnancy test 2 on 4th may (morning urine) 1 on 8th may (afternoon urine) and 1 today 9th may (morning urine)ALL BFN!! could i stil be pregnant? im never late on my period!! please help me!
by Plusoneplease 10th May 2011, 5:30pm
Hi, i have been on the contraceptive injection but decided to come off as i heard it could take time to get pregnant after you come off so we decided to use condoms until we are ready to try.i have been off the depo for 4 months now but on the 24th of feb the condom split and i now think im pregnant. ive been experiencing symptoms and bled a lil brown discharge today. i dnt know when my period is due as periods stop on depo. i did a pregnancy test yesterday and it was negative. did i test too early? and if so when is the best time to test again? would really appreciate some advice!!!!
by jessiemay 9th Mar 2011, 8:46am
I think that you are pregnant,But as you told us that your test is negative.So I think that you have to wait for some time.
"Good luck"
by nupur12 22nd Feb 2011, 5:21pm
hi all not sure if im on the correct part here well ive just done an clear blue pt and on the test as come positve but only half of the line as come up I was due on to day on the 13th of feb I had what I think was inplantion spotting cause it was way to early for my cycle and only lasted to days ive been gettin lower back and top bum pain hot sweats and also when i had intercorse i got a real lite pink show when i used the bathroom not sure wat to think plzz help x
by lozap 22nd Feb 2011, 5:20pm
hi ,, i really think I am pregnant or something is definitely wrong. I had a period in December but it was 3 days. I didn't have one for January. Now its February and I'm spotting. I've been having all the symptoms & so has my bf. he complains a lot about headaches, swollen feet, vomiting and nausea. when i took a pregnancy test it read negative. did i take it too early or what?
by harrismika 4th Feb 2011, 5:19pm
hi,i had sex 5 weeks ago and 2 weeks after that i had my period but even since iv had my period iv been havein a metallic taste in my month and im needed to go to the tolite more at night and im always changing temp like one minute im ok then the next i realy realy warm iv also had realy bad stomach like cramps and feeling realy tired plus iv been haven loads of vaginal discharge i have it everyday. my period isnt due untill next week i think but is there any chance i could be pregant?
by the 12th Aug 2010, 10:07am
hi, i think im pregnant but not sure. i was due on my period on tuesday 2nd march but have had nothing.
im experiencing a few symptoms but not too sure.
can someone help please?
by jordanriley 14th May 2010, 5:36pm
Did your period come on Natasha? It's been a month since your post so I'm assuming you now know one way or another if you're pregnant or not and I'd love to know. I haven't been trying as long as you this time but I completley understand what you are feeling. When we were trying to conceive the first time it took a very long time and my periods kept getting further and further apart. My baby is now 13 months old so we have started trying for another already incase it takes as long this time. My last period was I think about 8 weeks ago and I'm considering taking another test (I took a test 10 days ago that came back negative.) Please let me know what happened. K x
by Mellowmum 27th Oct 2009, 2:30pm
me an my boyfriend have been trying for a baby for 3 years.after i read most woman got pregnant within 12 months i kept myself busy and got on with periods are not very reliable anyway but last month and the month before i came on on the now on this day it makes me 3 days late,for the last week i have had really bad stomach pain and for the last 4 weeks very scared to do a pregnancy test because iv coped so well lately and if it is negative i feel it will set me back.can i please have some advice?
by natashamarie91 23rd Sep 2009, 5:21pm
did a pregnancy test tonight and it was positive. How reliable is one test? Going to go to the docs tomorrow if I can get in. Had been trying for 7 months, have mixed feelings (which is bizarre, as had been trying for so long) and know that it is early days too get too excited
by helsbels1179 24th Mar 2009, 9:07am
My husband and i have been trying for 4 months. 2 months ago i was 1 week late but then i had a slight bleed, this month i am 10 days late and there is no sign of a bleed coming on. I normally get bad cramps. I have done a home pregnancy test which is negative. I have made an appointment at the doctors for next week. I suffer with PCOS and i know that falling pregnant should not have been this easy, but miracles happen.
by Carla167 3rd Mar 2009, 9:19am
done a pregnancy test last monday it came up positive started bleeding yesterday had early scan today and couldn't find and signs of pregnancy i would hav been 10 days late of due date for last period how could this be i'm confused could anyone help with this question?
by beckystar 17th Feb 2009, 9:38am
i took a test a week ago as my period was due but never came but test sed negitive now a week later my period still aint came could i still be pregnant ? xxx
by legsleanne 30th Jan 2009, 9:00am
HI i think im pregant ive got bigger and i have been eating healthy, my belly hasstatred goin all hard, but im not gettin morning sickness, am i or am i not?.......
by mother2be5839 15th Dec 2008, 8:53am
it has been 4 and a half weeks since my last period and i have taken multiple pregnancy tests some positive some negative so what does this mean am i pregnant or not
by Kaszilynn 20th Oct 2008, 8:52am
I'm sure I'm pregnant, but my test today was negative. My breasts have been sore for over a week now, but at best I'm only 10 days pregnant (or 4 weeks going by the Due Date System). Is this normal?
by blurf 20th Oct 2008, 8:51am
Hi, does anyone know when is the pregnancy week that ultrascan can detect heart beat of the foetus? Theoretically, it should be at 6 wks but mine could not be detected at 6wks. Is it something to worry about?
by valsg33 13th Jun 2007, 8:39am