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All About Home Pregnancy Tests

There are oodles of different home pregnancy tests to choose from, but don’t get overwhelmed -- you don’t need to try them all! Still, it's a good idea to test at least twice before you make an appointment with your doctor. You can swing into almost any drugstores and buy an over-the-counter home pregnancy test for anywhere between $8 and $20, depending on the brand and how many tests are included in the kit.

But first, get a grip on the basic types of home pregnancy tests. Some will have you pee on a stick,others will ask you to pee in a cup, and these days, some are even digital. They all test for the same thing, though -- a hormone called hCG, which is produced by the placenta and therefore indicates a pregnancy.

Pee-on-a-stick tests
Most common are home pregnancy tests that require you to pee on a stick or strip. Follow the directions loosely. You'll probably just need to pee on the stick or strip and wait for the result to show (usually a particular color or symbol that signals a positive or negative test).

Pee-in-a-cup test
After peeing in a cup, you'll either put a testing device in the cup itself, or place small drops of urine onto the device. If your urine contains hCG, it'll cause a portion of the stick to change color after several minutes.

Digital tests
These are designed to make the sometimes tricky results-reading process a little less confusing. If you find yourself frustrated over faded lines and barely-there plus or negative signs, pick up a digital test. They take away the guess work by giving a point-blank result of either pregnant or not.

Remember that with home pregnancy tests, false positives and negatives are always a possibility. Testing twice and consulting with a doctor is the best way to confirm.

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-- Paula Kashtan

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