If you suspect that you may be pregnant, the only way you can be sure is to do a pregnancy test. Nowadays, home pregnancy tests are the way to go as most women want privacy when they experience being in the moment when the results show a negative or a positive. As we all already know, signs of pregnancy do not really mean you are pregnant and are not reliable as a sure-fire indicator. Especially for first time pregnancies, or for those who get irregular periods, these signs may well confuse you or add to your anxiety. For instance, if you\u2019ve always gotten abdominal cramps just before your period arrives, you may think that the cramps you are getting now are just signs that your period is coming. So you tell yourself to wait. But your period doesn\u2019t come. Meanwhile, the signs are getting stronger by the day. Your breasts feel swollen and tender, you\u2019ve suddenly developed an aversion to certain smells, you\u2019re retching for no reason especially in the mornings, you\u2019re easily tired and the list goes on. For those who have been trying and trying to conceive, you\u2019ll be dying to know the truth. If you have been trying hard to conceive, getting the right pregnancy test to give you accurate results is very important. (Image Credit: Baby photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com) Types of Home Pregnancy Test Kits To find out for sure, most women will head for the pharmacy to buy a home pregnancy test kit to find out. Most if not all types of home pregnancy test kits found available will be urine tests. This is because a pregnant woman\u2019s placenta will produce a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). \u00a0HCG will first appear in the urine around the time the fertilised egg implants into the uterus and is thought to be involved in the implantation process. Levels of hCG rise rapidly from the earliest stages of pregnancy (doubling approximately every 24 hours) and this can be detected in the urine as early as the fourth week of pregnancy. Some pregnancy tests are able to detect\u00a0HCG\u00a0levels\u00a0up\u00a0to four days\u00a0before\u00a0the expected due date of the period, or about 10 days after ovulation. There are basically four types of home pregnancy tests in the market: 1. Conventional Midstream Tests Midstream refers to your urine flow, meaning this test requires you to place the strip or stick directly in your urine stream for a few seconds and then wait for the result to show. Usually, a colour such as pink will show up as lines (two for yes, one for no) or a symbol of either + or\u00a0 \u2500 will show up on the test stick. 2. Test Strip This test requires you to collect your urine in a disposable cup. After collection, you will need to dip the test strip into the cup or drop small drops of urine onto the device. After a while, the test strip will change colour to show you either a positive or negative. The strip and cassette type of pregnancy test can be rather difficult to use. (Top) Strips or dip sticks tend to be thin and fragile and they will need to be dipped into a cup of urine sample. This style of testing can be unhygienic and the results can be hard to read. (Bottom) Cassettes require you to assemble the parts and then drop urine on to a 'sample well' with a plastic pipette. The multiple steps and hard-to-read lines make them puzzling to use. 3. Cartridge Cartridge pregnancy tests are somewhat similar to the collect urine-in-a-cup pregnancy test. The only difference is that the test device is in the form of a small cartridge. Use the pipette (usually provided in the pack) to measure the amount you should drop on to the urine well of the cassette. The test results will show after the stipulated amount of time needed to detect hCG in the urine. 4. Digital Midstream Pregnancy Tests Digital clarity in words spelt out clearly on the display screen. These are perhaps the best tests in the market because they provide digital accuracy and a definitive answer which will be emblazoned clearly on the display window of the test kit. No more trying to decipher cryptic coloured lines or faded + or \u2500 signs, digital tests will state clearly whether you are pregnant or not. 4 Things to do Before Using your Home Pregnancy Test There are four preparatory steps to take before rushing to take the test (Image Credit: Baby photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com) After you have bought your pregnancy test kit, don\u2019t straightaway use it before doing these four things. Do remember also, that the best time to take a pregnancy test \u2500 especially if you are testing early before the due date of your period \u2500 is the first urination of the day, meaning when you first use the toilet immediately after you wake up. This is because first-morning urine\u00a0typically contains the highest concentration of hCG making it more likely that the pregnancy test will detect it. If you are not testing early, then you can test for hCG any time of the day. Do remember though that you can dilute the amount of hCG in your urine if you have drunk too much water, so try not to drink more liquid than you usually would before you take the test. Whether you are doing the test first thing in the morning, or somewhere during the day, do the following beforehand, so that you do not fumble or do things wrongly. Also, make sure you are not using an expired test kit. 1. Read the Directions Read first to find out which part of the test stick you need to urinate on or dip into a cup, how long should you dip and how long you should wait for the test results to show if there is a cap or plastic to remove first, and if you\u2019re using a cartridge test \u2500 where do you drop the urine into, what does the positive or negative sign look like or what colour should the strip turn into if it is positive, negative or not working, and so on and so forth. 2. Follow Instructions Carefully If you are asked to urinate directly onto the test strip and to hold the test pen in a certain way, make sure you do that. Don\u2019t forget to take off the cap first before peeing on the stick! If you are using a cartridge and you are asked to drop the urine into the test well, make sure you locate the test well so that you don\u2019t drop the urine into results window! 3. Wait Out the Required Time Don\u2019t expect results to come sooner than the required time. Make sure you are holding your device correctly or have also placed it on the table as instructed while waiting. 4. Read the Results A negative result may be due to many factors. Using an expired pregnancy test for example could give you a false negative even though you may be pregnant. Or you tested too early and your hCG levels were too low for the test to detect (Image Credit: People photo created by jcomp - www.freepik.com) \tIf you get a Positive \u2500 it is time to make an appointment with your doctor. \tIf you get a Negative \u2500 it means the test hasn\u2019t detected hCG in your urine. It could be because you have tested too early your hCG levels are too low for the test to detect or you have consumed too much liquid and diluted the hCG in the urine. It could also be because you are using an expired test kit. Check the expiry date on the box. An expired test kit could give you a false negative. \tIf your period is very late, or you\u2019ve skipped your period, and you get a negative result, you are unlikely to be pregnant. \tOther complications that could affect the results, either way, include taking fertility drugs containing hCG. Testing too soon after taking the injection could result in a false positive.\u00a0 However, other fertility therapies such as (chlomiphene citrate), painkillers, and hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, should not affect the result. Choose the Right Pregnancy Test When you have been trying and trying to conceive and the result means a lot to you, you simply can't afford to get a result that\u2019s \u201ciffy\u201d or wrong. Therefore, it is so important to choose a test that combines three important factors, each of which you can find in all Clearblue Pregnancy Tests: \tOver 99% accuracy from the day your period is due \tEase of use \tEasy to read results 9 out of 10 Women prefer Midstream Pregnancy Tests In a study of 111 women in the UK using and reading different test types in October 2012, it was found that nearly three-quarters of women prefer to test in their urine stream because they found it convenient, hygienic and easy to use. That is why all Clearblue Pregnancy Tests are midstream pregnancy tests and have been especially designed to meet your needs. Digital Midstream Pregnancy Tests with Conception Indicator The Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Conception Indicator is the first and only test that is as accurate as an ultrasound scan at dating pregnancy. Its Smart Dual Sensor not only tells you if you're 'Pregnant' or 'Not Pregnant', but also tells you how far along you are. The Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Conception Indicator is the most advanced home pregnancy test to date as it is able to provide two accurate test results and you can also test early. This is for women who want to have more information at one go. Like two tests in one, Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Conception Indicator not only\u00a0gives you clear digital \u2018Pregnant' or 'Not Pregnant' results, it also tells you how far along you are (1-2, 2-3 or 3+ weeks since conception). It is over 99% accurate at detecting pregnancy from the day your period is due and the Conception Indicator is as accurate as an ultrasound scan at dating your pregnancy. Not only that \u2500 Clearblue Digital Pregnancy tests can be used up to four days before your period is due, and the unmistakably clear 'Pregnant' or 'Not Pregnant' results make them easier to read than traditional line tests, which can be hard to interpret. That is why Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Tests is the ideal choice for any woman. Here\u2019s How to Use Clearblue Digital Pregnancy test with Conception Indicator \tIf testing from the day your period is due, you can test at any time of the day to find out if you are pregnant. \tIf testing before your period is due, you must use the first urine of the day. \tFor an accurate Conception Indicator result, you must use the first urine of the day. Your Step-by-Step Guide 1.Test in Your Urine Stream Place just the absorbent sampler or test strip pointing downwards in your urine stream for 5 seconds only. Take care not to get the rest of the test stick wet. Then replace the cap. Alternatively, you may urinate into a clean, dry container and dip the absorbent sampler into the cup for 20 seconds. \tWhen you are ready to test, take out the test stick from the foil wrapper and take off the blue cap. Use the test stick straight away. \tSit on the toilet and urinate on the testing stick with the absorbent tip pointing downwards for 5 seconds only. Make sure you do not get the rest of the digital pregnancy test stick wet. \tYou may also dip the absorbent tip into your urine sample collected in a clean, dry container for 20 seconds only. \tReplace the cap and lay the digital test stick flat while waiting for the results. If you\u2019re holding the pregnancy test stick, keep the tip pointing downwards. Remember to never hold the test stick with the absorbent tip pointing upwards throughout the test, or it will result in a test error. 2. Wait for 3 Minutes Look at your clock or set the timer for three minutes and then check the results (Image Credit: Stas Knop from Pexels) \tThe very first home pregnancy test in 1976 required an agonising wait of two hours. \tWith Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test With Conception Indicator, it only takes 3 minutes. \tAn hourglass \u2018wait\u2019 symbol will flash to show that the test is working. Your result will appear when the wait symbol stops flashing. 3. See Your Results The results and pregnancy dating will be clearly indicated on the display panel: Not pregnant; pregnant and conceived 1-2 weeks ago; pregnant and conceived 2-3 weeks ago and pregnant and conceived more than 3 weeks ago. \tOnce 3 minutes have passed, check the test stick for results. \tIf you see the \u2018Pregnant\u2019 result appearing before the Weeks Indicator result, wait till the hourglass stops flashing to see your Weeks Indicator result. \tYour result will remain on the display panel for approximately 24 hours. \tAnd there you have it \u2500 a pregnancy test so advanced, so complete and so accurate it is as accurate as a doctor\u2019s test. Try Clearblue today. For more information on Clearblue, visit their website here. To learn more about ovulation, conception and pregnancy, visit Motherhood.com.my.