When you’re suddenly hit with the intuition or the possibility that you might be pregnant, we understand the urge to run out to the pharmacy right that moment to take a test as soon as humanly possible to ease that “am I or aren’t I?” anticipation. And while your excitement or worry may be powerful enough to get you to do just that, if you want the most accurate results possible, you may need to exercise a little will power and wait until the next morning. While we realize this isn’t exactly the type of question you usually want to “sleep on,” but there’s actually a good reason for this suggestion.
According the Healthline, “your first morning urine” contains the highest concentration of the type of hormone that indicates pregnancy, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Levels in early pregnancy are most detectable, therefore, first thing in the morning because you haven’t been eating, drinking, or urinating for several hours. For this reason, your best bet for getting a clear answer on a pharmacy pregnancy test is to test first thing upon waking.
Other tips to make sure you are getting the most accurate results
Along with taking the pregnancy test first thing in the morning, you want to make sure you are taking and reading the test properly. The instructions in the box are there for a reason; different brands of tests are slightly different, so check to see whether you are supposed to urinate directly onto the test strip or dip it into a cup of urine, and whether or not you are supposed to replace the cap while waiting for results.
It’s also important you wait exactly the amount of time listed, as reading the results too early or too late can cause confusion. If you read the test too early, there may not have been time for the chemical reaction to take place, as hCG can take a few minutes to be detected and cause the positive results to appear on the screen (via Verywell Family).
Meanwhile, if you wait too long, you could get a false positive. The reason for this is that as the urine on the test dries, an evaporation line can appear in the results window. Assuming you had a negative test indicated by a single line of a certain color, it can be confusing to see a second faint line start to form. While the evaporation line isn’t a particular color and isn’t as bold as a true results line, it can cause strife for someone looking for a definitive answer (via Healthline).
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