Pregnancy Test – You can carry out most pregnancy tests from the first day of a missed period. If you don’t know when your next period is due, do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.
Some very sensitive pregnancy tests can be used even before you miss a period, from as early as eight days after conception.
You can do a pregnancy test on a sample of urine collected at any time of the day. It doesn’t have to be in the morning.
Where you can get a pregnancy test
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You may be able to get a pregnancy test free of charge from your GP. The following places provide free pregnancy tests:
community contraceptive clinics – find sexual health services near you
sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics
some young people’s services – call the national sexual health helpline on 0300 123 7123 for details
Brook centres – for under-25s
You can also buy pregnancy testing kits from pharmacists and some supermarkets. They can give a quick result and you can do the test in private.
How does a pregnancy test work?
All pregnancy tests detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), which starts to be produced around six days after fertilisation.
Most pregnancy tests come in a box that contains one or two long sticks. You pee on the stick and the result appears on the stick after a few minutes. All tests are slightly different, so always check the instructions.
Pregnancy test results
A positive test result is almost certainly correct. A negative result is less reliable. If you get a negative result and still think you’re pregnant, wait a few days and try again. Speak to your GP if you get a negative result after a second test but your period hasn’t arrived.