Pregnancy and baby

Doing a pregnancy test

Is the pregnancy test accurate?

Media last reviewed: 20/03/2014

Next review due: 20/03/2016

When you can do a 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

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 or see your GP.

Continuing with the pregnancy

If you're pregnant and want to continue with the pregnancy, contact your GP or a midwife to start your antenatal care. You can use the pregnancy due date calculator to work out when your baby is due.

If you're not sure you want to be pregnant

If you're not sure about continuing with the pregnancy, you can discuss this confidentially with a healthcare professional. Your options are:

  • continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the baby 
  • having an abortion
  • continuing with the pregnancy and having the baby adopted

As well as a GP or a nurse at your GP surgery, you can also get accurate, confidential information – even if you're under 16 – from the following:

All these services – including community contraceptive clinics – are confidential. If you're under 16, the staff won't tell your parents. They'll encourage you to talk to your parents, but they won't force you. 

If you're under 25 and would prefer advice specifically for young people, the sexual health charity Brook provides a range of services for young people. The Brook website contains information on pregnancy choices. You can also use the Ask Brook text and web chat service.

Page last reviewed: 19/11/2015

Next review due: 19/11/2017


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The 25 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

cm500 said on 27 October 2014

jadeblampied, I have similar symptoms. Did you figure out what was the cause?

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shannon_xx said on 07 August 2014

I am 17 years old and my due date is the 31st of every month, for the past 3months I've come on my period on the exact date I am due (31st) I've been trying to get pregnant for about a year and a half now. Well anyway, last month I didn't come on so I'm 8days late, I have had very sore cramps in my stomach and the left side of my ribs it feels like shooting/stabbing pains, I was sick last night, and I took a test 2 days ago which came back negative, then I took one this morning and there was a very faint line almost nearly impossible to see, but there was something there, then after a while it just faded away (dissapeared) does anyone else reckon I am pregnant? Or been having the same experience as me?

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User891344 said on 28 July 2014

Hi, had a period 1st July this period was normal for me was brown & very light compared to my normal. I was giving a new pill to start taken once my period came the pill which was cerazetta, I took this for about 3 weeks didn't agree with me at all just didn't feel myself and very emotional body temperature extremely warm unable to sleep etc. Stopped taking the pill & since I have woke every morning feeling nausea certain smells and food making me feel nausea very tired extremely warm hair growth seems to have increased & sex drive was higher than normal could pee around the clock, it is well over a week now since I stopped taking the pill & I am still waiting on my period. Took pregnancy test & got a negative but still feeling the same very nausea tired warm constant going to the toilet etc. anyone have any advice or anything?

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Jessie07 said on 12 July 2014

Hi. I'm 17 and I'm worried I could be pregnant. I have taken 2 pregnancy tests and they are both negative. Last month my period was late by a week and this month it's now 1-2 weeks late. Not sure if my body is trying to go to the date my period usually is. I have been feeling sick and have had stomach cramps and I have a bloated stomach. It was my first time. We were careful and used protection. But now I'm starting to worry. Please would you help. Thanks

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harveyboo said on 11 May 2014

Hiya really need advice...I had a baby 11 weeks ago from 6 weeks ago we have been ttc....I ovulated (I use tests & calculate) then I was like 3/4 days late for my period....I then eventually did come on was like a normal period but it only lasted 2 days! Since my expected period date I have been testing 1 clear blue digital = negative last week but have also been using the cheap strip tests and I get a faint line on them!? But im not sure what to think? Is it a positive? Is it water mark? Or bad tests? Im super confused :(

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markelle said on 04 May 2014

im one month delay. my last period was march 27-30, im confused i already have a pregnancy test, but its negative, but old says im pregnant, they saw it through "hilot" and my pulse. am i pregnant or im just thinking that im one?

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animegirlbec said on 29 April 2014

Im currently very confused. My last period was the 11th of april 2014 and I know its probably too early but im confused on whether im pregnant or not. My ovulation days were around the 25th and my partner and I have started actively tryingthis month. But for the last couple of days ive been feeling tired, dizzy, had metalic taste in mouth making things I normally love eating and drinking taste weird. Had like a bruised feeling around my lower tummy. My breasts go between sore and normal. Ive become very snappy and weepy with my partner. And although these signs are common in pregnancy I would have thought that its way too early to be experiencing them. Ive done two test as well, one at home and with my gp and the one at home gave a faint positive line but the one with my gp was negative. Am I pregnant or am I just getting my hopes up?

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Camy12 said on 27 April 2014

Hi I just need advice very confused, I have stopped taking pills since July. Now I feel very tired every time, sometimes feel sick plus always need the toilet for urine, specially during the night .... Some days I can't sleep, just had period only for 4 days now.. Normally it lasts 6 days. Had a pregnancy test before my period it came negative. Been having headaches and feel lazy. Do you think I could be pregnant ?

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MissCc85 said on 18 April 2014

Hi swansborough, you can test now if you are 8 days late, i tested myself 10 DPO, and got a very faint line, i'm 1 day late for my period & this mornings test was alot clearer but still faint, i'm still not that convinced that i am pregnant as i had a miscarriage on the 20th march, so if i am, i would of conceived on the 3rd april, which will make me 4 weeks pregnant, let me know how you get on hun :) x

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swansborough said on 15 April 2014

Just wondering if anyone can help?? I am 8 days late on my period, i signs of coming on at all. I keep crying at everything, getting weird warm tingleing sensations in my stomach. Keep going hot then cold. Feeling sick all the time. Sneezing loads. Me and my boyfriend have been having unprotected sex. Is it too early to test??

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ashort said on 12 March 2014

hey i need adviance iam having unprectet sex with my fiancee and she fill pregnant her symptomes show she is but test she not and when on her period week she has a little blood not as much as usal is she preganat

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Dhaou said on 20 February 2014


I would like some advice please, i had unpotected sex with my husband on the 17th and 18th of Feb and the first day of my last period was the 3rd, i calculated on the calender that i would be ovulating at between the 15th and the 18th is this correct?

I have taken a pregnancy test which was negative as it was too early to take one.

I have had very mild cramps/aches in the lower part of my stomach which come and go and i feel so enotional laterly

Anyone have any advice or comments please thank you :)

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Jessica2014 said on 18 February 2014

I was on the pill, I believe I may of missed one and taken it a day late, I also had sex while not on the pill a few days before my period was due. My period is lighter than it has ever been before. I've been sleeping more than I usually do, also been getting pains around my belly button. Also been craving some foods and have gone off my favourite food! I have also noticed my stomach has been rock hard at some points... Help?

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jadeblampied said on 26 January 2014

im very confussed. can someone help. i have been on microgynan pill now 3 months ive had periods during my pill break but recently ive been noticing my tummy feels strange like bubbles popping and poking and the odd occassion when i try to feel my tummy its almost as like a baby kicks back. ive not noticed any changes in breasts as far as im aware. i did feel sicky a few times a few week ago but nothing since. i did feel tired but not noticed much as ive got an 11 month old and a 21 month old these pokes feel similar to baby wriggles but could i be pregnant and not know even with periods. im a bit worried to do a test what do you think. help...

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Devilindisguise666 said on 17 December 2013

I don't know if im pregnant or just paranoid like my mates think i am... Ive had problems with periods since i was 16 and now am 19 nearly 20 in febuary and my periods aren't regular. Ive been on and off the pill since i was 16. Ive stopped tracking my periods so ive forgot when my last one was. Me and my boyfriend have unprotected sex quite a lot sometimes every day but sometimes there is a gap where we don't for two three days. Im just wondering with my unregular periods can i still get pregnant? I keep getting backaches, hungry all the time, sleepy most of the time but i cant sleep at night, i feel sick but its like my body stops itself.
Im going to do a pregnancy test tomorrow

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dheen said on 15 September 2013

I've been worried about being last period was the 13th of Aug and my last contact was on 23rd of Aug..and i did the pregnancy test on the 13th of Sept and it showed I'm two days late of my period. Please Help thanks!!

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jennalouise85 said on 28 April 2013

I had my period 15/04/13 -20/04 and i selpt with someone 2 days after ovulation...i am now experiencing nausea in morning and evening...i am really tired and have slight cramping not excessive but noticeable...can anyone tell me am i experincing pregnancy symptoms and when can i do a test?

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missy_moo13 said on 13 April 2013

Hi, i really need some advice. i've been on the pill for 2 years now and never had a problem but for the past 3 weeks my period has been bizarre. i've been on and off and now im spotting, me and my boyfriend have had unprotected sex a couple of times. should i take a test? x thanks

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BrightVij said on 27 March 2013

I wonder if someone can please help.
I have missed a period and a pregnancy kit test has proven positive with my pregnancy. So if that's correct I am 5wks plus pregnant. This was unplanned.
As I have just started with a new job we are considering abortion. So I went to Family planning division at West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth. The nurse there took a sample of my urine and tested it. But she claims I am not pregnant and advised me to go to my GP after 2 weeks to get a test done.
Would there be a reason for them to give me this verdict?
All I needed was a referral letter from them.
Please advise.

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missAllwood said on 18 March 2013

Hi I was wondering if I could get advice,I am on the depo provera injection but I have heard that you can still get pregnant when your on it,I have had unprotected sex with my boyfriend several times and I have been worried that I may be pregnant,I have been peeing more than often, eating more and feeling faint,apart from that I haven't had any other symptoms. Should I take a test? Please help.

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Mysteriousgirl said on 12 March 2013

i am on the pill called yasmin and i didnt miss my pill at all on my last packet, i started my 7 day break a week ago today and in that time i experienced a sickness bug with bad bowels. after the sickness bug,me and my boyfriend had sex without a condom but he withdrew before the end. i am really worried that this may of effected my protection against pregnancy and that the one time me and my boyfriend didnt use one on my weeks break i concieved. someone please help!

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H_Ali said on 20 February 2013

"Pregnancy tests are also available at NHS walk-in centres."

Either this information is incorrect or the walk-in centre in Boots, Manchester City Centre is not aware of it. They clearly say they can not do it unless you are registered as their patient.

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MJ4567 said on 12 February 2013

I took a digital pregnancy test 2 weeks ago as I have been on Micronor for 3 months with no periods. Although this is common, all literature suggests you should confirm you are not pregnant after 45 days. To my imense surpise the test came up positive (digital so no confusion with lines!). Though this was a bit starnge so tested every two days and every other test came up negative. No signs or symptoms but went to GP who gave me a blood test - also negative. Still no sign of a period. Just letting everyone know that false positives do happen without bleeding or being on fertility drugs.

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bettyboo90 said on 05 February 2013

hi there just need some advice please..... so i am on pill came off for my period on the monday was meant to come on my period on the wednesday but nothing now im a week late. I did have a sickness bug a few week back and forgot that it cancels pill. last month i had a very heavy perod (never been that heavy before) i have done 3 pregnancy test all negative. I have been feeling sick ( not sure if its worry of not knowing) a little discharge. no tender breasts or change in them. i have got a doc appointment but not for another two days. i just hate the waiting. what do you think? i have never been this late for my period before! Just dont feel myself. ( never been pregnant before) tia

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autumn treasure said on 12 May 2012

Hi just wanted some advice really i have been taking the pop pill but got very sick the week after my period and my pill may not have worked i was sick for two days everytime i moved or had a sip of water. I saw my doctor on the monday as i was sick during the weekend and could give me the morning after pill as i was over 72 hours by the time my vomitting stopped and never told me about Ellaone my period was due yesterday i have had a 5 day bleed when i was being sick sp not sure what that is and my normal period should have been yesterday ive got no premenstrual syptoms at all just tender breasts i did a test on tuesday and it was negative what should i do and if i am pregnant when would most people start to show it as i wouldnt wanna say too soon i dont no what to think help

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