Whether you are trying to have a baby or you weren’t trying but suspect you might be pregnant, deciding how to go about finding out can be tricky for some women. When it comes to taking a pregnancy test to confirm your hopes and/or suspicions, should you take a urine pregnancy test or a blood pregnancy test? The answer is fairly simple; a urine pregnancy test is inexpensive, and it is something you can take at home. A blood test is one you must have performed by a doctor or lab.

What Are Blood and Urine Pregnancy Tests?

Blood and urine pregnancy tests are fairly simple to describe. Both are designed to find the hormone hCG in your urine. This hormone is called the human chorionic gonadotropin, though it is most commonly referred to as hCG. The hCG hormone is produced once your egg is fertilized and implants in the wall of your uterus. It is produced by the placenta. It can be blamed for the vast majority of your pregnancy symptoms and it begins to build rather quickly after your egg implants.

Your body will not produce hCG unless you are pregnant. That is why both the blood and urine pregnancy test are designed to detect this hormone. The urine test is not created equal, but the blood test is.

Urine Pregnancy Test

The urine test is quite simple. You get to choose from dozens of tests at your local pharmacy or supermarket. These tests are designed to detect different amounts of hCG in your urine. For that reason, if you want to get the most accurate results as soon as possible, a more sensitive test is the best choice.

To understand how sensitive a home pregnancy test is, you should read the information on the box. Typically, the earlier the box advertises that you can find out indicates the sensitivity of the test. A test that can detect pregnancy six days before your missed period is going to be more sensitive than one that you cannot use until the first day of your missed period.

Using a Urine Pregnancy Test

It is simple to use home pregnancy tests. However, it should be advised that you look carefully at the instructions within the test you purchase. Not all tests have exactly the same usage requirements. Using a test incorrectly could invalidate the results you see.

Most tests allow you to test one of two ways; by holding the absorbent tip of the pregnancy test in your urine stream for a designated number of seconds or by urinating in a cup and holding the absorbent tip of the test inside the cup for a designated number of seconds. Each test comes with its own number of seconds for the tip’s placement in your urine. This is why it is imperative you correctly read your test instructions.

Following this portion of the at home test, you will replace the cap onto the absorbent tip and lay the test facing upward on the counter. Depending on the test you use, you will then wait between two and five minutes to see the results.

Types of Urine Pregnancy Tests

You can choose either a traditional or a digital pregnancy test. If you choose a digital pregnancy test, you will see either the word pregnant or the words not pregnant when you read the results of your test after the allotted waiting period. In the meantime, you should see a picture of a little timer on the screen. If you do not see the timer while you are waiting for your results, chances are your test is not working properly and you should purchase a new one.

If you choose a traditional test, you will see lines. There are always two boxes on these tests. One will always have a line in it. This line appears once you hold the test in your urine. Its primary purpose is to alert you to the fact that your test is working correctly. If it is not there, your test does not work.

If you are pregnant, you will see a second line. Some tests have a plus sign if you are pregnant. Read the instructions to see what you need to look for.

When it comes to reading the results of urine tests, it doesn’t matter how faint the second line is. If it is there at all, you are pregnant. The shade of the second line is indicative of how much hCG is in your urine. The line should darken every few days as your body produces more hCG.