Everything you need to know about pregnancy tests
How pregnancy tests work
All home pregnancy tests detect the ‘pregnancy hormone’, human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) in urine. In pregnancy, hCG is produced first by the fertilised egg and later the placenta. A fertilised egg typically implants into the lining of the uterus (womb) 6-8 days before the missed period, when tiny amounts of hCG start to appear in the mother’s blood and urine. Though hCG levels are very low at first, the level rises rapidly and predictably in the first weeks of pregnancy5.
Rise of pregnancy hormone
(hCG) in early pregnancy
When can I take a pregnancy test?
All Clearblue pregnancy tests are clinically proven to be over 99% accurate at detecting pregnancy from the day you expect your period. However, if you think you might be pregnant, you want to know for sure as soon as possible, and many women want to test earlier than this. The earliest you can test with the most sensitive tests currently available is 6 days before your missed period (typically 10 days after ovulation).
Read more about testing early and use our handy ‘when to test’ calculator.
How to use a pregnancy test
Almost three-quarters of women prefer the ease of testing directly in their urine stream6. For your convenience, all Clearblue tests can be used either ‘in-stream’ simply by holding the tip directly in the urine stream for 5 seconds; or by dipping the test into a collected urine sample for between 5 - 20 seconds, depending on the product used. Keep in mind you should always read the leaflet of the test you are using. You can download instruction leaflets for any of our pregnancy products here.
How to read a pregnancy test
After taking a pregnancy test, waiting for your result can be an exciting or nerve-racking time, and you want to be confident you are interpreting it correctly. Studies demonstrate that the type of test you choose can make a big difference on how easy they are to read. Digital tests like Clearblue with Weeks Indicator give unmistakable results in words. Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 women can misread some types of pregnancy test6?
Which test is right for me?
All Clearblue pregnancy tests are designed with women in mind, and include unique and innovative features to make them easy to use and easy to read, so you can be confident in your result, helping reassure you when you need it most.
There are other tests out there that don’t tick these boxes.
Strips and Cassettes are the most basic types of test. They are often small, and not easy to use as they involve multiple steps, including collecting a sample before testing. When you are excited or anxious (or both), it can be easy to make a mistake – or worry you have made a mistake. And studies have shown that 1 in 3 women can misread these types of tests, making them some of the most difficult types of tests to use and read.6
Nearly three-quarters of women prefer to test directly in their urine stream. Studies have shown midstream tests like Clearblue are convenient, hygienic and easy to use.6
With Clearblue you can also choose to test early - Clearblue Early Detection Pregnancy Test gives results from 6 days before your missed period2. Or for the most information about your pregnancy of any test, try Clearblue with Weeks Indicator, the only test that can also tell you how many weeks since you conceived. However, if you’ve already missed your period and just want a fast result, then the Clearblue Rapid Detection could be the test for you.
Compare Clearblue Pregnancy Tests
Watch our video to see the different types of pregnancy test, to help you choose the right test for you.
Pregnancy tests at the doctor's surgery
The urine pregnancy tests your doctor uses contain the same technology as home pregnancy tests. Doctor’s pregnancy tests also detect hCG and are over 99% accurate from the day you expect your period. Just like some home tests, some doctor’s tests can be used before you miss your period.
As home pregnancy tests are so reliable, your doctor may not do a second test to confirm a positive test result, though routine practice varies from country to country. If they do a second urine test, often you will have the result in a few minutes. Alternatively your doctor may do a blood test, either taking a blood sample (blood draw) from your arm, or just a few drops of blood from a finger prick. If a blood sample is taken, it may be sent away to a laboratory, and results will usually take a few days.
Over 30 years of Clearblue firsts
Clearblue has been a pioneer in pregnancy testing for over 30 years, delivering new and innovative products, including:
The world’s first easy to use home pregnancy test. Faster and much simpler than previous methods, it was the first test you could use directly in your urine stream, had just 3 steps, and gave an accurate result in just 30 minutes when other methods took hours or even days.
The world’s first one-step pregnancy test with easy-to-read results in just 3 minutes
The world’s first 1 minute pregnancy test.
The world’s first digital pregnancy test, giving a clear result in words. The ‘digital revolution’ is important as 1 in 4 women can misread a line test7.
The world’s first pregnancy test with a colour changing tip for easy sampling
The world’s first pregnancy test that tells you how many weeks since you conceived (1-2, 2-3, or 3+).
The world’s first pregnancy test to win a Red Dot award for its innovative, consumer-friendly ergonomic design
The world’s first digital pregnancy test with smart countdown to your result
Results 6 days early – no test can tell you sooner2
- Clearblue Early Detection Pregnancy Test: 'Missed period' refers to the day after your expected period. In 79% of the samples tested in a lab study, pregnancy was detected 6 days before the missed period (which is 5 days before the expected period).
- Easy to read digital results
- A pregnant result may appear in 1 minute when testing from the day of the missed period. Wait 3 minutes to confirm a not pregnant result.
- Clearblue with Weeks Indicator: Weeks since conception shown as 1-2, 2-3, or 3+ on screen.
- Nepomnaschy PA, Weinberg CR, Wilcox AJ, Baird DD. Urinary hCG patterns during the week following implantation. Hum Reprod 2008 Feb;23(2):271–7
- Pike J, Godbert S, Johnson S. Comparison of volunteers' experience of using, and accuracy of reading, different types of home pregnancy test formats. Expert Opinion on Medical Diagnostics 2013; 7(5):435-44.
- Tomlinson C, Marshall J, Ellis JE. Comparison of accuracy and certainty of results of six home pregnancy tests available over-the-counter. Curr Med Res Opin 2008 Jun;24(6):1645–9