ZocdocAnswersHow accurate are home pregnancy tests?

Question

How accurate are home pregnancy tests?

How accurate are home pregnancy tests? I guess what I really want to know is: how much less accurate are home pregnancy tests than a doctor's pregnancy test? I missed one period and am late on my second, so I'm trying to decide between going to the doctor and just getting a home test.

Answer

Anytime you have a misses period or other menstrual irregularities, you should always consult with an OBGYN. Home pregnancy tests have a sensitivity of close to 97% when used correctly. This means that 97% of people that are pregnant will have a positive test. User error accounts for most of the tests that turn out to be wrong. The urine pregnancy tests that the doctor uses have the same theoretical sensitivity without less human error. The confirmatory test that the doctor uses is a blood HCG test which is the most sensitive for pregnancy. This is done by your doctor after you have a positive urine pregnancy test at home or in the office. Whether you decide to go out an buy a home pregnancy test or go straight to the doctor is up to you. I would say that if you can get in to see your doctor right away, that would be the ideal thing to do. On the other hand, using a home pregnancy test first just to see if you are pregnant would be a good idea because then you will know prior to your appointment. Even if the test is negative you should see your OBGYN so that you have you menstrual irregularities evaluated. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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