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Interpreting Pregnancy Test Results
When Can I Get a Scan?
Early Pregnancy Testing Kits

Interpreting Pregnancy Test Results

So you think you might be pregnant?  And you are going to do a pregnancy test. A few things to remember when you look at the stick for the result is firstly believe what the result is saying.


Not Yet Missed a Period

If you have not yet missing a period and therefore you must be using one of the more sensitive pregnancy tests, the accuracy of these tests is not as good if used in the days prior to a missed period, so make sure you bear this in mind when reading the result.  The accuracy drops to around 58% prior to a missed period, so you are more likely to get a false negative during this period of time and further testing would be advised, ideally waiting until the first day of your missed period. Remember in this case, a test first thing in the morning is advised by Mr Penman.


First Day of Missed Period

If this is the first day of your missed period, the accuracy of any of the pregnancy tests you have chosen will be almost 99% accurate. But this again does rely on the fact that you have a regular period.  If your period is irregular, you may well have ovulated on a different day, so the pregnancy test may not be positive for several days after your missed period. Mr Penman suggests retaking the test up to a week after your missed period.  If you then still have a negative pregnancy test, it may well be advisable to visit your GP if your periods were previously regular.


Positive Pregnancy Test

A positive pregnancy test may or may not be a happy event. But either way  you will be wanting to work out how pregnant you are and when the best time would be to see your GP or go for scan.  If your pregnancy test is positive on the first day of your missed period, you are according to how your obstetrician would date your pregnancy, four weeks pregnant. Your obstetrician dates your pregnancy from the first day of the last period, assuming that your menstrual cycle is regular and you ovulate on day 14.

If you are using a Clearablue Digital Pregnancy Test and you are pregnant, it will say how many weeks you are pregnant. BUT….. remember this test is telling you how many weeks you are pregnant AFTER conception.  This is NOT how your obstetrician or Baby Scan Consultant will date your pregnancy so if you are using a Clearablue Digital Pregnancy Test you must add two weeks to the result it gives you to be in line with how your doctor will date your pregnancy.  This is very important when you are wanting to book a scan.

This image shows the pregnancy at 6 weeks, dated  from the first day of the last period as your Obstetrician will do.  This means that you are two weeks past the day your next period should have been due.   It is very important to make sure you read these instructions carefully as turning up for a scan at what you think is the right time, when in fact you haven’t dated your pregnancy correctly and you aren’t as far along as you thought.

When Can I Get a Scan?


Read through this article to ensure you date your pregnancy correctly !


The timing of your first scan is very important, so having followed the instructions in “Interpreting Pregnancy Test Results” section, you have arrived here.


Image of a pregnancy at 6 weeks.

The timing of the first viability scan is very important, the viability scan will show a heartbeat, that the pregnancy is developing in the correct place, how many babies you are expecting and also confirm your dates and give you an expected date for delivery of your baby or babies !  A significant scan for any expectant parents and one that you want to go smoothly. So arriving to see your Baby Scan Consultant to find that you have come too soon is very disappointing not only because you were looking forward to seeing your baby for the first time but also because of the apprehension about whether everything is going to be okay and that you will hear a heartbeat. This leads to upset and tears, no heartbeat, more anxiety as to whether it really is too soon or that there is no heartbeat because something is wrong and you have had a very early miscarriage.


So remember that when you take your pregnancy test on the first day of your missed period, you will be, according to how your Obstetrician or Baby Scan Consultant will date you, 4 weeks pregnant.  This is ALWAYS assuming you have a regular 28 day cycle and ovulate on day 14.


Mr Penman recommends that as an absolute minimum, you must be 6 weeks pregnant for a heartbeat to be detected. A day either side of this may make a difference between detection of a heart beat and no detection.  Ideally, Mr Penman would suggest a scan around 6weeks 5-6 days, so almost 7 weeks as a preferred time for a scan, if not a little longer, to avoid the upset and disappointment of a scan leaving more questions than it answers.

9 week pregnancy

If you would like to book a baby scan, follow this link to the baby scan booking form.



Early Pregnancy Testing Kits


Pregnancy tests detect the level of the pregnancy hormone (hCG)  in your urine. As discussed this level depends on when implantation took place, so it is important to remember that not all women will produce hCG at the same rate, so this production of hCG will vary between individuals, that will rise at your own individual rate. So this means that for some women, they can obtain a pregnancy test result 5 or 6 days before their period is due, others will not be able to get a result that soon, due to various reasons.

So try not to get upset or panic if your pregnancy test result is not the one you were hoping for, but it might be that it will take longer for your hCG levels to rise to be detected on an early pregnancy test.  For your own peace of mind, it may be better to wait until the first day of your missed period before you try a pregnancy test. If you really cannot wait and decide to use one of the early pregnancy testing kits, its advisable to do the test first thing in the morning when the concentration of hCG level in your urine is likely to be higher. Below are a selection of pregnancy tests online that can be purchased by clicking on the link alternatively similar pregnancy testing kits can be purchased from local pharmacies and some larger supermarkets.


The following testing kits are categorised into three types – Early Pregnancy Testing Kits, Standard Pregnancy Testing Kits and Digital Pregnancy Testing Kits.

Follow this link for : Interpreting your Pregnancy Test

Able to detect hCG at a level of 10miU/ml

First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test


Quick result  – read in 3 minutes.

99% accurate if used on first day of missed period.

Easy use – hold the test in your urine stream for a few seconds.

Easy to read – two pink lines pregnant, one pink line not pregnant.
First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test, 3 tests £11.05
Early Pregnancy Testing Kits

Clearblue 4 days Early Pregnancy Test

This test can be used four days before your period is due and will be 53% accurate, rising to 99% accurate on the day your period is due.

Result in two minutes.

Easy to use – colour change tip and control window shows the test is working.

Clear result giving a + or – result.

Clearblue Plus Visual Pregnancy Test Kit £5.23



Standard Pregnancy Testing Kits

Standard pregnancy testing kits detect the pregnancy hormone (hCG) at levels around 25miU/ml

Clear and Simple Pregnancy Test

This test is 99% accurate if used as described on the packet.

Detection of the pregnancy hormone is at 20miU/ml.

Result simple to read.
Clear and Simple Pregnancy Test Kit £1.97


Digital Pregnancy Testing Kit

Clearblue Digital Plus Pregnancy Testing Kit

This digital pregnancy test is 99% accurate in detecting a pregnancy from the day of your expected period.

It can be used up to 4 days before the expected period but is not as accurate at this stage.

The digital read out will tell you how many weeks since you conceived e.g. 1-2, 2-3 or 3+

The digital read out tells you in words whether you are pregnant and how many weeks since conception, or that you are not pregnant, so no trying to determine whether you see a faint line or two lines or no lines. No ambiguity with these tests !
Clearblue Pregnancy Test Double Check and Date Kit – Pack of 2 £8.00