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Fiona Swain – Superdrug
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How To Read A Pregnancy Test Correctly

Woman holding an at-home pregnancy test

Taking an at-home pregnancy test can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience, right? Whether you’re actively trying to conceive or not, it’s important to know exactly what those little blue and pink lines mean. So if you’re planning on taking a pregnancy test soon, make sure you’re in the know by reading our top tips.

Woman holding an at-home pregnancy test

How To Use A Use a Pregnancy Test

Taking a home pregnancy test is pretty simple. Just urinate on the test strip and wait for a few minutes for the result. To ensure you get an accurate reading, there are a few things you should consider beforehand.

Follow the instructions properly

We know this is obvious, but it can be easy to get wrong, especially if you’re a first-timer. Read the instructions thoroughly and ensure you urinate on the correct part of the stick and for the correct amount of time.

Don’t take it too early

Although it can be tempting to take a test immediately, it’s best to wait for a few days after you’ve missed your period. The accuracy of a home pregnancy test is 97% if you test after your period is due. If you aren’t sure of the date of your next period, simply take the test 21 days after you had unprotected sex.

Take the test first thing in the morning

This is the best time to test because your urine is more concentrated, making it easier to detect the pregnancy hormone, HCG. If you’re taking it later in the day, avoid drinking too much fluid first as this will dilute your urine

How To Read Pregnancy Test Results

Great, so you’ve taken the test- but what about the result?

If you went digital

The digital tests are easier to read, they give you a written ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ result on screen.

Know your lines 

If you’re taking a non-digital test make sure you understand how to read your results. Generally, one line (usually pink or blue) indicates that the test is working, while two lines indicate that you are pregnant. If you’re worried about faulty tests or doing it wrong, buy a two-pack or digital test just in case.

If the test is positive 

Then you are probably pregnant. False positives are rare. Once you have a positive result, call your doctor to arrange a scan to confirm your pregnancy.

If the test is negative

There are many reasons for a negative test result and a missed period. You’re probably not pregnant, but you may want to re-test later on just to make sure.

Still unsure?

If you’re still unsure about the next steps, we suggest booking an appointment with your GP. Your doctor can advise you and arrange a blood test to accurately determine whether you’re pregnant or not.

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

In a nutshell, home pregnancy tests are designed to detect the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadontrophin (HCG). If you’re pregnant, this hormone will be present in your urine and produce a positive pregnancy test.

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How Do I Increase My Chances Of Getting Pregnant?

If you’re trying to conceive, there are a number of products out there that can help you understand your menstrual cycle and boost fertility.  From ovulation tests to pregnancy supplements, they’re all designed to maximise your chances of falling pregnant.

Clearblue Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Trying for a Baby 10ct £22.99 Buy Now
Superdrug Superdrug Vitamin D With Folic Acid Tablets X 60 £2.99 Buy Now
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How To Tackle Period Pain

Young woman holding a hot water bottle to stomach in pain

Ladies, it’s time to talk about periods. They’re something most women have to deal with every month, and sometimes they can result in painful menstrual cramps. Many women can go about their daily activities despite the cramps, while others may be forced to take it easy and rest up until they pass. Whatever your situation, there’s plenty of things you can do to help ease the pain and make you feel a little bit better.

lady laying on bed holding her tummy with period pains

Period Pain Relief

Most of the time, a simple OTC painkiller can significantly help to reduce the pain of mild-moderate period cramps. A dose of paracetamol or ibuprofen can be sufficient for many women, while others may need to visit a healthcare professional such as a pharmacist to find something more tailored.

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Young woman holding a hot water bottle to stomach in pain

Other Period Pain Remedies

If you don’t fancy painkillers, there are plenty of things you can do to help tackle period pain naturally. While these methods may not be effective for everyone, they can certainly help you feel more relaxed and reduce cramps.

Keeping active helps period cramps

Light exercise has been proven to reduce cramps in some women, so it might be beneficial to take a walk or do some gentle Yoga or Pilates.

Use heat pads 

heat can help to relax the abdominal muscles that are contracting during your period, so relax, kick back and chill out with a heat pad if you’re in pain.

Take a bath 

There’s nothing like a hot bath to help relax your mind and muscles at the same time. So take the evening off and stock up on your favourite bubble bath!

Prioritise self-care 

Take some time for yourself say yes to self-care. Whether it’s reading a book, watching your favourite show or pampering yourself with a face mask, it’s a must at the time of the month.

Take your vitamins 

Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet and taking a multivitamin or health supplement designed for women. Iron, zinc and evening primrose oil are often beneficial, though it’s important to consult your GP before taking them.

If you feel your period pain continues no matter what you try, you should consider booking an appointment to see your GP to discuss possible options which may ease period pain (such as oral contraceptives) and tests for underlying health conditions.


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