You missed your period this cycle -- could you be pregnant? There are two basic types of home pregnancy tests, and both pretty easy to use. You either pee in a cup and dip the test stick into it, or you pee on the test stick itself. Reading the results can sometimes be a bit trickier. There are digital tests that display "Pregnant" or "Not Pregnant" in the result window, as well as tests that show your results with lines or symbols. Home pregnancy tests vary in sensitivity, but no matter which you choose, you won't get a correct reading until the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus and your body begins secreting a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It can take that egg anywhere from about six to 12 days to complete its journey. Take the test too early, and you may get a false negative.
Home pregnancy tests aren't foolproof -- according to the American Pregnancy Association, you can expect your home pregnancy test to be about 97 percent accurate. For even better accuracy, your doctor will offer a blood test. There are two types: one that measures whether or not you're pregnant (called a qualitative hCG blood test) and one that measures the amount of hCG there is in your blood (called a quantitative blood test). At your first prenatal appointment, a blood pregnancy test will be part of your workup.