How to do a pregnancy test

If you think you may be pregnant you can get a test done to find out for sure with immediate results.

Pregnancy tests work by detecting a pregnancy hormone in your wee. All you have to do is wee on a small stick. The stick will detect any pregnancy hormone in your wee and display a positive or negative sign immediately.

You can get a free pregnancy test at:

  • Brook Centres (for under 25s)
  • a young person service
  • family planning clinics
  • your own GP
  • any other GP registering for family planning services only
  • some Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinics.

To find your nearest service click here or call Ask Brook on 0808 802 1234.

You can buy pregnancy tests over the counter at pharmacies or chemists. They usually cost between £3 and £12.

When to get a test done

Most pregnancy tests work as soon as a period is late (i.e. one day).

If you don't have a regular cycle, it can be difficult to know when your period is due, so it is best to take the test three weeks after having unprotected sex. This is roughly how long it will take for the hormone levels to show up on the test.

What if the test is positive?

If you are pregnant, it's important to get advice as soon as possible to help you decide what you want to do next.

At a Brook Centre (under 25s) a family planning clinic, young person's service, or your GP surgery, a doctor or nurse can listen to how you are feeling, talk through what your options are, and help you make the decision that is right for you. If you would like to speak to a counsellor about things, you can let the service know.

What if the test is negative?

Pregnancy tests are very accurate. If you have a negative result it's extremely unlikely that you're pregnant.

If your period is late and you're still feeling worried, it's worth knowing that periods can be late for all sorts of other reasons including stress, change of diet, or other health conditions.

You should seek medical advice if you're feeling concerned about your periods or the risk of pregnancy.

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