This type of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) test measures the specific level of HCG in the urine. HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy.
Beta-HCG - urine; Human chorionic gonadotropin - urine
As you urinate, collect a urine sample in a special (sterile) cup. Home pregnancy tests require the test strip to be dipped into the urine sample or passed through the urine stream while urinating. Carefully follow package directions.
Usually a first-morning sample (the first time you urinate in the morning) is preferred, because it is the most concentrated.
No special preparation is needed.
The test involves normal urination into a cup or onto a stick.
Urine HCG tests are a common method of determining if a woman is pregnant. The best time to test for pregnancy at home is after you miss your period.
A pregnancy test, including a properly performed home pregnancy test, is considered to be about 98% accurate. Positive results are more likely to be accurate than negative results. When the test is negative but pregnancy is still suspected, the test should be repeated in 1 week.
There are essentially no risks (except for "false positive" or "false negative" results).
Morrison LJ. General approach to the pregnant patient. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 175.