Urine Pregnancy Test

Last updated: 24 November 2017

What is a urine pregnancy test?

Urine pregnancy test (UPT) is a quick bedside urine pregnancy test. It measures the amount of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), a hormone, in the urine. The type used in hospitals works on the same principle as home pregnancy test kits, but is slightly more reliable.

How is a urine pregnancy test performed?

A UPT is performed by collecting a sample of urine, which is usually applied to a test kit using a disposable plastic dropper. A colour change will indicate a positive pregnancy test, and there is almost always a ‘control’ area or symbol which changes colour as a double-check that the test is actually working.

A urine pregnancy test may be performed by your doctor if they suspect that you may be pregnant, or if you suspect pregnancy yourself! Usual pregnancy symptoms include a missed or late period (amenorrhea), breast fullness or tenderness, or nausea and vomiting (morning sickness).

The test is often routinely performed in women of childbearing age with abdominal pain, and those who require an Abdominal X-Ray or Pelvic X-Ray, because of concerns or radiation to an unborn baby.

What’s the difference between a urine pregnancy test and a blood pregnancy test?

Blood pregnancy tests (beta HCG) can detect pregnancy earlier, around 7-12 days after conception. Whereas urine tests take around two weeks after conception to detect pregnancy.

Blood pregnancy tests are also more expensive than urine tests, and the results take longer to come through.

Urine pregnancy tests performed by a doctor are generally considered very reliable, so in most cases a blood pregnancy test is usually not necessary to confirm the result.

Test results explained

  • A POSITIVE UPT means that the woman is pregnant.
  • A NEGATIVE UPT means that the woman is NOT pregnant.

Occasionally, a laboratory may report a test as ‘weakly positive’ or ‘indeterminate’. This is usually due to a very small amount of the HCG hormone being present in the urine, for example very early in a pregnancy, or when a pregnancy has miscarried. In this case a blood test may be useful, or the urine test may be repeated in a day or two to give the answer.

Next steps

Related specialists

Related procedures

  • Blood Test (venesection)

Related tests

Also known as

  • UPT
  • Urine Beta-HCG
  • Urine BCG
  • Home Pregnancy Test


A: Use HealthEngine to find and book your next Obstetrician appointment. Click on the following locations to find a Obstetrician clinic in your state or territory.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.

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