Full Disclosure: I’m Bad at Pregnancy Tests

Full Disclosure is a series in which I admit to things that I shouldn’t be ashamed of, but am anyway.

First, it was Friends:

Monica: Are you sure you peed on the stick right?
Rachel: How many ways are there to do that?


side note: I know Jen's body is just like that, but it seems like they could have done something for Phoebe to make her seem less blah in comparison

side note: I know Jen’s just got it like that, but it seems like they could have fitted Phoebe’s dress better

I was in high school and wouldn’t need a pregnancy test for years, so I laughed along with the rest of America. Of course there’s no wrong way to pee on a stick!

By the time How I Met Your Mother did it, I knew better:

Marshall: Are you sure you did it right?
Lily: Is there a wrong way to pee on a stick?



I’ve only had the occasion to take pregnancy tests three or four times in my life (as an extra super cautious just-to-make-sure). And I’ve screwed them up at least two or three of those times.

Here are some sample instructions:

Place just the absorbent tip, pointing downward, in your urine stream for 5 seconds only. After sampling, keep the absorbent tip pointing downward. Never hold the test stick with the absorbent tip pointing upward.

That is from EPT but First Response and Clear Blue have pretty much the same exact instructions.

Here are my problems:

1- How do I know when it’s been 5 seconds? Should I operate a stopwatch with one hand while holding the stick with the other? How can I be sure to start the stopwatch at the exact moment the stream hits the stick?

Oh, you think I’m being ridiculous? I have had different tests malfunction either for having too much or too little urine on them. They are serious about the five seconds.

2- Girls can’t aim. And if you have any urine splash on the test window part, you’re gonna have a bad time, mmkay?

3- This is my own fault, but they’re not joking about keeping that absorbent tip pointing downward, either. Only had to learn that lesson once.

Finally, I had to admit defeat. I was basically just pissing on twenty dollar bills and throwing them away. (It’s okay, Andrew Jackson had it coming.)

The last time I took a test, I decided to go with the alternate “dipping” method, which meant finding a cup in my house that I didn’t mind peeing in. Someday, you will come to my house, I will offer you a refreshment, and you will wonder…


According to my friend Lauren, I am alone on this. Apparently, pregnancy tests are not difficult for the average woman. Still, I will be ashamed no more.

pregnancy test

There is a wrong way to pee on a stick.

What do you think?


  1. So true! And what is it with keeping the stick pointing down?

    All of this is also true for ovulation tests, by the way.
    Tragic Sandwich recently posted…Fresh Week, Fresh StartMy Profile

  2. Am I the worst friend ever?

  3. Ha! Well I guess we’re two peas in a pod because I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve taken a couple of pregnancy tests in my life – but with my husband in the picture! (See? Why do I feel like I need to explain that?)

    I also found it very nerve-wracking, apart from the obvious reasons. Let’s just say the whole thing was less than sanitary. But at least my cups were spared. ;)
    Go Jules Go recently posted…Let the Conversation Continue! Also the Drinking.My Profile

    • Haha! Totally. I feel the need to clarify that I’m not taking them every weekend due to misguided reliance on the pull-and-prayer method. But so what if I was? I guess the ability to tell people to mind their business goes out the window when you blog.

  4. Here’s the thing: the anxiety and/or excitement at the entire prospect makes it that much more difficult. I can’t aim, nor can I stop midstream after the five second rule, which is what I tried to do the first time I peed on a stick. Memo: simply removing the stick from the stream of urine is much, much easier.

    I went out and bought the tests that just read PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT because I was so nervous I had screwed it up, so I concur: Yes, there is a wrong way to pee on a stick.

    Also concur: Costume could have had that taken in at the waist for Phoebe.
    Stephanie recently posted…Oversharing, Part Deux: Holy Baby Balls!My Profile

    • Yes! The one time I got the test to work, it was one of those clear read out tests. Much more reassuring.

      Thank you for concurring on the Phoebe issue! She always got shafted on costumes as the earthy, hippie one.

  5. Courtney says:

    Paper cups my friend. Paper cups ;)

  6. Remind me to never accept a glass of iced tea if I am ever at your house!
    Phil recently posted…I’m on a boat! Rocks Off Concert Cruise!My Profile

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