What Do Plus and Minus Signs Indicate on a Pregnancy Test?

A plus sign (+) on an at-home pregnancy test indicates a pregnant result, whereas a minus sign (-) indicates a not pregnant result. These results appear in a clear window on the testing stick. The instructions, included with the test, should clearly explain how to read the test results.

There are many different brands of at-home pregnancy tests on the market; several of them use a plus or minus to convey results. Various pregnancy test brands include Clearblue Easy, E.P.T., Equate and Fact Plus Pregnancy tests.

Other tests, such as First Response, use one line for not pregnant or two lines for pregnant. Some spell out the words “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant,” while others use “Yes +” or “No-” results. Regardless of the symbols they use, all at-home pregnancy tests work by measuring the occurrence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in a woman’s urine.