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Are You An Obsessive Pregnancy Test Taker? Spot The 10 Signs

24/03/2015 23:54 | Updated 24 May 2015

Worried woman looking at pregnancy test

If you've ever caught yourself staring at a negative pregnancy test, hallucinating that elusive second line, you'll know all about the bitter sweet experience that is 'trying for a baby'.

Not knowing if and when your dream will become a reality can be torturous – and the longer it goes on, the more frustrating and unsettling it can be.

Before you know it, your life is being ruled by your menstrual cycle.

First, there's the 'trying' part.

Unlike many long-term couples, you're actually having regular sex. But conversely, when you're having sex for the very reason sex exists – for procreation – it suddenly loses something of its spontaneity. Ovulation kits, calculators and calendars are not exactly known for their aphrodisiac qualities.

But worst of all is the wait – that fortnight of purgatory.

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Like a teenage One Direction fan, camping out overnight in the street to get concert tickets – you put in all that effort and you still don't know if you will be successful at the end of it.

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For many women, this two-week wait is simply too much – and this is where home pregnancy tests come in.

In a world where we've stopped buying newspapers because we can get the news, as it breaks, on our phones, it's hardly surprising we are lured by these white plastic sticks promising to predict the future faster than our own bodies.

Unfortunately, it's often a case of once you pop (that white plastic cap) you can't stop. Before you know it, you're peeing on a stick more often than you're checking your Facebook page.

If this all sounds familiar, rest assured, you're certainly not alone. Type 'pregnancy test addiction' into Google and you'll soon see this compulsion is very much 'a thing'.

But if you've ever found yourself displaying any of the following behaviours, it could be time to take a pregnancy test detox.

1. The squint

Despite the distinct absence of a positive line, you continue to squint at the empty, white space as though, like Derren Brown, you might be able to conjure it up through the power of thought. When it fails to appear you wonder if it's perhaps the light (you're standing by a window) so you stand in front of every window – and under every light – in the house. Still, it fails to appear.

2. The hallucination

Nope, definitely no line. But hang on – is there a line? Could that be a line? It could be a line. If I tilt my head that way it does look a bit like a line. I'll look away for a few seconds then look again. Oh, OK, no line. Forget it. Although I'm sure that could be a line just there... this goes on for 40 minutes.

3. The early test

You choose the test that claims the earliest possible detection and STILL don't wait until the recommended day to use it. Lucky you bought a twin pack, hey?

4. The closet test

Like an alcoholic hiding their empty vodka bottles, you have tied-up Boots bags full of empty pregnancy tests hidden at the bottom of the bin so your other half can't see evidence of the full extent of your testing habit.

5. The break-in

Despite the fact the 'test' line is as clear as day, you convince yourself the light catching on the glossy, clear plastic covering the window could be preventing you from seeing the positive line. Just to be on the safe side you break the test open... to find there is still no line.

6. The bin rummage

You know things have got bad when your bathroom bin is brimming with pregnancy test packaging and used sticks.

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You know things have got worse when, like that scene in Sex & The City where Miranda gets that slice of chocolate cake out of the bin, you find yourself revisiting those discarded sticks for one last look. You know, just to be on the safe side.

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7. The Google

You find yourself Googling phrases like: 'false negative' and 'earliest can get positive pregnancy test result?' and 'can positive line be grey?'... At least it's good to see that whatever question you ask, someone has always asked it before you.

8. The late test

OK, so you've started bleeding. Your period has arrived. But wait, could this be implantation bleeding? Cue frantic Googling of 'implantation bleeding'. It certainly sounds like it could be. Cue running to the shop to buy more tests.

9. The test stockpile

Like most addictions, being a pregnancy test junkie can be a pricey business. Short of raiding pharmacies, you scour the shops for buy-one-get-one-free offers or significant savings on multi-packs. The only problem is, if you've got tests in you'll take them. As a result (pardon the pun), instead of making savings you simply take twice as many tests.

10. The walk of shame

Convinced the staff of your local chemist's/supermarket are on to you, you walk in with a sheepish look on your face, and loiter until you find someone you don't recognise manning the tills, then swoop. When you run out of staff who don't recognise you, you start shopping in more inconvenient places.

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