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Each year 7 million women across America try to become pregnant, say medical authorities. This is at a time when many are marrying later and postponing childbearing, making it more difficult to conceive. These factors help account for the widespread use of one-step at-home pregnancy tests and ovulation predictor tests.

According to the First Response Information Resource Center, women use at-home tests because of their accuracy, convenience, privacy and cost savings over visits to the doctor. The at-home pregnancy tests take about two minutes and have been proved more than 99 percent accurate. Use of an ovulation predictor test, which in five minutes enables a woman to determine when she will ovulate and improve her chances of becoming pregnant, is expected to increase annually by about 20 percent through 1999.

Not every woman taking an at-home pregnancy test looks for a positive result. Research shows that about half of the 7.9 million women annually using at-home testing hoped for negative results.

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