When should I take a pregnancy test
When should I take a pregnancy test
For many women, deciding when to take the first pregnancy test could be a major source of stress!
Deciding to take the first test very early seems like a good way to find out right away if you are pregnant. Unfortunately, early testing can give you a negative result, even if there is a pregnancy.
It is important to take the test at the right time to maximize the chances of getting accurate results. Let's look at the best time to take a pregnancy test in order to get the most accurate result, as well as the risks associated with testing too early.
How early can I take a pregnancy test, calculating from the day of conception?
The human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone will begin to appear in the body 7-11 days after the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Then you could see a positive result on the pregnancy test. See in the chart the accuracy rates you have for reliable results, depending on the day you take the test. The closer you are to your expected period, the better. That's why the best time to take a pregnancy test is after your period is late. This will help you avoid false negative results when there is indeed a pregnancy. Additionally, if you don't keep a fertility calendar and you don't know the right time for your first pregnancy test, then you should start keeping a fertility calendar. See Hometest Fertility Calendar here.
If your cycles are irregular or you don't record them, don't test until your longest cycle has passed. For example, if your cycles range from 30 to 35 days, the best time to take a pregnancy test would be from day 36 onwards.
It is also very important to know if your period is really late. According to the FDA, out of 100 women who take a pregnancy test thinking they are already overdue, 10-20 will not get a positive result (even when there is a pregnancy), because the day they take the test is simply wrong! This is where ovulation tests will help you, to identify your fertile window and know that 14 days later you will expect your period.
Yes, there are available early pregnancy detection tests in the market, but the most accurate results come after your period is late (we'll discuss it below).
The right time to take a pregnancy test
The time of day you take the pregnancy test plays a role to some extent. You are more likely to get an accurate result if you take the test with the first morning urine because in the first morning urine the hormone is more concentrated, as you have not urinated for many hours. This is especially true if your period is not yet late or if your period is only a few days late. Of course, hCG does not disappear during the rest of the day, but for more accurate results, prefer the first morning urine, especially if you drink a lot of fluids during the day and so your urine will be diluted.
Pregnancy test when I see symptoms
You may decide to take a pregnancy test because you have some early pregnancy symptoms. But keep this in mind: the same hormones that cause pregnancy-like symptoms are present every month between ovulation and your period. Therefore, many symptoms will be similar in both cases. Let's see what they are:
Early signs of pregnancy
Breast tenderness or swelling, frequency in urination, mild cramping, some spotting on underwear, fatigue, sensitivity to smells or food, metallic taste, headache, morning sickness.
The above, as we said, are similar whether you are pregnant or you are expecting a period. In any case, however, it is wise to wait 14 days from your ovulation to get an answer from the pregnancy test.
How do pregnancy tests work?
Knowing how pregnancy tests work can help you understand when to use them. Pregnancy tests - in simple terms - show you how your urine reacts to a spot on the test that detects the presence of hCG. Results are displayed as a single or double line on our analog tests, or with a plus or minus sign on our digital tests.
The home pregnancy test cannot measure the exact amount of the hormone in your urine and give you a number. What it does is detect if there is a minimal amount of the hormone. If you get a negative result (but you are pregnant), it does not mean that your urine does not contain the hormone hCG. It just means that it doesn't contain enough hormone to show a positive result. Hometest pregnancy tests have a sensitivity of 25 miu/ml.
Early pregnancy detection tests promise results in just six days before the delay. These tests are more sensitive (10 miu/ml), but you don't get accurate results this early, as ovulation and/or implantation times can vary. Plus, if you have irregular cycles, it's even harder to know when the exact time is, for an early test.
Finally, if you are going under fertility treatments, you should know that these can give a false positive pregnancy test because pregnancy tests can detect the remains of fertility drugs such as Ovitrelle, Pregnyl etc.
How accurate are pregnancy tests?
Hometest pregnancy tests with this sensitivity promise you 99% accuracy on the day of the delay, but this does not apply to early tests. The results you get tend to be more accurate closer to the day of the delay. Likewise, early morning urine is more concentrated and the hCG hormone is detected in it more accurately.
Can I take a pregnancy test before the delay?
Effectiveness of early testing
If you're considering taking a pregnancy test before your period is late, it's important to consider the pros and cons before doing so. Not only could it be more expensive to take a pregnancy test too early, but it could also give you inaccurate results!
Chances are you will get a positive result.
If it is indeed positive, it relieves stress during the two week wait. (link)
Useful if you need to start or stop medication.
It allows you to immediately start adapting to the lifestyle of a pregnant woman (eg not consuming alcohol etc).
High probability of a false negative result (in case you are pregnant).
Feeling disappointed with the negative result.
Cost (as early tests are more expensive).
You may have a biochemical pregnancy, be happy with the positive result, but find out later that the pregnancy no more exists.
Can I take a pregnancy test during my period?
Firstly, let's make it clear that it is not possible to have your period and be pregnant. The blood you may have is due to other causes, in the event that there really is a pregnancy. But if you're bleeding and you think it's your period, that's usually a sign to confirm you're not pregnant. The period comes when the unfertilized egg is rejected from the body along with blood and tissue from the uterus. When you get pregnant you will no longer have a period. This means that if you take a pregnancy test while you are bleeding and get a positive result, then the bleeding is due to reasons other than your period.
Possible causes of bleeding in early pregnancy
If you think you're on your period and still get a positive pregnancy test, there are several reasons why you may be bleeding early in your pregnancy. It is a fact that 25% of pregnant women may experience bleeding during the first trimester. These reasons vary from woman to woman. But if you see bleeding early in your pregnancy, you should definitely contact your gynecologist as soon as possible.
Will a pregnancy test work during my period?
If you have vaginal bleeding, yes, you can take a pregnancy test and the result will not be affected. This is because pregnancy tests are designed to detect hCG levels in urine. The blood that passes through the test does not in any way affect the levels of hCG detected and therefore neither the result of the test.