When to take a Pregnancy Test

Simple question – a simple answer? Not really!

If you rush into the bathroom right after intercourse, you will be disappointing to find out that mother nature needs a bit of time before delivering the news.

The little fella needs some time to travel, and your body needs some time to produce something called the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

Don’t worry; it’s not a name of some exotic disease, it’s just a hormone that your body produces when you get pregnant.

The hormone is released when a fertilized egg (thanks to our fella we mentioned earlier) attached to a wall of woman’s (of course!) uterus. This typically happens about six days after fertilization.

If you are pregnant, the hCG levels will be growing rapidly. This hormone is important because it is used by standard pregnancy tests to detect pregnancy.

pregnancy test
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Now we getting to your question: When to take a pregnancy test?

The answer depends on which test are you going to use. Home pregnancy test or blood test at the doctors?

A blood test can detect pregnancy earlier than home pregnancy tests using urine samples. This pregnancy test can be done about six to eight days after ovulation.

The obvious disadvantage is that you won’t see any blue lines anywhere within seconds. It takes at least few days to get the results back.

Home pregnancy tests are very popular and can be done in the privacy of your bathroom.

When can you take it?

Most women take them about a week after missed period. This is a safe guideline to ensure you get the correct result.

Some tips for accurate pregnancy test results:

  • wait at least one week after a missed period
  • follow carefully the instructions for the test by the manufacturer (these can vary)
  • do the test in the morning, from the first-morning urine which is most concentrated

Word of warning – in some cases, you may get a fake positive result. This happens for example if there’s blood or protein in your urine or if you’ve been using certain drugs, like tranquilizers or anti-convulsants.

It is therefore recommended to contact your doctor and confirm the pregnancy with a blood test.

A fake negative result might be caused by using a test that’s passed the expiry date, performed too soon (see one week recommended wait period above) or your urine was diluted by consuming too much liquid before the test, and it can’t detect the hormone anymore.

If you get a negative test, try doing another one in few days, eliminating these risk factors.

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