Wanting to Know: How Soon Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?

Ab wann kann man einen Schwangerschaftstest machen?

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(Early Result) Pregnancy Test

  • You can take a regular home pregnancy test as soon as your period is due.
  • An early result pregnancy test can be used several days before one's period is expected, but the result may not be accurate. If the test was negative, it might be necessary to wait a few days before completing another test.
  • The accuracy of the test results increases with time and is almost 100% accurate two days after your missed period. The test reaches its maximum accuracy at ten weeks when ß-hCG levels are at their highest.

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Why Take a Pregnancy Test?

It makes sense to take a pregnancy test if:
1. You missed your period.
2. You suspect you could be pregnant (e.g., due to a contraceptive failure).
3. You notice early signs of pregnancy, such as...

  • Nausea (morning sickness)
  • Swollen breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Bloating, flatulence, or constipation
  • Slight spotting (implantation bleeding)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Dizziness
  • Cravings

🤔 Could my symptoms be early signs of pregnancy? Take the test!

When to Take Which Type of Pregnancy Test?

There are three types of pregnancy tests: pregnancy blood test, regular home pregnancy test, and early result pregnancy test. Each is used at different stages. Here is when to use which test:

Blood Test

If you are experiencing early signs of pregnancy or suspect a pregnancy for another reason (such as a contraceptive failure), you can get a blood test 6-9 days after a possible conception. Your blood is drawn at the doctor’s office and tested for the pregnancy hormone ß-hCG.

Early Result Pregnancy Test

Early pregnancy tests can be performed several days before one's period is due. You are probably wondering how soon is too soon. Some manufacturers advertise their effectiveness within five days of expecting one’s period. This test can be taken before you know whether your period will be late. Perhaps you are experiencing early signs of pregnancy or suspect a pregnancy for another reason. However, if the result is negative, it should be repeated at a later date.

Home Pregnancy Test

A regular home pregnancy test can be taken as soon as your period is late. If you are unsure when your period is due, you can also wait 14 days after the sexual intercourse in question to take the test.

Which Pregnancy Test to Use: An Overview


How Soon Is a Pregnancy Test Reliable?

Pregnancy blood tests are reliable within 6-9 days after a possible conception.
Regular home pregnancy tests are usually accurate as soon as one's period is due. The result becomes even more reliable two days after a missed period or 14 days after sexual intercourse.

Counting ten days from ovulation, early result pregnancy tests start producing accurate results.  
However, it is difficult to determine the exact time of ovulation or implantation. This makes early result pregnancy tests more unreliable than waiting to use a regular test. Using them early is more likely to result in a false negative. If unsure whether you could be pregnant, wait a few days and test again. The longer you wait, especially after your period is overdue, the more accurate the result.

If your early result pregnancy test reads positive, you can safely assume that you are pregnant and have the advantage of knowing sooner than usual. However, you may experience a miscarriage that would have gone unnoticed had you not taken the test (about 60% of miscarriages occur within the first week of pregnancy).

🙌 Note: Pregnancy tests work best after several hours of sleep since this is when ß-hCG levels are at their highest. Of course, this is usually in the morning. Watch your fluid intake before the test, as this would dilute the concentration of hormones in your urine.

🤰🏻 Take our Online Pregnancy Test for an initial evaluation.

ℹ️ How Does a Urine-Based Pregnancy Test Work?
The pregnancy hormone, aka human chorionic gonadotropin, or ß-hCG, is produced at implantation. HCG levels rise until the 10th week of pregnancy. Most pregnancy tests contain antibodies that react with this pregnancy hormone ß-hCG (principle of immunological detection). If the level of ß-hCG in the urine is still low, the pregnancy test may display a false negative. This means that you may be pregnant despite a negative result. A positive result is almost always accurate.
Around the 10th week of pregnancy, the concentration of ß-hCG is at its highest. A pregnancy test performed at this time is most reliable.

Unsure Where to Go from Here and Anxious?

Maybe you feel too afraid to take the test, or you already have a surprise positive test and wonder how to manage and where to turn for support. Maybe you are considering abortion.

Allow us to be your sounding board as you wrestle through these questions and concerns. Our digital counseling services were created as a safe space to voice your concerns and seek answers that suit your unique situation. Check out our overview of counseling services and choose a test that addresses your needs. All our services are free, anonymous, and confidential.

Take one of these tests for further guidance:

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