When Can I Take an (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.
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1. How Soon Will a Pregnancy Test Read Positive?
The question of when you can carry out a pregnancy test is not hard to answer: most urine-based tests can be taken as soon as your period is due. The result becomes more reliable two days after a missed period or 14 days after sexual intercourse.
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.
- 🙌 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 hormones in your urine.
- 🤔 Could My Symptoms Be Early Signs of Pregnancy? Take the Test!
2. When Can You Use an Early Result Pregnancy Test?
In addition to the standard pregnancy tests, you can also buy early-result pregnancy tests, which work the same way.
The difference is that they respond to a lower level of ß-hCG. This means that early pregnancy tests can already be performed several days before one's period is due. Some manufacturers advertise their effectiveness within five days of expecting one’s period. Counting ten days from ovulation is the earliest this kind of test would be accurate.
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 you are unsure whether you could be pregnant, wait for 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).
Just like any other pregnancy test, use the first urine after you wake up since the level of ß-hCG will be at its highest.
- ❗️ For more information on false negatives, go to Negative Test But Pregnant?
- 🤰🏻 Our Online Pregnancy Test will provide an initial evaluation.
3. 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.
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