How Soon Can You Take A Pregnancy Test
At-home pregnancy tests are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration , meaning their accuracy and labeling is evaluated before they reach store shelves. When it comes to the accuracy of at-home pregnancy tests, research shows if the test is used as directed, an inaccurate result is rare. While false-positive pregnancy test results are uncommon, if you do receive an inaccurate result, its more likely to be a false-negative. In this case, its likely youre testing too early, before HCG can be detected.
For most women who have a regular menstrual cycle, a pregnancy test could be taken on the expected day of the period, says Dr. Merhi. The earliest would be the expected day of the period however, I usually tell patients to wait at least a few days after the expected day of the period in order to lower the chances of having a false result.
Its worth noting that at-home pregnancy tests accuracy claimsmany of which advertise an accuracy rate of 99% from the day of the expected periodare based on data used in a sterile laboratory testing environment. If you think you received an inaccurate result, you can either wait and test again a few days later or see your doctor for a blood test, which can detect HCG earlier than at-home tests and has an accuracy rate of 99%.
Dont Drink A Lot Of Water Before Taking The Test
Donât drink too much water, or any liquid, before taking a pregnancy test. Excess fluids can impact the accuracy of the test results, so if your urine is diluted or pale yellow, hold off on taking a test. Diluted urine tends to also have diluted hCG levels which can skew the test results. Take a test when you naturally need to pee. This way, you’ll avoid diluting your hCG level and getting a false ‘Not Pregnant’ result.
When Is The Best Time To Test For Pregnancy
Test accuracy for pregnancy depends on the type of kit used.
First response kit
First response kit can detect pregnancy with a 66 percent accuracy 5 days before your period. This rises to 99 percent a day before your period.
Clear blue pregnancy test
Clear blue pregnancy test detects pregnancy about 4 days before your next period. It is more accurate on the day before your period. If your are pregnant, it simply shows a plus sign + sign or – sign if you are not pregnant.
Super drug early pregnancy test
This pregnancy test can detect if you are pregnant 4 days before your period.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you are unsure about the results of a home test or want to verify the results, then visit a healthcare provider. You can get confidential urine or blood testing at most providers and clinics. If you are transgender, there are many organizations worldwide that can help you to find a trans-friendly ob/gyn.
If youâve had a negative pregnancy test and you havenât had a period in more than 90 days, make an appointment to see a healthcare provider. Tell them about your previous periods, cycle length and heaviness, and any other symptoms you have noticed. They may want to run a few tests to check if your cycle is being affected by another health condition.
Brand Name Versus Generic Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests, both brand name and generic, are very accurate at detecting the HCG hormone and any positive result, even a faint line, can be considered positive. HCG is only produced by a pregnancy any positive result indicates a pregnancy.
You dont need a serum pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy. Both urine and blood detect HCG, although the blood test is more sensitive and can detect HCG levels at much lower levels than a urine test. In certain situations, your doctor may want to perform a blood HCG test but its not typically needed to confirm a pregnancy.
Although most tests advertise 99% accuracy, the ability of a particular brand to detect HCG at levels less than 50 ml may vary. Some brands may be better able to detect lower levels of HCG than others. If your HCG level is more than 50 ml, which is the detection rate of most tests, even generic tests will detect a pregnancy accurately.
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What About Early Pregnancy Tests
Early pregnancy test manufacturers market to your desire to get answers as early as possible. It is not hard to see the advertising on the box and read the claims of 99% accuracy along with the ability to detect pregnancy six days before your missed period.
But let us take a closer look, so you do not test too early for pregnancy. The first thing to consider is that the percentage provided on the front of the package is only accurate when you take the test on the day of your expected period and in a laboratory setting by professionals. The same goes for the the instructions printed inside the pregnancy test kit the claims of accuracy are elevated because they do not reflect real-life testing in real-life situations. The results from a University of New Mexico study reveal the chances you can anticipate getting the right answer from an early home pregnancy test:
- One day past your expected period: 100% of pregnancies detected
- On the day of your expected period: 96% of pregnancies detected
- On the day before your expected period: 93% of pregnancies detected
- Two days before your expected period: 81% of pregnancies detected
- Three days before your expected period: 68% of pregnancies detected
- Four days before your expected period: 42% of pregnancies detected
- Five days before your expected period: 33% of pregnancies detected
- Six days before your expected period: 25% of pregnancies detected
If You Have A Regular Menstrual Cycle
Sperm exposure poses the highest risk of pregnancy from around the middle of the cycle to about 2 weeks before your anticipated period, because this is when most people ovulate. This is only true in general, and it might not be reflective of any given cycle, so you shouldnât rely on this rough estimate for pregnancy prevention.
Sperm exposure towards the beginning or the end of the cycle in general poses less risk of pregnancy, because itâs less likely that a person ovulated close to or during those times.
You should take a pregnancy test or contact your healthcare provider if your period is more than 9 days late.
Track the timing of your periods and sexual activity in Clue.
If your cycle tends to be quite “regular” and you want to take a pregnancy test sooner, itâs generally recommended you wait at least two weeks after your estimated ovulation day, or around when you expect to get your period. Some pregnancy tests advertise that you can take them earlier than that, but there can be a higher likelihood of a false negative . To avoid a false negative, itâs best to wait a few days after your expected period. Itâs up to you if you want to take it sooner.
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When Is The Best Time To Do A Pregnancy Test
hCG doubles about every 48 hours in early pregnancy, so a home pregnancy test that is negative on Monday could very likely be positive on Wednesday. However, if it’s positive with first-morning urine, later on in the day, when the urine is more diluted, it could test negative. It is also important to remember that despite the advances in urine home pregnancy tests, blood tests are still the best at detecting early pregnancy.
The timing of a positive pregnancy test depends on implantation. If you are pregnant, a urine pregnancy test is not expected to be positive until 3-4 days after implantation , which is about 10 days after ovulation/fertilization, and 4 days before the next period. About 51% of pregnant women have a positive pregnancy test two days before their next expected period.
What Are The Different Types Of Pregnancy Tests
Pregnancy tests check for the hCG hormone in two ways:
- Urine test. This type of pregnancy test can be done at home or at a doctor’s office.
- Blood test. This type of pregnancy test can only be done at a doctor’s office. It takes longer than a urine test to get results, but it can detect a pregnancy earlier than a urine test . Your doctor may use one or both types of blood tests:
- A quantitative blood test that measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood. It can find even tiny amounts of hCG. It can also tell you and your doctor how many weeks you are pregnant.
- A qualitative hCG blood test checks to see whether the pregnancy hormone is present or not. The qualitative hCG blood test is about as accurate as a urine test.
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Youre Pregnant But Youre Testing Too Early
You know how pregnancy tests say you can test 5 days sooner! on the package? That refers to how many days before your expected period you can test yourself and get an accurate result.
But if you read the fine print, the likelihood of accurate results starts out kinda small at the 5-day mark, increasing as you get closer to your period.
If its way too far from your expected period date, you wont have enough pregnancy hormone in your urine yet to trigger a positive result on the test.
The easiest solution here is to simply wait a few days, or even all the way until youre past due for your period . Even re-testing again in 72 hours, though, could land you a different result.
What Do I Do If I Am Unsure Of My Result
For your result to be positive you should see 2 lines. The control line should be a strong pink coloured line. The test line may look the same as the control line or it may be fainter than the control line In both cases it will be the same thickness as the control line. If you are unsure, wait 48 hours and retest with a new test strip.
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/5the Right Time To Take The Test
Studies show that taking the pregnancy test in the morning gives you a more accurate result. Thats because the urine is more concentrated in the morning, so the hCG concentration is higher. This means you are more likely to get a positive result if youre pregnant. This is more effective when your period is late. The chances of false-negative are high when you take the test before your monthly period cycle and you are drinking a lot of water and your urine is diluted.
Youre Pregnant But Youre Overly Hydrated
The more diluted your urine is, the less hCG will be present and the less likely you are to get a positive result. What dilutes your urine? Good ol H20.
If youre a committed hydrator , its possible youre too good at flushing out your system. Who knew?
Dont cut back entirely on water, just dont drink too much the night before or the morning of taking your test.
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Food Aversions Or Cravings
Taste is one thing that can be altered pretty quickly in early pregnancy. Even before a missed period, some women experience a shift in their taste buds. Some of the foods and drinks that seem to have the most commonly altered tastes in early pregnancy tend to be alcohol and fruits. Ones interest in cigarettes can also change pretty quickly. This may be caused by a heightened sense of smell, which is brought about by a rise in estrogen. This can all happen pretty quickly after implantation and can be a sure sign you may be pregnant.
I Got A Negative Result What Should I Do Next
If youre still not sure about the result, you wait until the day of your expected period to test, or test again in three days time if youve missed your period, with a from a reliable brand and follow the instructions carefully. You can also go to your doctor if you have doubts. You may get tested at the clinic or your doctor may recommend another brand of test to use.
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How Does Pregnancy Or Implantation Occur
During your period cycle, the ovaries releases egg into the Fallopian tube for fertilization. This release of egg is called ovulation.
This egg may be fertilized in the fallopian tube by the mans sperm.
After fertilization, it takes some days for the embryo to be transported back to the uterus where it is attached to the uterine endometrium. This attachment is called implantation and may cause some women to have light spotting before period and cramping.
After implantation, HCG levels in blood and urine begin to rise which is detected during your pregnancy test.
Understanding your ovulation signs and symptoms makes it easy to know when ovulation takes place and when you may have signs of pregnancy. This is because implantation bleeding occurs about 6 12 days after ovulation while your next period occurs 14 to 16 days after ovulation.
Some of the sign of ovulation are
- Clear white stretchy discharge before ovulation
- Increased basal body temperature
These are very early symptoms of pregnancy. Having pregnancy test done immediately after implantation may be inaccurate due to low level of HCG hormones. Some pregnancy test kits can detect pregnancy with a 99 percent accuracy a day before expected period.
Its also possible to predict your next period if you have
- Cramping before periods
- Breast pain and swelling before period
- Low back pain before periods
However, these menstrual period symptoms may sometimes be confused as pregnancy.
How Pregnancy Tests Work
Knowing how pregnancy tests work can help you understand when to take them. Pregnancy tests relay how urine reacts with a piece of paper that can detect the presence of hCG. Results are usually shown as a single or double line or a plus or minus sign.
An at-home pregnancy test can’t measure the exact amount of pregnancy hormone in your urine. What it can do is detect whether a minimum amount is present.
Getting a negative pregnancy test result doesn’t mean your urine doesn’t contain hCG. It just means it doesn’t contain enough to trigger a positive result.
“Early results” pregnancy tests promise results as soon as three to six days before your missed period. These tests are more sensitive than standard tests but getting accurate results that early is more difficult simply because ovulation and implantation times can vary. If you have irregular periods, it can be even more difficult to know when might be an accurate time to try an early test.
If you’re having fertility treatments, be aware that this may result in a false positive pregnancy test, especially those performed early. That’s because pregnancy tests may detect the remains of fertility medications like Ovidrel, Pregnyl, or Novarel.
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