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How Early Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

By MomMed | 16 July 2022 | 0 Comments

 

Are you anxious to know if you are pregnant? Are you hoping to take a pregnancy test as early as possible to find out? Waiting to find out whether or not you have conceived can be difficult. Find out how soon you can start testing for pregnancy, so that you can know as soon as possible if you are indeed expecting!
 

How home pregnancy tests detect pregnancy.

To understand how early you can take a pregnancy test, it is helpful to know how a pregnancy test detects pregnancy. When a fertilized eggs implants successfully in the uterus, a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, begins to be produced in the body.

Once the hCG level in the body has reached a certain point, it is able to be detected in the urine by a home pregnancy test. You can use either a test strip that requires collecting the urine, or a midstream test that can be held directly under the urine stream to collect the results.

HCG rises rapidly in the early days of a normal pregnancy, and is the reason that many women experience early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea.
 

Avoiding a false negative.

If you take a pregnancy test before hCG levels have had a chance to rise in the body, you will get a negative result even if you are indeed pregnant. It is important to wait until an appropriate time to test in order to get an accurate result.

But how early is too early in order to avoid the disappointment of a false negative?
HCG production begins upon implantation, which occurs around 10 days after conception. Depending on your cycle and the levels of the hormone in your body, this means that some women may be able to get a positive result as early as 5 days before their missed period.

However, it is usually more accurate to wait until after a missed period in order to give you the best chance of seeing a positive result.
 

Will an early detection test give me a more accurate result?

Some home tests are labeled as early detection tests. This simply means that they can detect lower levels of hCG, giving them the chance to detect a pregnancy within a shorter amount of time.

An early detection test can give you a sooner positive result, even up to 5 days before your missed period. However, because there is a wide range of normal when it comes to hCG levels in early pregnancy, you may still need to wait until after your missed period for a positive result.

 
Should I test again if my first test is negative?

If you have taken a home pregnancy test before your missed period and received a negative result, you can wait another day or two before testing again to give hCG levels a chance to build.

Most pregnancies will be able to be detected by a home test no later than a day or two after a missed period, although it can be normal to not get a positive result until a week or so after that date.

If you have missed a period and are still seeing a negative result, call your care provider. They may be able to offer a blood test to confirm your results, or give advice on other next steps.
 

Does early morning testing increase the chances of an early positive?

You may have heard that taking a pregnancy test first thing in the morning can increase your chances of getting a positive result. This is because urine is typically more concentrated in the morning, making it slightly easier for a test to detect.

Particularly if you are using an early detection test before your missed period, testing your first-morning urine can be a good idea. As hCG levels build, however, they will be able to be detected in the urine at any time of day.
 

Ideas for coping with the wait.

Waiting to test can be difficult when you are trying to conceive. Even the 10-14 days between conception and testing can feel like a long wait when you are excited to find out!

If you are worried that you will not be able to wait to test, make sure that you have a few extra tests on hand. That way, you can test as early as possible, but still have some backup tests to use a couple of days later in case you get a negative!

Planning a few interesting or fun activities for yourself can be another helpful way to handle the waiting period. Marking the earliest day you could hope to get a positive test on your calendar (10-14 days after conception) can be a good visual reminder to yourself to wait until it’s time to test.
 
Whether you choose to take an early detection test, or wait to test until after you have missed your period, testing for pregnancy can be a nerve-wracking time. Try to remember that a test will only work if you have enough hCG built up to be detected. Be patient, and don’t be afraid to test again if you get a negative result early!

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