Most women who keep tab of her ovulation and suddenly miss her menstrual cycle tend to ask: how early can I take a pregnancy test? The answer is actually “whenever you want” since pregnancy tests are safe and easy to take. Unfortunately, the result may not be accurate if you’re overeager and take it before the right hormones are present in your body. To answer this question and more, here’s the information you’re looking for.
How Early Can I Take a Pregnancy Test? | Get the Answer – and More
1. How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?
The answer to “How early can I take a pregnancy test?” depends largely on how these exams work.
Pregnancy tests detect the level of human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG hormone in your urine or blood. During pregnancy, the levels of hCG rise rapidly, often doubling every two or three days.
There are two ways to test: urine test or blood pregnancy test. Most women go through the urine pregnancy test. This is understandable since these at-home pregnancy tests offer speed and convenience.
These home pregnancy tests are simple. Depending on the kit, you may urinate on a specially designed stick or into a cup, in which you place the sample. Other tests involve a dropper. You keep the pee in the cup and use a dropper to place the urine sample onto the test strip.
Depending on the test, it may take three to five minutes for the results to appear. Some sticks will display words such as “positive” or “negative.” In other cases, you will see lines. Two lines may mean you’re pregnant, while a single line means you’re not.
You can take the pregnancy test anytime. However, the experts advise taking it in the morning. Pregnancy hormones are typically higher at this time.
2. How Early Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?
Typically, home pregnancy tests claim you can expect an accurate reading as soon as you have a missed period. Often, however, many fail to detect pregnancy this early.
Multiple factors influence the timing of a positive pregnancy test. Because hCG levels increase steadily over time, the hormone may not be abundant shortly after a woman becomes pregnant. It’s possible the tests are not sensitive enough to detect conception.
One of the best times to try those at-home tests is at least a full week after your expected period.
3. How Accurate Are the Pregnancy Tests?
Many home pregnancy test kits claim to be 99 percent accurate. The answer to this question, however, is actually rather complicated. A variety of factors can determine pregnancy test accuracy beyond the kit itself.
While some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others, when and how they’re used may ultimately play a greater role in accuracy.
4. Could I Still Be Pregnant Even If I Get a Negative Result on My Pregnancy Test?
A negative pregnancy test doesn’t automatically mean you’re not pregnant. Women tend to ovulate differently, and embryos may implant at different times.
False-negative tests are fairly common, particularly for women who test too soon. If your pregnancy test comes back negative, wait a few days before trying again.
Most medications will not interfere with home pregnancy test results. They even include birth control. If you take over-the-counter or prescription medications, you should be good to go. If you’re currently receiving fertility treatments or are taking medications that, otherwise, impact hormone levels, false-positive test results are possible.
“How early can I take a pregnancy test?” you ask? Watch this progression video from Myka Stauffer to get an idea:
Hopefully, you got the answer you need for “How early can I take a pregnancy test?” and all your other questions. If you’re trying to conceive, and the result is negative, don’t despair. You can try a blood test and, most importantly, see your gynecologist. He or she can confirm the pregnancy through an ultrasound. Either way, always hope for the best.
What type of pregnancy test do you prefer: blood or urine? Tell us your choice below!