If you think you might be pregnant, especially unexpectedly, you want to be able to confirm things as soon as possible. Most women will turn to at-home pregnancy tests to confirm pregnancy because of the ease of use and availability. But how do you know when to take a pregnancy test?
How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?
Pregnancy tests measure hCG levels, a hormone that is present when a woman is pregnant. If a woman is not pregnant, hCG is not usually detectable unless they have another health condition. As a pregnancy progresses, hCG levels increase. Both blood and urine pregnancy tests measure these changes in hormone levels. Many at-home tests are sensitive enough to detect low levels of hCG, but false negatives are possible. This is why knowing when to take a pregnancy test for the most accurate results is helpful.
Blood Tests vs. Urine Tests
There are two main ways to test for pregnancy: blood and urine. Urine tests are readily available at most drug stores and supermarkets. Urine tests are inexpensive and can be taken in the privacy of your own home. Blood tests, on the other hand, are only available at a doctor’s office and you have to wait several days for the results. An at-home urine pregnancy test provides results within minutes. Generally, doctors only provide confirmation of pregnancy through a blood test in cases of suspected miscarriage or other concerns.
What Day Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?
Most women who think they might be pregnant want to know for sure as soon as possible. Many at-home tests promise results sooner than waiting for a missed period. Even so, it is better to wait until after your period is late to take a test. First of all, without an ultrasound at the time of ovulation, it is very difficult to know the exact time of conception. It takes a fertilized egg up to 9 days to implant into the uterine wall, which triggers the release of hCG levels. hCG doubles every few days in early pregnancy. If you test too early, you risk getting a false negative result. Waiting to test until after your period is due gives the opportunity for hCG to rise to detectable levels.
What Time Is Best?
Knowing when to take a pregnancy test in terms of the time of day is helpful. In general, it’s a good idea to use “first-morning urine”, especially if you are taking a test before your missed period. If the urine is diluted, hCg is not as detectable. This means you may get inaccurate results on a pregnancy test, like a false negative. False positives are much rarer than false negatives. If you suspect you may be further along, you should be able to receive accurate results by taking a pregnancy test at any time of day.
Think you might be pregnant? Clearway Clinic provides free and reliable urine pregnancy tests in a clean, safe, and non-judgmental environment. Schedule an appointment today.