Becoming pregnant is an exciting time in any woman’s life. It’s a time in which she is excited to have the opportunity to expand her family and to create a life within her body. When it’s time to become pregnant, many women plan extensively. Some plan to the point that they begin to ask “How soon can you take a pregnancy test?” because they don’t want to wait any longer to find out whether or not their lives are about to change in a wonderful way.
The truth is that you can take a pregnancy test whenever you want, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to give you the results you want. There’s actually a bit of complex science behind the little stick on which you urinate, despite the fact that it is just a stick on which you urinate. You can’t use it until your body begins to produce the pregnancy hormone. Known commonly as hCG, the pregnancy hormone does not appear in your urine the second you become pregnant. In fact, it takes as much as a week or more before your body begins to produce hCG after conception.
If you’re like most women, you know when you conceived – or you hope you conceived on that date. Depending on the length of your menstrual cycle, most women ovulate between 10 and 14 days after the first day of their missed period. Once you do conceive, however, you’re still not considered pregnant. Your fertilized egg must make its way through the fallopian tubes, into the uterus, and implant onto the uterine wall. This is when your body begins to produce hCG.
However, even at this point it’s too early to take a pregnancy test. At this point, it might be close to three weeks after the first day of your last period. Seeing as your hCG levels take as much as three days to double, you might not be able to take a test that shows a positive result right away. However, you can take a pregnancy test as early as six days prior to the date on which you expect your period to arrive. While some women might be able to get a positive pregnancy test result prior to this, this is the earliest recommended day on which to test.
It can take anywhere from 7 to 14 days after conception for hCG to appear in your urine. This means that you can take a pregnancy test a week after you ovulate and potentially see a positive result. Please be warned, however, that most women do not receive a positive pregnancy test result this early after testing. Most women begin to see positive results around 10 to 12 days post ovulation, or two to four days prior to their missed period.
However, some pregnancy tests are designed to detect much lower levels of hCG in your urine. For this reason, you might become one of the fortunate few women who are able to see a positive pregnancy test result as much as a week prior to your missed period. If you want to see a positive result this early, your best chance is with either the Clear Blue Advanced pregnancy test or the First Response Early Response digital pregnancy test. Both are sensitive enough to detect even the lowest levels of hCG in a woman’s urine, making them the most sensitive home pregnancy tests on the market at the current moment. Please note, however, that a negative result early on does not mean you aren’t pregnant; it simply means your level of hCG might not yet be high enough to detect.
Medical professionals recommend that you wait at least a week after ovulation to test for pregnancy. The reason for this is that a week is the typical time frame in which your egg travels through your body and into your uterus. Only a small percentage of women will receive a positive result this early. However, medical professionals do note that that number grows significantly at 9 days post-ovulation. As many as 30 to 40 percent of women who test nine days after ovulation will receive a positive pregnancy test result.
However, it is important for women to remember that even though you think you ovulated on a specific day does not mean that you actually did. You might think you ovulated on the 10th of the month but you didn’t actually ovulate until the 12th. This means that testing a week after your suspected ovulation on the 10th is not enough time to receive an accurate result on your pregnancy test.
For the best results, wait until the first day of your missed period to take a pregnancy test. Most tests are 99 percent accurate at this time provided that you use it correctly by following the instructions. However, if you simply cannot wait, you may begin testing beginning a week after your ovulation and continue testing every other day after that until you receive the correct results.
Blood tests are the only way other than urine to test for pregnancy. These tests are ordered by your doctor and are foolproof; if you are pregnant it will show up on a blood test. You can ask your doctor for a blood pregnancy test whenever you’d like. However, it’s best to wait at least a week past ovulation to ask for one because there will not yet be hCG in your bloodstream at this point. Once your fertilized egg has implanted into the uterine wall, however, your doctor will be able to test your blood for pregnancy.
Not only will he or she be able to test for pregnancy this way, your doctor can also determine the level of hCG in your blood rather than just the generic presence of it that indicates pregnancy. He or she can use your level to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy.
If you suspect you are pregnant and it’s too soon to take a test or you keep getting a negative home pregnancy test result, you can ask your doctor to perform a blood test. He or she might discuss how soon can you take a pregnancy test or the chances of a positive result if it’s still early so that you don’t get your hopes up or that you don’t become disheartened if it’s really just too early to tell.
Even after you become pregnant and a home pregnancy test confirms you are pregnant, your doctor might order a blood test. This helps to determine how far along you are based on your levels of hCG in combination with the date of your first day of your last period and your measurements. This is how doctors determine your due date to give you an idea of when you can expect your baby to arrive. Most pregnancies last anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks with 40 weeks being the standard length of pregnancy. Once you hit the 37 week mark your baby is considered full term and safe for delivery at any time. However, most doctors will not allow you to continue to stay pregnant once you reach 42 weeks gestation as that means your baby could run into potential health problems.