Every woman hoping to become pregnant wants to know the answer to this often asked question. When should I take a pregnancy test? If you’re wondering about this, you’re not alone. Some women make the mistake of testing too early. This can cause unnecessary upset and even heartbreak for those who want desperately to become pregnant. While it might seem like you simply take the test after you try to become pregnant, there is a timeline.
When you should take a pregnancy test depends on your body and its inner workings. Since there’s no way to know when your test might or might not show a positive test result, experts recommend waiting until at least the first day of your missed period to test. Otherwise, you might end up testing too early and receive a negative result.
To understand why you have to wait a few weeks after you ovulate, you should know how tests work. Pregnancy tests are designed to detect the pregnancy hormone in your urine. This hormone is called hCG. Its levels indicate whether or not you are expecting. The average woman’s body has anywhere from 1 to 4 mIU of hCG. You have to have a level higher than 5 mIU to be considered pregnant. Your body begins producing the pregnancy hormone once a fertilized egg enters the uterus and implants itself onto the uterine wall. This could take anywhere from a few days to a week after conception depending on how quickly your body works bringing your fertilized egg down your fallopian tubes. From there it still takes several days for your hCG levels to rise high enough to be detectable by a pregnancy test.
Another very common question women want to know the answer to is how late they need to be before they can take a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests are different as far as how quickly they can determine pregnancy. They’re not magic, however, so they don’t always work as quickly as they claim.
Technically, you don’t have to be late to be able to take a pregnancy test. Some women’s bodies produce the pregnancy hormone much faster and sooner than others. If you are one of those women, you can use one of the pregnancy tests that claim to be able to produce a positive result as many as six days prior to missing your period. If your hCG levels are high enough prior to missing your period, you will receive a positive result. However, it’s not guaranteed that you will at this point.
The tests that can detect pregnancy earlier than your missed period can do so because they have a higher sensitivity level than others tests. If you want to find out sooner whether or not you are pregnant, you’ll want to pick up a test with a higher level of sensitivity so that you can increase your chances of a positive result prior to your missed period.
However, for the most accurate test results, the best time to take a home pregnancy test is the first day of your missed period. Your results as of that day are as much as 99 percent accurate. Some doctors, however, argue that even this is too early and the best time to test is when your period is a week late. The choice, ultimately, is up to you when you test. It is important that you do understand your chances of an accurate result prior to testing.
Finally, another of the most commonly asked questions regarding pregnancy tests is how long you need to wait to take your test. You know now that it takes several days or even a week for your fertilized egg to make its way through your fallopian tubes and into your uterus. It might take a while from there before your egg attaches itself into the uterine wall and begins to produce hCG. It takes approximately 48 to 72 hours for your level of hCG to double its levels.
What this means for you depends on your body. If your level of hCG prior to pregnancy is 2 miU, it might take two to three days for it to double to 4 mIU and another two to three days for that to double to 8 mIU. This means it could take a week for the most sensitive pregnancy test to determine whether or not you a pregnant.
An additional factor to consider when it comes to determining how long to wait to take a pregnancy test is your ovulation date. While you might be certain you ovulated on a specific day, you might actually be off a day or two and therefore it might take even longer for your body to begin producing hCG.
To get the most accurate test results, you will want to wait until the first day of your missed period to test for pregnancy. It’s the best way to guarantee that your result is as accurate as possible. If you do test this day and do not receive a positive result and your period does not arrive, you might want to call your doctor to schedule an appointment for a blood test.