You are probably familiar with the dreaded “two-weeks wait.” It is the period between ovulation and the commencement of the next period date. Pregnancy can be shocking or exciting news to a woman. A missed period is the first sign of possible pregnancy. However, that is not always true.
In the past, women did not take pregnancy tests after missing one period. However, modern technology has created tools that enable women to determine their fertility and pregnancy status such as the ovulation and pregnancy detection calculator.
It begs the question; how soon can you test for pregnancy? Before we answer the question, it is important that you understand the events leading to the pregnancy or lack of it.
Ovulation happens when the ovary releases an egg to the fallopian tube. The egg stays for 24 hours awaiting fertilization. Unprotected sexual intercourse during this period will result in conception. When fertilization occurs, the embryo finds its way to the uterus and implants itself into the uterine wall. Implantation happens 6-12 days after ovulation. During this time, the placenta releases hCG or the pregnancy hormone, and the amount secreted doubles every 48 to 72 hours.
Based on the information above, when would be the best time to take a pregnancy test? If you think you are pregnant, take the test the soonest possible.
Will early testing affect the accuracy of the results? You can take the pregnancy test a few days before your periods begin. Nonetheless, the result is less reliable. To get reliable results, take the test five days before the due period date.
How early is too early? The First Response Early Response, the earliest pregnancy test, can be taken at least five days before your period begins. The accuracy is 62 percent. However, the accuracy percentage increases each passing day. You can achieve 99.9 percent accuracy a day before the period is due.
Other pregnancy tests have 99 percent accuracy when taken on the due date of the period. Any day before that will offer false results.
The best time to take the test
Fertility experts, midwives, and general practitioners offer similar advice- the best time to get reliable, and an accurate result is a day after your period is due. It should be the first day of a late or missed period.
If you cannot wait till then, wait until you period begins. It will give you more trust on your test results. A simple home pregnancy test will give you accurate results around this period. Your doctor will recommend a pregnancy test after your period is due unless there is a medical emergency or need.
What happens if you have irregular periods? When would be the best time to take a pregnancy test? Experts’ advice that you try and remember when you last had unprotected sex. Three weeks after that period would be the ideal time to take the test.
Early pregnancy symptoms
The early pregnancy symptoms will start showing within the first three weeks. What other signs should you look out beside a missed period? At first, you may feel “pregnant,” but watch out for the following signs:
- Sore and tender breasts
- Stomach cramps
- Unusual food cravings/ disgust of certain foods
- Heightened sense of smell
- Vaginal discharge-not itchy or smelly
- Frequent urination
- Loss of appetite in some cases
My pregnancy test is negative, but I have the symptoms
In some cases, a negative result may be an indication of low hCG levels. We advise you wait for three days before taking the next test. The hCG will rise to levels that can be easily detected. In case you are pregnant, the increased hCG levels will show a positive pregnancy result.
Since all pregnancy tests measure the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels in the body, there is no set time for taking a pregnancy test. However, some pregnancy kits tend to be more sensitive. While the simple home pregnancy will detect hCG in your urine within the first few days, others will not detect the hCG as early as four days before your periods, or seven days after conception. The best time to get accurate and reliable results is taking the test when your period is due.
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