Getting ready to take a pregnancy test can be exciting, daunting, nerve-racking, and many other emotions all at once. But when exactly is the best time to take a test, and how should you do it? We’ve got all the answers here with helpful input from a Flo expert.
- For accurate results, take a pregnancy test on the day of a missed period or the day after.
- The best time to take a test is first thing in the morning.
- You can use an at-home urine test, or your doctor may offer you a blood test to check for pregnancy.
- If you get a positive result, reach out to your doctor.
When should I take a pregnancy test?
Doing a pregnancy test is pretty easy, right? You pee on a stick, wait a few minutes, and then get your results. However, it’s important to know when to take a test to get the most accurate result. After all, whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not, you want to be able to rely on the pregnancy test you’re taking.
How do pregnancy tests work?
The two-week wait — that’s the time between ovulation and your expected period — can be nerve-racking. So, it might help you to understand how pregnancy tests work.
Thankfully, they’re pretty straightforward. All home pregnancy tests work by detecting the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your pee, which the body starts to produce around 6 days after fertilization.
What hormones do pregnancy tests measure and why?
During early pregnancy, your hCG levels will rise rapidly. These rising levels can be detected first in your blood and then in your pee, which is why either can be used to determine whether or not you’re pregnant. During a blood or urine test, you’ll be able to detect whether your body produced any hCG. Your doctor may also analyze your blood test to find out your exact hCG levels.
Some women’s hCG levels will almost double every 48 to 72 hours for the first eight to 10 weeks. However, it’s worth noting that hCG levels can vary from person to person, and the rate at which they increase can also differ between individuals. So if your doctor tests your exact hCG levels and they aren’t doubling every three days, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem. Always ask your doctor about any questions or concerns you might have about your levels.