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When to Take a Pregnancy Test: You Probably Didn’t Know This

Deciding when to take a pregnancy test can be a stressful time for many women. Whether you’re hoping for a big fat positive or big fat negative, taking an early test can quickly confirm your hopes or relieve your concerns.

happy woman on bed with a pregnancy test

How soon can you take a pregnancy test after sex?

Although you might be eager to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible, it’s best to wait until the week after your missed period to get the most accurate result. If you can’t wait until your period, let at least one to two weeks pass after you have sex before taking a pregnancy test. 

This waiting time is important, because your body needs to develop enough of the pregnancy hormone hCG to be detected with the pregnancy test. In most cases, you can detect levels of hCG 7 to 12 days after successful implantation of an egg. If you take the test too early, you might get a negative result (even if you are pregnant!). 

When is the best time to take a pregnancy test: morning or night?

The best time to take a pregnancy test is a popular topic of discussion. Is it best to take it in the morning or at night? To get an accurate result, most experts suggest taking a pregnancy test in the morning. Why? Your first morning pee has the highest concentration of hCG. Unless you wake up in the middle of the night to pee, first thing in the morning is the best time for early detection of pregnancy. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t take a pregnancy test later in the day. It just means that you’re more likely to get a false-negative, especially if you’ve been drinking a lot of water. It’s easy to forget in the morning, so it might be helpful to leave yourself a note from the night before. You can close the lid of the toilet and leave a note there to remind yourself. 

What if you have a weird sleep schedule and can’t test your urine first thing in the morning? You can recreate the first-morning pee by not using the bathroom for at least four hours. 

Before taking a pregnancy test, you don’t have to drink more water in the morning than you normally would. In fact, drinking a lot of water can dilute your urine and affect the result of your test. 

If you got a negative result but still think you might be pregnant, take the test again after several days. False-positives and false-negatives are rare, but they do happen. Repeating a test is never a bad idea.

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 the best time to take a pregnancy test

When is it too early to take a pregnancy test?

Taking a pregnancy test sooner than eight days past your ovulation (DPO) might result in a false-negative. This is because fertilized eggs don’t start producing the pregnancy hormone hCG until after the implantation is complete. 

About 85% of the time, implantation occurs 8 to 10 days past your ovulation. After implantation, your hCG levels will start doubling every 48 hours. At this point, pregnancy tests will be able to measure your hCG levels, ensuring a positive result. 

When to take a blood pregnancy test

Maybe you’ve taken a home pregnancy test, but now your doctor is suggesting you take a blood test. What exactly is and when should you take a blood pregnancy test? 

Home pregnancy tests measure the levels of the hCG hormone in your urine. A blood pregnancy test measures the hCG levels in your blood. Doctors suggest taking a blood test because they’re more sensitive and can offer more information than a home urine test. 

The best time to take a blood pregnancy test is if your period is several days late. If your home pregnancy tests are negative, but you’re experiencing all the symptoms of pregnancy, it’s a good idea to take a blood test. 

The most accurate blood tests are quantitative blood pregnancy tests, because they determine the exact amount of the hCG hormone. This is important because it can tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or if you need to do another test in a few days.

Doctors also recommend blood tests if you’ve experienced an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage in the past. Your doctor will be able to observe your hCG levels more closely in the first weeks of your pregnancy. 

A lot of women wonder when to take a pregnancy test to ensure accurate results. Whether you’re hoping for a positive or a negative, taking an early test might be the best way to get the information you’re looking for. Although you might be eager to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible, it’s best to wait until the week after your missed period to get the most accurate result. If you’re in a hurry, you can try taking it at least one to two weeks after sex.

To get an accurate result, it’s best to take a pregnancy test in the morning. First-morning urine exhibits the highest concentration of hCG. Taking your pregnancy test sooner than eight days DPO might result in a false-negative. Doctors suggest taking a blood test because they’re more sensitive and can offer more information than a home urine test. 

Use our due date calculator to know how far along in pregnancy you are.

http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/understanding-pregnancy-tests/
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199906103402304
http://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/hcg-levels/
https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/conception_how_it_works/
https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/InVitroDiagnostics/HomeUseTests/ucm126067.htm

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