If you think you’re pregnant you probably want to confirm the news as soon as possible. Taking a pregnancy test can tell you that you are pregnant. Figuring out when to test for pregnancy can be confusing. What if it’s too soon for a positive result to show? Keep reading for Stork Mama’s advice on when to take a pregnancy test.
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When to Test For Pregnancy
Understanding your Cycle
Knowing your menstrual cycle will help you to pinpoint when is best for you to take a test. Let’s cut through all the medical jargon.
This is the number of days from the first day of bleeding until the next. The average cycle length is 28 days. Your cycle length may be longer or shorter than this.
This is when the egg is released and your most fertile time. This usually happens around 14 days after your first day of bleeding. You are usually only fertile for 12-24hours.
Also known as the ‘two week wait’. This is the time between ovulation and the start of your bleeding. If you are pregnant your body will begin to release pregnancy hormones and you will miss your period. If you have a short luteal phase an early pregnancy test will usually show inaccurate results.
Most women will not get a positive pregnancy test until they are at least 10 days past ovulation (10 DPO). If you have a short luteal phase you won’t usually get a positive tests until your period is missed.
A pregnancy test by measuring how much pregnancy hormone (hCG) is in your urine. Increased level are only present in your urine when you are pregnant. Normal levels are around 5 mIU/ml but will double every 2 days when an egg is fertilized. Early pregnancy tests will detect levels of 25 mIU/ml which means pregnancy can be detected as early as 5-7 days before your period is due. It’s important to remember test results are more reliable to later you take the test.
A late period is one of the main signs which indicates you may be pregnant. By the time you’ve missed a period the levels of hCG in your urine are usually high enough to give a result which is 99% accurate. This is the best time to test for pregnancy, as you are most likely to get a true result.
If you are actively trying for a baby, waiting for your missed period can drive you crazy. It’s tempting to test early and you may be lucky and get a positive. The earlier you test the less accurate the result will be. Check out how accurate early testing can be, before your period is due:
- 6 days before – 53%
- 5 Days before – 62%
- 4 Days before – 74%
- 3 days before – 83%
- 2 days before – 92%
- 1 day before – 98%
If you take a pregnancy test this early there is always a chance of a false negative. That is when the test is negative but you are actually pregnant. A test will stay negative until you have enough hCG hormone for the test to pick up.
If you get a negative test before you are late for your period you should test again. Testing early can quickly add up with the cost of pregnancy tests. If you insist on testing early we recommend buying cheap pregnancy tests in bulk; and then confirming with a reliable brand or blood test if you get a positive.
Negative results before your period can put emotional stress on you by giving you false hope. Also consider how you will feel if you get a positive but then your period arrives. This often means you have had a very early miscarriage which would have otherwise gone undetected.
There are many reasons why you may not get a positive test at the early stages of your pregnancy including:
Ovulation – You may ovulate earlier or later than the average 14 days after your period. The best way to know is to monitor your cycle symptoms. This includes checking cervical mucus, using ovulation tests or taking your basal temperature.
Fertilization – It’s possible for your egg to be fertilized up to 24 hours after ovulation. This can through off any tests result by a day.
Implantation – You won’t start to produce raised levels of hormones until your egg implants into the womb. This can take anywhere from 5-12 days, which is why some women get positive tests earlier than others.
Incorrect testing – If the instruction were not followed they may not show true results. Always check your pregnancy test is in date. If you are unsure get a professional to do the test for you.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
You may start to notice changes caused by pregnancy before your miss your period. These changes are caused by hormones affecting the body and how you feel. Some of these sign include:
Tender breasts. Your breast tissues may feel heavier or tender as they adjust to hormone levels. This sign is more common if you’ve already had a baby.
Fatigue. You may feel exhausted in early pregnancy.
Sickness. Feeling nausea or sickness is a common sign of pregnancy. This usually happen after the 4 week mark, however it can happen earlier if you are hormone sensitive.
Peeing more. The pregnancy hormones relax your soft tissue and can cause you to go to the toilet more often.
Emotions. You mood may be all over the place flitting between happy and sad. It’s complexly normal, even if you really wanted to be pregnant. It’s natural to worry especially if you have health concerns or pregnancy losses before.
Time of Day
If you wait until your period is due to take a test, it should not matter what time of day you take the test. If you decide to take the test very early, then its recommended you take the test in the morning. Your urine will be more concentrated and is more likely to detect the HGC in your urine.