How Soon Can You Take a Pregnancy Test Because Waiting Is Brutal
If you’ve ever been a part of a TTC community (trying to conceive), you know firsthand the agony of waiting for the right time to take a pregnancy test. You obviously want to test as soon as possible, but you also want the most accurate reading you can get. So many wonder how soon can you take a pregnancy test because the waiting is brutal, but testing at the best time can save you a lot of stress and potential heartache.
So how soon CAN you take a pregnancy test?
The science behind it is pretty straightforward. Pregnancy tests measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. The pregnancy hormone is produced after a fertilized egg is successfully implanted in your uterus. This normally happens 7-12 days after implantation. Typically, waiting until your first missed period is the best time to test, as your body will have produced enough detectable hCG to give you an accurate reading. But if you’re TTC (or just really want to know if you’re pregnant), waiting that long can seem impossible.
Home pregnancy tests have come a long way, and some can detect even tiny amounts of hCG in your urine before your first missed period.
If you need to know earlier, testing one to two weeks after you’ve had sex can sometimes give you an accurate result. However, it can be very hit or miss. Home tests typically need 50 units of hCG to show a positive result. Now, because every woman and pregnancy is different, some women will have the baseline amount very early on in a pregnancy. Others may not, resulting in a negative test. Pregnancy tests advertising early results can vary in accuracy. Without enough hCG in your system, your results can vary from negative to a very faint positive.
For the most accurate results, it’s best to wait until you’ve missed your period before taking a test. But keep in mind, an early negative can change! Pregnancy hormones double every 48-72 hours. So if you tested too early and got a negative result, but feel like you might be pregnant, wait a week or so and test again. Pay attention to other signs you might be pregnant, too. Cramping, sore breasts, and even just feeling “off” can all be signs of pregnancy. Even itchy palms could mean there’s a baby on board!
Trying to conceive can be a stressful time. But knowing when to test can help make it a bit easier. Our advice: track your cycle, stock up on tests, and know how to read even the faintest positive result. Here’s to positive pee sticks for all!
(Image: iStock / Wavebreakmedia)