How Early Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test? 

...and other Top FAQs

It's probably one of the most-asked questions we receive here by email. Everyone wants to know: "How soon can I take a pregnancy test?" Of course, there are a number of variations on this question, particularly for women who are fertility charting and who want to know - exactly - at how many days past ovulation they can begin testing (and hopefully get that earliest positive result). Below, we'll look at all the facts and details relating to answering this question - and give you the most informed framework for hazarding a "best guess" on when you can begin!

Question: When Can I Take A Pregnancy Test? And the answer is.... that depends! Yes, as with all good questions, there is never a good, easy, simple one size-fits all answer. But we will be happy to provide you with all the variables involved in answering this question for yourself, and hopefully this can give a relatively good picture for a time frame for testing.

The Variables Involved in Pregnancy Testing:

1. The HCG Sensitivity of a Given Test (high sensitivity pregnancy tests are able to detect pregnancy sooner than "regular" pregnancy tests)

2. The Rate of hCG Production

3. Urine Dilution / Consumption of Liquids

4. What Time of Day You Test

5. Do You Know When You Ovulated? (Ovulation tests or a fertility monitor should be used to help determine this.)

6. Actual moment of "Implantation"

Let's begin with some background info. A pregnancy test functions by homing in on one specific reproductive hormone that starts flowing through your body the moment you become pregnant. This is not the moment of conception, however. Conception is when a sperm and egg unite (aka fertilization). The fact is that a pregnancy is "inaugurated" not at the moment of fertilization, but when a fertilized egg actually "hooks up" to your womb. That is the moment you are pregnant, and the time that this unique hormone (hCG) is able to flow from the placental tissue into the bloodstream of the mother. From the blood, the hCG circulates through the body and ends up in the urine as well.

Ovulation and Implantation: Now, here's the confusing part that makes answering this big question of "When Can I Take a Test" a bit difficult. Once the egg is fertilized, it floats around for a few days - even up to a week or so - before it is able to nestle its way into a comfortable home in the uterine lining (or wall of the womb). Theoretically, if you ovulate on Cycle Day 14, and you "conceive" on day 14 or 15, the embryo will just be hanging around looking for that special place to snuggle up into the womb. It's possible that your implantation date can take place just a handful of days after conception. But it's also possible that it can take up to a week or more! Thus, it is not possible to pinpoint a specific day when you can test and get that long-sought-for positive result. However, if you know when you ovulate (thanks to ovulation tests) you can still better focus in on a pregnancy test start date.

hCG Levels: The next crazy variable to confound us in seeking an answer to the big question is how fast hCG increases in your system. The fact is, different embryos will produce hCG at a faster or slower pace, depending on the woman and where the embryo implants. This means that for some women, hCG levels will rocket and for others it may trickle a bit at first. The good news here is that the amount of hCG in your body will increase rapidly - and double almost daily. This is called the doubling rule, the exponential increase of the hormone, and it means that even if hCG production is lower for some women, it won't take too much longer for the amount to reach the threshold required for a pregnancy test to detect the presence of the hormone in blood or urine.

Test Sensitivity: The next variable can be controlled when you purchase a test. In the past, most tests had lower sensitivity thresholds, meaning that they required you to wait at least until your missed period to begin taking a test. Many tests still ask you to do so. However, newer FDA-Approved products do allow you to test before your missed period, including certain drugstore tests like First Response and affordable, high-sensitivity test kits available online. The highest (reasonable) threshold is 20mIU/ml/hCG. This means that the amount of hCG in a given urine sample must exceed this "trigger" level for a positive test line to be produced. So, using higher sensitivity tests, the answer to the big question is: You may begin testing at around seven to ten days past ovulation. But wait!!! As noted above, variables like implantation date and rate of hormone production do not guarantee a positive result during this early testing window. According to research data, it's likely that you may first see a positive pregnancy test during this time, but a negative result is still possible and does not close out the possibility of pregnancy. It's wise and recommended to conduct follow up tests!

FMU and Hold Time: Okay, so we now have a kind of fuzzy time-frame for knowing when to start taking a pregnancy test. At this point, we can look at other variables to help ensure that we can increase the accuracy of the result. These are factors we can control simply by following the directions in the instructional insert and taking certain steps to ensure that the hCG in a given urine sample will be at its highest levels. If you have been around this website, then you already know that testing with First Morning Urine is the first big factor in getting the earliest positive test result. First morning urine will exhibit a higher concentration of the hormone than samples collected at other times of the day. That's because all night, while you have slept, hCG has been allowed to accumulate in your urine. Now, if you do end up testing during other times of day, there are some things you can do to increase result accuracy. First, in the hours before you "pee for a test", try to avoid flushing the body with a lot of liquids. Never dehydrate yourself! Just take it easy on the liquids and hold your urine as long as possible before you collect a sample or pee on that stick.

If you are trying to conceive and are fertility charting, then you will know the approximate date of ovulation. With that fact, you can pretty much determine the approximate days for when you can take a pregnancy test. Best of luck and babydust to all!

Read More:

Comments

I have been trying to get pregnant for a few years now. I have a irregular cycle and has been that way since I got off Depro Vera. About a year ago my cycle started to regulate although my cycle isn't every 28 days. I had one monthly up until March 19,2012 and I have had one since and I realized looking back at my calendar I had sex on day 14 after my cycle begin? Could I be pregnant? I want to take a test but this has happens in the past before and I don't want to see another negative test! What should I do?

not getting pregant after fertility and 16 day ovulation day we had sex next day we had

not getting pregant after fertility and 16 day ovulation day we had sex next day we had

I had my last period on d 11april and with d ovulation calender my most fertile day is 25th April and me and my husband had sex that day, so I want to know when I can start testing For pregnancy. Pls advice. Thanks.

My boyfriend and I have been sexually active for about a year. We have been using the pullout method. My cycle average is 30days. I was supposed yo get my period Monday the 30th of april but I haven't. Can that mean I am pregnant? I've also gain weight in the past 2months but I just thought it was because I haven't been eating to healthy. I haven't fealt anything else but bloated like I usually get before my period. Can I be pregnant?

I have a friend that had her period on the 20th of January this year and she slept with this guy unprotected early hours of the 10th february this year and she is now pregnant she has been to the Docters and her due date is the 26th of October. I have no idea how the whole thing works but to me it dosnt add up to be his because that would mean she would of already been three weeks pregnant when she was with him. How does it work?

Hi, I had a missed miscarriage on Jan 13 2012 and after about amonth and a half my husband and i have been trying to get pregnanat, my last mense was 4th april 2012 and i have a 28 day circle, i have been having nausea and growling and gurgling in the stomach, also i have been getting somelight headness can i go ahead and test or i should wait. Thanks

Hi, I had a missed miscarriage on Jan 13 2012 and after about amonth and a half my husband and i have been trying to get pregnanat, my last mense was 4th april 2012 and i have a 28 day circle, i have been having nausea and growling and gurgling in the stomach, also i have been getting somelight headness can i go ahead and test or i should wait. Thanks

hi..... i have a problem for many years, i want to get pregnant bcoz my partner want me a baby, im afraid that he get pregnant 2 other woman, we are 6 years until now im not get pregnant, wat can i do pls help me my last menstration is on april 17 2012 & finished on 0n 20 ds month but i have an irregular menstrual cycle last month i have, is on march 18 2012, how can i get pregnant pls help......

Since I first started my period I have always been regular. Pretty much every 28 days my period comes. even when I was on the pill. The pill was literally making me feel crazy so I went off and my husband and I have been using condoms or pull out method. I am not exactly ready to have a baby but it is not a huge deal if I am pregnant. my last period began March 20, 2012 and my period has been expected since April 17, 2012, it is now the 20 which is three days after my expected period. I have taken 2 pregnancy test and both have been negative. Is there a chance I am still pregnant?

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Textual smileys will be replaced with graphical ones.

More information about formatting options

Ovulation Calculator

Format: 11/22/2014
Increase your chances of getting pregnant! Our Ovulation Calculator will help you predict when you ovulate - your prime time for becoming pregnant.

OvaCue Fertility Monitor at Early-Pregnancy-Tests.com

Our Blog

 
By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.