Pregnancy Tests Before Missed Period

Kanika Khara Mar 12, 2019
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Most women who are trying to conceive, approach the prospect of pregnancy with great anticipation and usually end up taking pregnancy tests before missed period. Are such early tests accurate? Read on to find out.
Early detection of pregnancy is a major concern for all women of childbearing ages, where some conceive with huge joy while others with worry.
As we know, every month the ovaries release eggs, and when one of the eggs is fertilized by a sperm, it gets implanted in the lining of the uterus. Hence, if fertilization occurs, the woman will miss her monthly menstrual cycle and is considered to be pregnant.
Though a missed or late period is one of the most obvious signs of pregnancy, many women in the excitement of conceiving conduct an early pregnancy test without waiting for this most prominent pregnancy symptom to occur.

How does a Pregnancy Test Work

☛ Shortly after a woman conceives, the growing placenta (tissue surrounding the growing baby) releases a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the body.
☛ But, the date of implantation, i.e., the time from when the pregnancy begins, is not equivalent to the date of conception. Conception normally takes place within 24 hours of ovulation, whereas the implantation of the fertilized egg occurs six or more days after conception.
☛ Hence, as soon as the fertilized egg gets implanted in the uterine lining, the hCG hormone is released by the placenta, which gets detected in the home pregnancy test.

☛ The production of hCG hormone increases after every 24 hours of conception and can be detected in the woman's circulatory system and urine.

Accuracy of Pregnancy Tests before Missing a Period

✔ There are different over-the-counter home pregnancy tests available in the market that can help in the earliest detection of pregnancy. Some tests expect the user to place the stick in the urine stream while others require collecting the urine in a cup and then dipping the stick in it.
✔ Another technique is to put a few drops of urine on the stick with a dropper and wait for some time till the results are shown. Whichever method you employ, most of the home pregnancy tests are considered to be 99% accurate if conducted on the day you miss your period.
✔ Hence, conducting a home pregnancy test before a missed period makes it difficult to detect the hCG hormone in the body and may show a negative result, despite you being pregnant.
✔ Basically, the concentration of hCG levels is calculated in milli-international units (mIU) or amounts equal to 1/1000th of an IU per milliliter.

✔ After conception, the concentration of hCG hormone increases every day and should be approximately 25 mIU at 10 dpo (days past ovulation), 50 mIU at 12 dpo, and 100 mIU at 15 dpo.
✔ For a positive pregnancy test, the hormone concentration should be somewhere between 5 to 10 mIU, therefore, the test should be conducted 6 - 8 days after conception.
✔ Moreover, there are certain ways that can increase the chances of an early pregnancy detection, like testing your urine first thing in the morning may boost the accuracy, as the hCG hormone concentration is maximum in the morning.
✔ Also, avoid urinating a few hours before taking the pregnancy test, as frequent urination can reduce the hormone concentration in the urine and may prove to be a hindrance in the early detection.
Thus, the chances of a positive test before a missed period are quite slim. Hence, you should conduct the early pregnancy tests on the first day of your missed period or a week or so after conception so that the hCG hormone rises up to a significant level to get accurate results.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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