Give advice on women's health concerns.

When Can I Take a Pregnancy Test

When Can I Take a Pregnancy Test

'When can I take a pregnancy test?' is one question women expecting a positive result want to know about. This HerHaleness article will help all those hopeful women understand the details and facts that answer all their queries about taking a pregnancy test.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Family playing in bed together
One of the most confusing questions for women is 'when can I take a pregnancy test?'. Many women are so anxious that they want to know whether they are pregnant the minute they conceive. This 'oh so long' wait takes a toll on their minds and they turn to nervous wrecks, thinking about the same thing every minute, 'Am I pregnant or am I not?'.
This HerHaleness article will help you know all that you need to know about when can you take a pregnancy test.
What is a Pregnancy Test?

There are basically two types of pregnancy tests, the urine test and the blood test. Both these tests work on the same principle, detection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. The hCG is produced by the placenta shortly after the embryo is attached to the uterine lining. This hormone continues to build up within the body during the first few days. There are certain tests that detect the h-hCG hormone that is, hyperglycosylated hCG. This hormone is produced earlier, just after fertilization occurs.
Levels of Hormone to Detect Pregnancy

The h-hCG levels in women are slightly higher than hCG levels. And a majority of the tests are not sensitive to h-hCG. If your test determines the h-hCG hormone, you may get quicker pregnancy results. However, most of the pregnancy kits available in the market today are not sensitive to h-hCG, which means that you may have to wait longer for a positive test.
When Can I Take a Home Pregnancy Test

The answer to the question when can I take a home test is to wait until after you miss your periods. All women are different, so is their biological clock. Therefore, the time it takes for the embryo to get implanted into the endometrium will be different as well. A missed period is the best indication of getting pregnant if you are someone who experiences regular periods. Many times, you may get a negative test after several days beyond missed period. Therefore, it is always recommended to wait at least one day after missing your period date before you take a test.
Sometimes, the home pregnancy test may show a positive result about 10 days after fertilization, that is, a couple of days before the missing periods. Many times, you may have a false negative test or false positive test. Also, the home pregnancy test sensitivity may vary as well. For example, some tests may pick up 20 mIU of hCG and some may require about 150 - 250 mIU. Which indicates that the 20 mIU test will give you a positive result sooner than the other test strips.
So, the answer to the question is about 9 to 10 days after ovulation with a sensitive test (about 20 - 25 mIU), that is, if you are sure of your period dates. In case you are not sure about your period dates, you can do a home pregnancy test about 21 days (3 weeks), after having unprotected sex.
After Conception

Most tests that are taken too soon after conception cannot be very accurate. The best thing to do is wait until after you miss your periods. However, if you are trying for a baby for quite some time, then, you may take a test after conception. The implantation may take around 3 to 7 days after conception. Then, the implantation will occur about 6 to 12 days after ovulation. So the best time to take a test after conception is about 9 days. If you do not get a positive reading, you may continue taking a test for about 19 days after conception.
After Implantation Bleeding

Implantation bleeding is vaginal discharge that contains small amount of pinkish or brownish blood. There are only about a third of pregnant women who may experience implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus. It may occur about 6 to 12 days after ovulation. The answer to the question 'when can I take a pregnancy test after implantation bleeding?' is 4 to 8 days before your period date, in case you have a 28 day cycle. If you find it negative, you can wait for another 6 to 8 days and take the test again. If you still do not get a positive result, do not lose heart, wait for another 2 to 4 days and take another test.
After Ovulation

Once you have a positive ovulation test, you need to have intercourse several times in the following days to maximize the chances of pregnancy. Once you have tried your best to conceive, you should wait till you miss your periods before taking a test. However, you can try any one of the highly sensitive tests in the market that can detect 20 mIU/ml of h-hCG. The answer to your question is about 6 to 8 days after ovulation. For more accurate results, you can take the test about 9 to 10 days after ovulation.
After IVF

If you are trying to conceive with IVF, then you will know the exact date of the treatment. You can take a pregnancy test about 14 days after the treatment. Do not try it any sooner, or else you may get a negative test as the hCG hormone levels may not have built up in your body.
The best time to take a test is after missing your periods. You can even consult a doctor who can carry out blood tests and give you more accurate results.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.