When A Blood Test Is Used
If your period is late by several days, and youre still getting negative at-home pregnancy tests, a blood test may be recommended. While rare, it is possible to get a negative test result on an at-home test but still be pregnant. If this is your situation, call your doctor, and dont just order a test on your own. There are other reasons besides pregnancy that your period may be late.
You dont necessarily need a blood test to confirm a positive at-home pregnancy test. If the at-home test said youre pregnant, youre likely pregnant. That said, your doctor might still order one, especially if you request it.
Can Pregnancy Symptoms Start Before Implantation
To ensure successful implantation progesterone rises when the ovum fertilizes, so sensitive women may notice very mild pregnancy symptoms before implantation that feels much like pre-menstrual symptoms.
But it has to be said that this is uncommon.
It usually takes a few weeks for progesterone and hCG levels to get high enough to start experiencing symptoms.
We hope weve answered all your questions about finding out how soon you can tell if youre pregnant. If you have any more let us know and well do our utmost to answer them.
Brand Name Versus Generic Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests, both brand name and generic, are very accurate at detecting the HCG hormone and any positive result, even a faint line, can be considered positive. HCG is only produced by a pregnancy any positive result indicates a pregnancy.
You dont need a serum pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy. Both urine and blood detect HCG, although the blood test is more sensitive and can detect HCG levels at much lower levels than a urine test. In certain situations, your doctor may want to perform a blood HCG test but its not typically needed to confirm a pregnancy.
Although most tests advertise 99% accuracy, the ability of a particular brand to detect HCG at levels less than 50 ml may vary. Some brands may be better able to detect lower levels of HCG than others. If your HCG level is more than 50 ml, which is the detection rate of most tests, even generic tests will detect a pregnancy accurately.
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How Accurate Are Blood Pregnancy Tests
The blood test for hCG is the most accurate to detect a pregnancy, says Dr. Mark Trolice.
Blood tests have a 99% accuracy rate, so they are almost always accurate. The main reason for this is that the quantitative test can detect even the smallest traces of the pregnancy hormone hCG. However, hormone levels can vary from one woman to another.
“The range of normal beta hCG levels is very wide,” says Dr. Serena Chen, a fertility expert at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, “so it’s important to have the help of your doctor to interpret test results.”
Early Changes To Breasts: Tingling Aching Growing
Breast changes can occur between weeks 4 and 6. Youre likely to develop tender and swollen breasts due to hormone changes. This will likely go away after a few weeks when your body has adjusted to the hormones.
Nipple and breast changes can also occur around week 11. Hormones continue to cause your breasts to grow. The areola the area around the nipple may change to a darker color and grow larger.
If youve had bouts with acne before your pregnancy, you may experience breakouts again.
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Tracking Fertility By Checking The Cervix
As your body begins to prepare to house a baby, it changes and moves slightly to allow a pregnancy to happen. Your cervix will move upwards, opening slightly and softening as your blood increases. You can feel these changes pretty clearly, which lets you know its time to start making that baby!
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How Pregnancy Tests Work
Think you might be pregnant?
Even with the most effective birth control methods, theres always a chance for error. After all, it takes just one sperm to fertilize the egg. Finding out whether or not thats happened is as easy as taking an over-the-counter pregnancy test.
OTC pregnancy tests typically test your urine for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin . HCG is only present if youre pregnant. The hormone is only released if a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus or to your uterine lining.
There are different ways to collect your urine for the test. Depending on the test you choose, you may have to:
- collect your urine in a cup and dip a testing stick into the liquid
- collect your urine in a cup and use an eyedropper to move a small amount of fluid into a special container
- place the testing stick into the area of your expected urine stream so that it will catch your urine midstream
According to Cleveland Clinic, most tests are 99 percent effective if taken after a missed period. The best part is that you can do it in the privacy of your own home. Simply open the test, follow the instructions, and wait for the recommended amount of time to view the results.
After the recommended waiting time has passed, the tests will display your results in one of the following ways:
- a change in color
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How To Prevent A False Negative Result
The number one cause of a false negative test is taking the test too soon after you conceive. Also, if you dont follow the test instructions carefully, it could affect your result.
Urine, even in women who drink large amounts of water, should still yield a positive result. But urine shouldnt be diluted with water before taking a test. A good time to take the test is in the morning when you first wake up.
If a test is negative in a woman who suspects shes pregnant or if she has irregular cycles, she should repeat the test in one week.
When You Can Do A Pregnancy Test
You can carry out most pregnancy tests from the first day of a missed period. If you don’t know when your next period is due, do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.
Some very sensitive pregnancy tests can be used even before you miss a period, from as early as 8 days after conception.
You can do a pregnancy test on a sample of urine collected at any time of the day. It doesn’t have to be in the morning.
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Raised Basal Body Temperature
If you’ve been using a special basal body thermometer to track your first morning temperature, you might notice that it rises around 1 degree when you conceive and stays elevated throughout your pregnancy.
Though not a foolproof early pregnancy symptom , it could give you advance notice of the big news.
How Early Can Home Pregnancy Tests Show Positive Results
In the Aerosmith song Sweet Emotion, Steven Tylers lyric the rabbit done died refers to the original way a pregnancy test was performed one that literally killed rabbits. Urine from a woman who thought she might be pregnant was injected into a rabbit, which would then be surgically opened so its ovaries could be inspected. If the woman was pregnant, the rabbits ovaries would undergo noticeable changes due to the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin that develops early in gestation. The rabbit unfortunately didnt survive.
Thankfully, pregnancy tests have evolved substantially since the 20th century. Women now have access to advanced tests that can detect a pregnancy days before a missed period. In fact, a CBS News article outlined the best home pregnancy tests according to research from Consumer Reports, based on ease of use, ease of reading results, and effectiveness. Many tests today are marketed as simple and effective, but getting accurate results comes down to when the test is taken.
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How Soon Is Too Early To Test For Pregnancy
When you think you might be unexpectedly pregnant, it can feel like torment waiting to know for sure. You might have sore breasts, mild cramping, and other signs of early pregnancy that could also be premenstrual symptoms, and it causes you to waver back and forth, thinking you are pregnant and then thinking you are not. That can leave you feeling more confused and wondering how soon you can get the answers you need. You have seen ads for pregnancy tests that claim to detect pregnancy five days before your expected period. So, should you test that early? And how soon is too early to test for pregnancy? We will answer those questions here.
How Is A Glucose Tolerance Test Performed
You may be asked to only drink water on the day the glucose tolerance test is given. Although the specific details of each procedure may vary, a typical glucose tolerance test includes the following steps:
An initial fasting sample of blood will be drawn from your vein.
You will be given a special glucose solution to drink.
Blood will be drawn at various times over the course of several hours to measure the glucose levels in your body.
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Is A Pregnancy Blood Test Better Than A Urine Pregnancy Test
A pregnancy blood tests for hCG is more sensitive and therefore, more accurate than a urine pregnancy test. So even if your at-home pee test read positive, your practitioner might opt to run an hCG blood test to confirm the happy news.
Blood tests can also pick up hCG earlier than urine tests as soon as six to eight days after ovulation. That may be helpful for women undergoing fertility treatments, since it can indicate whether the treatment helped you conceive.
And if your provider opts to give you a quantitative hCG test, which measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood, it can give you additional information that a simple urine test cant.
When Will You Start Feeling Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Some women experience symptoms of pregnancy very early on, though many women do not. According to one study of 136 women who ended up having babies, 50% had some symptoms roughly eight days after their missed period, 70% had some symptoms roughly two weeks after their missed period, and 90% had some symptoms one month after their missed period.2
Many early pregnancy symptoms are also very similar to PMS, which can be confusing. I go into more detail about the early symptoms of pregnancy below.
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When You Should Get A Pregnancy Blood Test
A pregnancy blood test at your doctors office is another way to confirm a pregnancy.
The blood test can detect the pregnancy earlier than an at-home urine test eight days after ovulation is the earliest a blood test could detect a pregnancy, says Dr. Merhi.
Should you receive a positive at-home pregnancy test result, your doctor will often perform an in-office blood test to confirm the presence of HCG. This and additional blood tests also provide additional information about your health and the health of your pregnancy.
Blood tests are also needed to check for complications of pregnancyfor instance, if you are at risk for ectopic pregnancy , miscarriage or an abnormally progressing pregnancy, says Dr. Culwell. because they can measure whether your pregnancy hormone levels are progressing normally or decreasing.
Should you experience a miscarriage, HCG can remain in your body for a few weeks, and additional tests taken in the weeks following can lead to a false-positive result, says Dr. Merhi.
When Should I See A Doctor For A Clinical Pregnancy Test
Most women who have a positive pregnancy test should wait a week or two before calling the Ob/Gyn office for a pregnancy blood test. We suggest waiting because the rate of early pregnancy loss is high, and its possible that it might have been a chemical pregnancy.
However, women with a history of ectopic pregnancy or current abdominal pain should call the doctor right away to be examined. Ectopic pregnancies implant outside of the uterus and produce hCG, resulting in positive pregnancy tests. However, these pregnancies can cause abdominal bleeding and prompt medical care is necessary. Women who have congenital heart defects or other chronic physical or mental health conditions should also see a doctor right away because treatment plans or medications might need to be altered to protect the woman and the fetus.
Advances in home pregnancy tests give women greater insight into whats going on in their bodies sooner than ever before. No matter what a womans childbearing plans might be, its essential to get quick, accurate results at home so she can plan her next steps accordingly.
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Q: I Think I Might Be Pregnant How Soon Can I Use A Home Pregnancy Test To Find Out
A: Drugstore shelves today are packed with tests with labels like “early result” or “early response,” some of which may be able to tell you’re pregnant up to five days before you’ve even missed your period — as soon as 10 days after you’ve ovulated. That’s because these tests may be more sensitive than others at detecting levels of human chorionic gonadotropin in your urine. hCG is a hormone that your body starts producing shortly after you’ve conceived. You should always read the label information to get a true sense of how accurate it is, and when. Even “early result” tests are more precise the later you use them , since hCG levels may be tricky to detect so early into pregnancy. If you get a negative test result but still haven’t gotten your period a few days later, it’s a good idea to test again. You likely got what’s called a “false negative” the first time — where the test says you’re not pregnant, but you actually are.
What Are Some Less Common Signs Of Early Pregnancy
There are some additional signs of early pregnancy that arent as common. Just like with the most common symptoms, these signs of pregnancy may or may not happen. Its important to remember that everyone is different and will experience unique symptoms.
Less common signs of early pregnancy can include:
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First Response Pregnancy Test Accuracy Vs Date
Period is expected.
Test is 99% accurate
As you can see above, roughly one in four pregnant women who take this test will get a false negative when they take it six days before the day of their missed period. Five days before the day of the missed period, however, it will be accurate for 96% of women, and 99% of women will get the correct result if they take it four days or less before the day of the missed period.
In general, the accuracy of home pregnancy tests gets better the longer you wait to take them. If you take a test and it comes out negative and you still think you might be pregnant, wait three days and test again. If you test and it’s positive, you’re pregnant.
Other pregnancy tests are also very reliableâthey just can’t be used as early as First Response. Most brands of pregnancy test are accurate from the day of the missed period.
Be sure to follow the testing instructions of the pregnancy test brand that you bought very closely. Different brands have different instructions.
How To Improve The Accuracy Of Your Home Pregnancy Test
- Wait until your period is one week late
- Read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter
- Take the urine test in the morning, with your very first urine of the day
- Dont drink large amounts of liquids before the test
- Pee into a clean cup and put the test stick into it for 15 minutes
- Store your test in a cool dry place. Extreme temperatures can damage the test.
- Check the expiration date of the test
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Whats The Soonest You Can Find Out If Youre Pregnant
The only way to know for sure that youre pregnant is through a positive pregnancy test. The earliest home pregnancy test is accurate up to six days before the day of your missed period for 76% of women who take the test .1
So, the soonest you might be able to find out for sure that youre pregnant is by testing with a First Response home pregnancy test no earlier than six days before the day of your missed period.
So if youre expecting your period on a Saturday, you would be able to test the Monday before .
You Missed Your Period
You should take a pregnancy test. If it’s positive, you’re pregnant. If it’s negative, wait a few more days and retest. If it’s another negative, you’re still not experiencing any symptoms of pregnancy, and you’re sure you’re taking the test correctly, then you’re probably not pregnant and you’ve missed your period for another reason.
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Using Blood Tests To Diagnose Ectopic Or Tubal Pregnancy
“An early ectopic pregnancy may yield a false negative if you test too early,” says Dr. Chen. If you have concerns about the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, discuss them with your doctor.
Ectopic pregnancies are fertilized eggs that have implanted in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. This type of pregnancy can present similar symptoms as a normal pregnancy but can be life-threatening for the woman.
A quantitative hCG blood test can help diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. They are more precise than qualitative tests and detect lower levels of hCG in the blood. In an ectopic pregnancy, hCG levels are usually lower than in a normally developing pregnancy and also rises at a slower-than-normal rate.
While an ultrasound exam may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis, the blood test can be done earlier, which is important given the risks of this type of pregnancy.