How Soon Can I Use A Home Pregnancy Test
Some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others and can be taken before your missed period. But you may get more accurate results if you wait until after the first day of your missed period.
This is because the amount of the pregnancy hormone, called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in your urine increases with time. The earlier you take the test, the harder it is for the test to detect the hCG.
hCG is made when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This usually happens about 10 days after conception .1
Ovulation Cycle: When Does Ovulation Occur
Outlined above is a fairly basic understanding of how ovulation works. In reality, ovulation and a womans monthly cycle are actually quite complex. While a monthly cycle is usually considered to be about 28 days, most women will find their cycles vary in length.
Some women even experience very irregular cycles. Conditions like PCOS might cause spotting or even bleeding more days than not. That means that, while the average or ideal cycle is the one most often described, any specific woman may find her schedule is somewhat different.
Ovulation occurs about halfway through a cycle, between days 10 and 22 of your cycle . The levels of estrogen and other hormones rise until the release of an egg is triggered. The egg moves from the ovary to travel down the fallopian tube.
After the egg is released, a womans body begins the luteal phase of their cycle. The egg moves into the fallopian tube and may be fertilized or may end up being expelled with the uterine lining.
Some forms of non-hormonal birth control, like the fertility awareness method, depend on tracking the progress of your cycle. The fact that cycles arent reliably regular means that they are less effective. A more reliable method may be to look for physical signs of ovulation.
Consulting A Healthcare Provider
If you think that you may be pregnant, it is important to consult a healthcare provider as soon as possible. You may have received home pregnancy tests to determine if you are pregnant or not, but consulting with a professional can provide more accurate results. Additionally, there are many benefits to seeking medical advice if you think that you may be pregnant. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions that you may have and provide assistance throughout your pregnancy.
In some cases, clinical testing such as an ultrasound or blood test can be used to determine if you are pregnant or not. Ultrasounds use soundwaves to take images of the fetus and show if there is one present. Blood tests measure the level of hCG, which is produced during pregnancy. Both methods are considered highly accurate in confirming pregnancy when conducted by experienced professionals.
Don’t Miss: What Protein Powder Is Safe During Pregnancy
Chances Of Getting Pregnant Based On Your Cycle
The chances of getting pregnant vary based on where you are in your cycle.
- Side effects of certain medications
Or, Sutton says you might have a condition or infection that results in spotting or bleeding but not a true period. In this case, it can be difficult to determine when youre ovulating or having a period bleed.
Sutton says if your periods are irregular and you arent sure if your bleeding is a true period, the likelihood of getting pregnant is higher.
Another situation where pregnancy right before your period could occur is if you have a short cycle where you might ovulate more frequently, says Frederick. Keep in mind the average cycle is considered 28 days.
However, if your cycle is irregular or on the shorter side, Sutton says its best to contact your OB-GYN for guidance on whether or not you should take emergency contraception, weighing any pros and cons and taking your medical history into account. Your doctor can help you determine the best course of action.
If they wanted to be absolutely sure, if they had any doubts about when their period was, or if that bleeding was really a period, their risk-benefit analysis might be different, and they might decide to take anyway, just in case, Sutton says.
Recommended Reading: Could You Be Pregnant And Have Your Period
How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your pee. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as youve missed your period. However, its best to wait at least one week after youve missed your period to get the most accurate results. While some tests claim to give you accurate results before a missed period, taking a test too soon can result in a false negative .
Your healthcare provider can take a blood sample to test for pregnancy as early as one week before a missed period.
How Do I Work Out My Due Date
Most babies are born about 38 weeks after conception. Since many women ovulate and conceive about 2 weeks after their last period, this is often about 40 weeks since the beginning of their last period. Thats why people often talk about pregnancy lasting for 40 weeks.
Women with a regular 28-day cycle can calculate an estimated due date for their baby by counting 40 weeks from the first day of their last period. This may not be so simple or accurate in other situations, such as if you have long or irregular cycles, dont remember when you had your last period, or if you became pregnant while taking contraception that affected your cycle.
Use the due date calculator to calculate your estimated due date.
When Should You Take A Pregnancy Test
Its usually recommended that you take a pregnancy test after youve missed your period. This is because pregnancy tests measure the level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your body, which is a hormone that starts to build up when you conceive. It can take around three to four weeks from the first day of your last period for there to be enough hCG in your body to show up on a test.
You May Like: How Does Smoking Cigarettes Affect Pregnancy
What Happens If You Dye Your Hair While Pregnant
Kathy Rogerson, a hair colour expert at Nice’n Easy believes dyeing your hair when expecting is perfectly acceptable, providing you take the right precautions.
She explained: If a woman normally colours her hair and has safely used colourants before, there is no scientifically established reason for her to stop colouring her hair during pregnancy, provided she continues to follow the usage instructions.”
Youre Not Pregnant Youre Ovulating
Ovulation which happens about midway through a typical cycle doesnt have as many symptoms in common with pregnancy as menstruation does, but you could still experience breast tenderness, mild cramping, and occasionally nausea during the time when your uterus releases its monthly egg.
If youre not tracking your periods and dont know exactly where you are in your cycle, you could be forgiven for mistaking ovulation for early signs of pregnancy but you may have to wait around
You May Like: What Happens If You Take Plan B And Are Pregnant
How Does It Happen
Various physiological or psychological theories have been suggested to explain cryptic pregnancy. While it may occur more commonly in women who have a co-existing mental health condition, many cases occur in women who have no evidence of underlying mental health problems and its cause remains unknown.
Headline cases generally depict happy outcomes, but while pregnancy is a normal physiological life event, a woman who doesnt recognise that she is pregnant are at considerable risk both physiologically and psychologically.
For all women, pregnancy is a time of change and preparation for motherhood. While the reality of motherhood may still surprise any woman, those who are unaware of their pregnancy are likely to be profoundly shocked by their unexpected motherhood. This can be extremely difficult to overcome.
In addition, these women will not access antenatal care, complications will not be detected and women may continue to smoke or drink alcohol unaware of the potential for harm. A characteristic of cases of women completely unaware of their pregnancy appears to be that they seek medical help for severe abdominal pains. Many, however, give birth alone or without skilled assistance and this places both mother and baby at considerable and life-threatening risk.
How Accurate Are Home Pregnancy Tests
Most home pregnancy tests claim to be up to 99% accurate. But the accuracy depends on:
- How you use them. Be sure to check the expiration date and follow the instructions. Wait up to 10 minutes after taking the test to check the results window. Research suggests that waiting 10 minutes will give the most accurate result.
- When you use them. The amount of hCG or pregnancy hormone in your urine increases with time. The earlier you take the test, the harder it is for the test to detect the hCG. Most home pregnancy tests can accurately detect pregnancy after a missed period. Also, testing your urine first thing in the morning can boost the accuracy.
- Who uses them. Each woman ovulates at a different time in her menstrual cycle. Plus, the fertilized egg can implant in a woman’s uterus at different times. Your body makes hCG after implantation occurs. In up to 10% of women, implantation does not occur until after the first day of a missed period. This means home pregnancy tests can be accurate as soon as 1 day after a missed period for some women but not for others.
- The brand of test. Some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others. For that reason, some tests are better than others at detecting hCG early on. Talk to your pharmacist about which brand may be best for you.
Don’t Miss: What To Buy Pregnant Friend
How Do I Use A Home Pregnancy Test
All home pregnancy tests come with written instructions. Depending on the brand you buy, the instructions may vary:
- You hold a stick in your urine stream.
- You pee into a cup and dip the stick into it.
- You pee into a cup and then use a dropper to put a few drops of the urine into a special container.
Different brands tell you to wait different amounts of time, although most are around 2 minutes. Depending on the brand of the test, you may see a line or a plus symbol, or the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” A line or plus symbol, no matter how faint, means the result is positive.
Most tests also have a “control indicator” in the result window. This control line or symbol shows whether the test is working properly. If the control line or symbol does not appear, the test is not working properly.
Look for the toll-free phone number on the package to call in case of questions about use or results.
When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start
First, it’s important to note that pregnancy symptoms can crop up at different times in different people. And while some women experience every pregnancy symptom possible, others experience very few of these signs until many weeks into their pregnancies, if at all.
So with that said, here’s average pregnancy symptoms timeline, based on a typical 28-day menstrual cycle:
- About 14 days after your last period: Conception
- 17 or more days after your last period: Sensitivity to smell, tender breasts, fatigue, raised basal body temperature may begin
- 20 to 26 days after your last period: Implantation bleeding, thicker cervical mucus may occur
- 28 to 35 days after your last period: Frequent urination and mood swings may begin missed period
- 35 or more days after your last period: Other pregnancy symptoms may begin at any point during the first trimester.
Paying Attention To Other Symptoms
In Which Days Pregnancy Is Not Possible
But the most fertile days are the three days leading up to and including ovulation. Having sex during this time gives you the best chance of getting pregnant. By 12-24 hours after ovulation, a woman is no longer able to get pregnant during that menstrual cycle because the egg is no longer in the fallopian tube.
What Should I Do If I Think I’m Pregnant
If you think you may be pregnant, you can check using a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are easy to use and you can get them at most supermarkets and pharmacies.
If your home pregnancy test is negative, but you still think you may be pregnant, you can see your doctor for a blood test to check whether you are pregnant.
To find a GP clinic near you that is open now, use the Service Finder tool.
While you are waiting to confirm whether you are pregnant, its a good idea to behave as you would if you were pregnant. This means you should avoid alcohol and cigarette smoke, and ensure you eat a healthy diet, including a folic acid supplement.
Learn more about the most common signs of early pregnancy.
Changes In Bathroom Habits
Bowel and bladder symptoms can appear in early pregnancy. A person might experience frequent urges to urinate during the day and night. They may also have constipation, which affects of people at some time during pregnancy, according to 2012 research.
In the early stages of pregnancy, the rise in hCG levels
8 days after conception. As the pregnancy progresses, levels rise by around 50% a day. HGC is detectable in urine a few days later than in the blood.
Tests for home use are urine tests. A person will need to go to a healthcare facility for a blood test.
A range of pregnancy tests are available for home use, and some are more sensitive than others. This means they can detect hCG at lower levels.
Many tests claim to be 99% accurate, but experts note that not all of them undergo rigorous scientific testing. A person may also get a false-negative result if they take the test too early, do not follow the instructions precisely, or do not handle the test as the manufacturer intended.
When taking a test, a person should:
- read the instructions carefully
- ensure they handle the test as advised
- try to avoid taking the test too early
Also Check: Can I Get Pregnant If My Husband Uses Viagra
Food Aversions Or Cravings
Unusual cravings and food aversions are common in the first trimester, though they sometimes persist through the entire pregnancy.
Some people crave nonfood items, such as dirt or ice. This is known as pica. Anyone who craves things that are not food should consult a healthcare professional.
A person may also find they no longer enjoy foods they previously enjoyed or that their taste and smell become more sensitive.
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Pregnancy Test
Most pregnancy tests simply measure whether or not you have hCG in your sample. But certain pregnancy tests also measure how much hCG you have. These tests are called quantitative hCG tests, and they’re usually done on blood samples.
The amount of hCG in your body can give your provider important information about your pregnancy and the health of your unborn baby. Quantitative hCG tests are sometimes used to help:
- Find out the age of the fetus if you’re very early in your pregnancy
- Monitor your pregnancy if you have a high risk of miscarriage
- Check for certain problems, such as:
- Ectopic pregnancy, which is a fertilized egg that tries to grow outside of the uterus. The egg cannot grow into a baby when it’s in the wrong place. It must be removed to avoid damage to your organs. This can be a medical emergency.
- Molar pregnancy , which is an abnormal growth of tissue in the uterus. It’s caused by a fertilized egg with such severe genetic problems that it cannot become a baby. The growth can turn into cancer and must be removed.
- Problems in the unborn baby, including Down syndrome, other chromosome problems, and certain birth defects
Your provider may also order a quantitative hCG blood test to help diagnose or monitor health conditions that aren’t related to pregnancy. These include ovarian and testicular cancer along with other conditions that can increase hCG levels.
You May Like: How To Figure Out How Far Pregnant I Am