Q: How Long Until A Pregnancy Test Is Most Accurate
Pregnancy tests can start to show results when you take one 10 days after ovulation, which is usually four or five days before you would expect to miss your period. Many OB-GYN doctors and midwives recommend that you wait until the day of a missed period, and ideally 3-to-4 days after so that you can be sure the test didnt just fail to detect low levels of hCG. Even thenand even with the best pregnancy tests on the marketits possible you wont not see a positive result until closer to a couple weeks after your missed period. The longer you wait, the more likely a test is to be accurate. After two weeks from your missed period, if you get negative results, chances are you are not pregnant. If you still believe that you are, you should talk to your healthcare provider.
Our Pick: First Response Early Result
For its high sensitivity, accuracy, and speedy results, we think a First Response Early Result manual pregnancy test is the one youll want to get. Its the most sensitive over-the-counter pregnancy test you can buy. Its as easy to read as a digital test and much less likely to give you an error message. In addition, in our tests it gave the clearest positive reading to a very dilute solution of pregnancy-positive pee. Results came in quickly, taking only 40 to 45 seconds on average.
Unlike the Clearblue and EPT tests, the First Response test doesnt have a separate window for a control line, but we found the strong, dark-pink lines easy to decipher for both positive and negative results.
To mimic the earliest days of pregnancy, I prepared a very dilute solution of hCG-positive urine. As you can see in the photo, the First Response manual test showed a very clear positive response with a strong fuchsia line, while the other pregnancy tests barely registered faint blue marks.
Since our original testing in 2015, we havent found a more sensitive nor easier-to-use-and-read home pregnancy test. Wirecutter staffers who have used the First Response since 2015 have found that it indeed picks up on hCG and displays a pregnant result sooner than digital tests from First Response and Clearblue.
Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test
This digital test not only gives you a definite yes or no, but its also going to tell you that its working and that the results are coming! Clearblues test stick comes with a hygienic cap. The stick will count down to the results with you, and the tests Floodguard tech keeps excess pee from flooding the device and messing with the detected levels.
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What Are The Different Types Of Pregnancy Tests
There are two main types of pregnancy tests: urine and blood tests. Urine tests are typically done at home though you can have a urine test done at your healthcare providers office while blood tests are done by your provider.
At-home pregnancy test
An at-home test usually uses your urine to look for hCG in your body. According to most manufacturers, at-home pregnancy tests are about 99% effective when used as instructed. Thats about the same accuracy rate as urine pregnancy tests done in your healthcare providers office. These tests are available in most pharmacies or grocery stores and they dont need a prescription. They can take different amounts of time depending on the brand. Its important to read the instructions on these tests before taking them.
When you go to take an at-home pregnancy test, youll typically place one to several drops of urine on a prepared chemical strip or place the strip in the urine stream. The strip is specially-designed to detect hCG. For many of these tests, hCG can be detected in your urine about 10 days after conception. However, taking it after your missed period reduces the chance of getting a false-negative.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you take a home pregnancy tests, including:
A blood test for pregnancy might be done in special circumstances, such as for women who are having infertility treatments or when the healthcare provider thinks there might be a problem.
The Best Time In Your Cycle
The best time to take a pregnancy test is after your period is late. This will help you avoid false negatives. If you’re not already keeping a fertility calendar, proper pregnancy test timing is a good reason to start one.
If your cycles are irregular or you dont chart your cycles, do not take a test until you have passed the longest menstrual cycle you usually have. For example, if your cycles range from 30 to 36 days, the best time to take a test would be day 37 or later.
Something else to consider is whether you know if your period is even late. According to the FDA, out of every 100 people, between 10 and 20 will not get a positive pregnancy test result on the day they think is just after their missed period, even if they are pregnant.
Tests labeled for early pregnancy detection may be able to detect a pregnancy several days before your expected period. However, the most accurate results come after your period is late.
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What Matters More Than The Test You Choose
When it comes to different brands, cheap versus expensive, or digital versus non-digital, there are two other factors that are actually more important for accuracy: how concentrated the urine is and how far out you are from conception.
If pregnant, your urine will be most concentrated with hCG during your first pee of the day, and each day of pregnancy that goes by in the first 11 weeks of pregnancy, hCG levels increase. This is why the tests are more reliable with the more time that passes after a missed period.
“In any of these home tests, there’s going to be pros and cons for all of them,” says Ross. “I would say the number one thing is you want to make sure you want to really know your dates. ‘When could I have gotten pregnant? When am I missing a period?'”
Once you have these benchmarks, you can figure out when your period is late and when you should start testing to have more reliable results.
How Should You Take A Pregnancy Test
Generally speaking, as the levels of the pregnancy hCG hormone rise every two or three days during pregnancy, a pregnancy test will be more accurate the later you leave it after having unprotected sex.
The most sensitive pregnancy tests can detect 10mIU/ml and some of these can be used before your period is due. However, the NHS generally advises that you take a pregnancy test from the first day of a missed period.
If youre not sure when your next period is due, aim to test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.
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Different Types Of Home Tests
Some tests work as dip tests. You collect a urine sample in a cup and then dip a test strip into the sample. Other tests are designed to work by being directly activated by your urine stream. A third type also works with a sample in a cup, but then you use a dropper to put a sample on a tester.
It will take a few minutes with each of these tests for the results to show up. Different tests will have different ways to showing a positive or negative result. Some might give a plus sign, or two parallel lines. There also some digital tests available that will indicate pregnant or not-pregnant.
If any of the results seem strange to you the best thing to do is to consult your doctor. Your doctor will be able to tell you exactly what a strange result might mean. The main thing to remember is that a positive result, no matter how faint the line is, or how light the positive sign, it indicates pregnancy.
Clearblue Pregnancy Test With Weeks Indicator: Best Pregnancy Test To Show How Many Weeks Pregnant
Price: £10 |
Clearblues popular pregnancy test may be the most expensive here, but its also the only digital test available to show how advanced your pregnancy is. It does this by monitoring how much hCG is in your urine: the more hormone present, the further along your pregnancy you are.
Naturally, visiting your GP for a blood test and ultrasound scan is the only sure way to tell exactly how advanced your pregnancy is but this Clearblue offering is a quick, affordable at-home option. Unlike cheaper pregnancy tests, it displays a clear pregnant or not pregnant rather than a coloured line, and gives you an indication as to whether youve been pregnant for 1 to 2 weeks, 2 to 3 weeks, or 3 weeks plus.
Youll have to wait up to three minutes to get a clear result and it can be used while peeing or placed in a urine sample for 20 seconds. For best results, use the test after the first day of a missed period using your first pee of the day.
Key specs – Test type: Digital hCG sensitivity: from 25mlU Weeks indicator: Yes Results: 3 minutes.
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How Do Homemade Pregnancy Tests Work
Homemade pregnancy tests work the same way as any over-the-counter pregnancy test by detecting the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin . If you test positive, you may observe a chemical reaction between hCG in your urine and the substance you are using to test.
Your cells start to produce the hCG hormone when they start creating the placenta. This hormone increases rapidly early in pregnancy and enters your bloodstream and urine, confirming conception .
One Step 20 X Highly Sensitive Pregnancy Test Strips 329
– Best budget bulk buy
mIU sensitivity: 10mIU | Time it takes to show result: 5 minutes | Number of tests in a pack: 20 | Day when 99% accurate: Day after your period is due
If youre someone who likes the option of testing regularly, this cheap and cheerful bulk-buy option is a good choice. These no-frills test strips come in a pack of 20 and claim a high sensitivity of 10mIU. However, according to instructions and based on many mums experiences, its best to use these tests the day after your period is due.
The strips come without a plastic wand, so wed recommend dipping them in a wee sample, rather than attempting to catch a sample midstream. A big plus point is that without the extra plastic casing, these test-strips are a great eco-friendly buy especially important if you plan on testing often.
Our home tester said she found them useful when trying to conceive: I was a compulsive tester when trying to conceive, so I found the jumbo 20-pack of One Step strips a very cost-effective way to keep checking!
Available from: and Homehealth UK
Latest deals from trusted retailers
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How To Make A Homemade Pregnancy Test
Here are seven pregnancy tests you can make at home with instructions for taking them and interpreting the results.
Remember, none of these tests have been proven scientifically. The only reliable ways to confirm pregnancy are through store-bought pregnancy tests or a visit to your doctor.
For best results, use your first-morning urine and make sure your products are not expired.
What Happens During A Pregnancy Test
You can get a home pregnancy test kit at the drug store without a prescription. Most are inexpensive and easy to use.
Many home pregnancy tests include a device called a dipstick. Some also include a collection cup. Your home test may include the following steps or similar steps:
- Do the test on your first urination of the morning. The test may be more accurate at this time, because morning urine usually has more HCG.
- Hold the dipstick in your urine stream for 5 to 10 seconds. For kits that include a collection cup, urinate into the cup, and insert the dipstick into the cup for 5 to 10 seconds.
- After a few minutes, the dipstick will show your results. The time to results and the way the results are shown will vary between test kit brands.
- Your dipstick may have a window or other area that shows a plus or minus sign, a single or double line, or the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” Your pregnancy test kit will include instructions on how to read your results.
If the results show you are not pregnant, you may want to try again in a few days, as you may have done the test too early. HCG gradually increases during pregnancy.
If your results show you are pregnant, you should make an appointment with your health care provider. Your provider may confirm your results with a physical exam and/or a blood test.
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Wondfo Combo Ovulation And Pregnancy Tests
Wondfo is another cost-effective option for those who are trying to conceive. This combo package comes with 50 ovulation test strips and 20 pregnancy test strips. You can use the LH Ovulation Test to find out when you are going to ovulate and then use the pregnancy test to see if you got positive results from your efforts. Like the ClinicalGuard test, this one is also a strip test where you will have to dip it into a cup of your first morning pee. Its sensitivity is also similar, detecting HcG at a level of 25 mIU. The ovulation tests are pretty accurate. However, the pregnancy tests strips are not the easiest to read. Fortunately, you can just grab another one and test again without causing a hole in your pocket.
Analytical Performance Of Home Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests marketed within the USA are required to provide objective evidence of product performance according to specific definitions, notably:
Manufacturers who market tests in both Europe and the USA tend to conform to these definitions across both markets . Device accuracy, which is usually considered to be the percentage of correct detection of negative and positive results using urine samples from women seeking to know pregnancy status, are also often calculated. However, it is unclear as to whether other tests available in Germany conform to these definitions and it is therefore not possible to make objectivecomparisons between tests based on their packaging claims.
Unfortunately, no recent studies have investigated home pregnancy test performance, and indeed, there are no historical studies evaluating the myriad tests now available on the German market. In the absence of any available data on test performance and the lack of standardisation for evaluating test credentials, any declaration of test accuracy on the package labelling is potentially misleading.
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The Best Time In Your Cycle To Take A Pregnancy Test
After you become pregnant, it takes some time for hCG to increase to a detectable level.
The best time to take a pregnancy test is after your period is late. If you dont want to wait until youve missed your period, at least wait for one to two weeks after you had sex to take a test.
Everyone’s fertile window is different, depending on when they ovulate.
Menstrual bleeding typically begins 14 days after ovulation. People who ovulate on day 14 usually expect their period on day 28 or 29. People who ovulate later in the month may not expect their period until day 31 or later.
Q: Can You Be 5 Weeks Pregnant And Test Negative
Probably not. Interestingly, Ann Gronowski, a pathologist at the University of Washington in St. Louis, and her colleagues examined in a series of studies how some urine-based pregnancy tests used in healthcare and hospital settings can give false negative results five or more weeks into pregnancy. This is because of a flaw in some tests in which they fail to detect a degraded form of hCG, that becomes more prevalent in the body after five or six weeks of pregnancy. However, this likely isnt a concern with at-home tests. If you think you are pregnant but continuously test negative, you should talk to a healthcare provider.
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Are Expensive Tests More Accurate Than Cheap Ones
All home pregnancy tests are up to 99 percent accurate if you follow the instructions. Thats just as reliable as the urine pregnancy tests used at doctors’ offices. The key is taking the test at the right time.
When is that, exactly? Youll get the best reading when you wait until the first day of your expected period. Testing too early in your cycle before enough hCG has built up in your urine could lead to a false negative. False positives can also occur, but theyre rare. Testing very early could detect a chemical pregnancy, where a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but stops growing before it’s big enough to see on an early ultrasound.
It may be possible that a more sensitive and possibly more expensive pregnancy test could give you that all-important yes or no a little sooner. But waiting to use it until the expected day of your period will generally give you the most reliable results, regardless of how much your pregnancy test cost.
In fact, even the fine print on tests that claim to give you results five to six days before your missed period say that theyre not 99 percent accurate until the day of your expected period. And since hCG levels keep increasing, every additional day you wait will make the test even more accurate.