How Soon Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

Unless you know when to take a pregnancy test, the results will be less than reliable. Here are the things you need to know so the outcome will be more dependable.

The Proper Time

It is best to postpone the test until after the menstrual period is due. Taking it too soon might result in inaccurate answers. Even then, it’s important to realize that women’s’ physiological makeup varies. It means egg fertilization in the uterus will never be same.

The belief that implantation takes place a week after conception is false. Studies have shown that HCG (a pregnancy hormone) becomes apparent 6 to 12 days after ovulation occurs. Over 80% of pregnancy implanting occurs 10 days after ovulation.

While thinking of when to take a pregnancy test, remember the following: a negative result doesn’t mean you aren’t pregnant. This can occur if your ovulation takes place later than expected. This can also happen if your HCG and conception computations are not accurate.

Accuracy of Pregnancy Tests

Of course, the accuracy of the results will depend on the test itself. The more sensitive it is, the more likely it will detect pregnancy. Sensitive tests can detect low HCG easily. The sensitivity will differ per product.

One tester might sense 20 mIU while another 250 mIU. Suppose you use a tester with 20 mIU sensitivity; it will detect your pregnancy 8 days after the ovulation. However, taking such an early test rarely gets a positive result. A much better time would be to test 10 days after the ovulation.

Disadvantages of Early Tests

The question of when to take a pregnancy test is subject to personal preference. However, stats show that some early pregnancies could end in miscarriages. Assume you test a day prior to your period and it shows up positive. Owing to the early stage, it’s possible you’ll get your period.

This will result in a miscarriage and could be very traumatic for women. It’s much better to take a later test so events like this can be lessened. If you can handle this fact, taking a test 10 days after the ovulation with 20 mIU tester will produce accurate results.

Note: some forms of cancer are known to produce high-level of HCG. If you feel sick, have a thorough medical checkup.


Knowing when to take a pregnancy test is important but so is doing it properly. Used correctly, the results can be as accurate as 97%. But this is based on the assumption that the instructions are followed. Whatever the tester you use, it’s important to follow the instructions. If the package comes with suggestions on when to take it, follow the guide.

The accuracy is also determined by the device’s sensitivity. The
most sensitive can pick up HCG immediately after implantation. Less sensitive ones will sense it four days later. To avoid mistakes, remember that menstruation takes place a couple of weeks after ovulation.

If you take the test when your period is late, odds of a false negative isn’t high. As long as you keep these things in mind, it will become easy to know when to take a pregnancy test.

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