When should you take a pregnancy test? If this question is on your mind right now, chances are you either want to be pregnant or do not want to be pregnant, so you will be eager to take the test quickly. However, whether you want it or not, taking the test too early isn’t a good idea because you might get a false negative result.
When a person is pregnant, the body needs time to increase the HCG hormone, which the pregnancy test will detect. But if the pregnancy is still very early, this hormone may not be present in appropriate proportions, and the test will give a false negative result. So, in this guide, we will show you the right time to take a pregnancy test and how to go about it.
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How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?
Whether you take a blood test or a urine test, all pregnancy tests work by detecting the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). During pregnancy, a woman’s HCG level rises. At first, it can be detected in her blood; later, it will be present in her urine.
The rate at which HCG is produced varies from person to person, but it doubles every 48 to 72 hours within the first 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy, so whether you choose to do a blood test or urine test, they are both meant to detect this hormone and tell whether or not you are pregnant. Also, they are both very accurate if done correctly, but for early pregnancies, a blood test will be more reliable since HCG appears in the blood first.
See also: Does Water and Salt Prevent Pregnancy?
When Should You Take a Pregnancy Test?
The best time to take a pregnancy test is when you miss your period. If you have regular periods, you can take the test on the first day of your expected period or take the test a week after your expected period. If you have irregular periods, you should wait at least 36 days from the start of your last menstrual cycle.
In both cases, if you have a negative result but you haven’t had your period and still suspect that you are pregnant, then wait 48 to 72 hours and retake the test. Also, if you used a urine test for this, consider retrying with a blood test.
Again, the test measures the levels of HCG in your blood or urine, so if it’s done too early, it may not detect enough HCG to determine a positive result.
When is the Best Time of the Day to Take a Pregnancy Test
When should you take a pregnancy test? When asking this question, you should also be concerned about the best time of the day to do it because it matters to some extent. The best time of the day to do a pregnancy test is in the morning with your first urine.
This is because unless you get up multiple times to urinate at night or drink water throughout the night, your urine is usually more concentrated in the morning. After all, it stays in your body for a longer time. This means that the concentration of HCG in your urine will be relatively higher in the morning.
This timing is crucial for early pregnancies or when your period is only a few days late.
How to do a Pregnancy Test
If you want to do a blood test for pregnancy, then you need to visit a hospital or a medical laboratory for the test; blood tests can detect lower amounts of HCG, so they are more accurate for early pregnancies. However, OTC pregnancy tests are more convenient, faster and easier to carry out. They are done with urine, so if you prefer a urine test, then you can buy an OTC pregnancy test kit in a pharmacy and take the test at your own convenience.
Follow these simple steps for a urine pregnancy test:
- Collect your urine in a clean container and dip the testing stick into the urine.
- Or point the absorbent tip of the testing stick directly into the urine stream and ensure an adequate sample is taken.
The expected results from this test can be any of the following:
- A single or double line.
- A change in colour.
- Pregnant or not pregnant.
- A symbol such as plus or minus.
At-home pregnancy tests are 99% accurate if you use them correctly and if the test kit is still valid. However, before taking the test, ensure you read the package description to know the expected result and how long it will take to display your result.
If you think you might be pregnant and are asking when should you take a pregnancy test, you can now see that the best time is the first day of your expected period or a week after your expected period. Also, it is best to do it with your first urine in the morning to ensure you get accurate results.
If the test is negative, but you still think you are pregnant, then do the test again after 48 or 72 hours. If you get a positive result, you should see your healthcare provider to let them know so they can guide you to start a fantastic journey to motherhood.