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How Early Can You Take A Pregnancy Test?

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How Early Can You Take A Pregnancy Test?

If you think you may be pregnant, you will most likely want to know as soon as possible. Fortunately, today there are very effective home pregnancy tests which will give you accurate results very early on in the gestation period. You’re probably wondering about some of the following.

How Early Can I Take A Pregnancy Test?

This will depend largely on the test itself. Some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others. Check the instructions on the box before you take the test, as you may be taking it too soon. Most tests outline that you take the test on the first day of your missed period. Those who have a regular cycle will figure this out easily. If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is to count twenty-one days from when you last had unprotected sex.

More sensitive tests will give you an accurate result even three days before your period is due.

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If you are wondering how early can I take a pregnancy test?, the best thing to do is wait until the first day of your missed period. This makes for a more accurate result and will leave less uncertainty in the long run.

What Is It Testing For?

The pregnancy test looks for levels of the hormone called HCG or human chorionic gonadotrophin. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, this hormone is produced by your body.

At two weeks after fertilization, there is usually enough HCG present to achieve a positive result on a pregnancy kit.

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What Is My Conception Date?

In order to conceive, you first need to ovulate or release an egg from your ovaries. On average, this happens at fourteen days after day 1 of your last period. This egg will live in your uterus for twelve to twenty-four hours. A sperm must come into contact with your egg within this time in order for you to get pregnant. Sperm can live for seven days once in your uterus, so this means that you could become pregnant if you have unprotected sex up to seven days before you ovulate.

So the short answer is, it depends on the date of the first day of your last period, and the dates you had unprotected sex. If you have had unprotected sex a few times throughout the month, it may be harder to tell exactly when you conceived.

Can I Be Sure of the Results?

If you get a negative result, check all of your dates again. When was the first day of your last period? What does it say on the box about when is a good time to take the test? Make sure you are adhering to the instructions to get the most accurate result. Sometimes, a negative result can be inaccurate. You may not have a high enough level of HCG in your system just yet. Try again in one week and see if you get the positive result that you are expecting.

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If you get a positive result, you can be pretty sure it’s accurate.

It’s best not to drink too much fluid on the day of your test, as concentrated urine will have higher levels of HCG.

What if I have had a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, or an abortion?

If you have had a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, or an abortion, you will still have a certain level of HCG in your system for a few weeks. This will gradually decrease until eventually all levels of HCG will be gone. You can speak with your doctor for further advice on this,  but I would advise that you focus on looking after yourself for a while and let your body do its job naturally without any further worrying.

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Featured photo credit: Esparta via static.flickr.com

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