Think You Might Be Pregnant?
Even with the most effective birth control methods, there’s always a chance for error. After all, it takes just one sperm to fertilize the egg. Finding out whether or not that’s happened is as easy as taking an over-the-counter (OTC) pregnancy test.
How soon can you take a pregnancy test?
You should wait to take a pregnancy test until the week after your missed period for the most accurate result.
If you don’t want to wait until you’ve missed your period, you should wait at least one to two weeks after you had sex. If you are pregnant, your body needs time to develop detectable levels of HCG. This typically takes seven to 12 days after successful implantation of an egg.
You may receive an inaccurate result if the test is taken too early in your cycle.
The Best Time of Day
The time of day you take a pregnancy test does matter to a certain extent. You’re more likely to get an accurate result if you take the test in the morning. This is especially true if your period is not yet late, or if your period is only a couple days late.
However, you can still take a pregnancy test in the middle of the day, or even at night. You’re just more likely to get a false-negative, especially if your period isn’t that late, and especially if you’ve been drinking a lot of water and your urine is diluted.
When You “Feel” Pregnant
You may decide to take a pregnancy test because you’re having early pregnancy symptoms, including:
Mild cramps (sometimes called “implantation cramps”)
Very light spotting (sometimes called “implantation spotting”)
Sensitivity to smells
Slight morning nausea
The same hormones that cause pregnancy “symptoms” are present every month between ovulation and your period. Plus, many pregnancy symptoms can be caused by other things, like a cold, the flu, or even a few nights of poor sleep.
Before you reach for that early pregnancy test, carefully consider how you'll feel if the results are negative. If a negative test doesn't bother you, and you have the cash to spend on pregnancy tests, go ahead. If a negative result is going to make your heart ache or if you’d rather not waste money on extra tests, then wait until your period is late.