How Soon After Conception Can I Take A Pregnancy Test?



positive pregnancy test
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When a couple is trying to get pregnant, having to wait to find out whether or not you have conceived a child can be quite challenging. In fact, if you’re like most women, you would probably like to know the exact moment that conception occurs.

Unfortunately, accurately detecting a pregnancy can only happen so soon after conception. There are many women who will take a test early hoping to get a positive determination that they are pregnant. However, this generally only leads to inaccurate results. This is still the case even with the production of more highly sensitive early pregnancy tests.

The best time to take a pregnancy test will always be after you have missed your period. Regardless of what test you take at this point, you will always have more accurate results because you have given your body enough time to secrete high enough levels of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, to make a positive determination.

So, while taking a test early is tempting, waiting is your best shot at receiving accurate results. However, if you take a test and it comes back negative, don’t lose hope. There is always a chance that you are pregnant and a test is just not showing it yet. The only point at which you can be absolutely positive that you aren’t pregnant is after period arrives.

Understand That Detecting Pregnancy Will Vary From Woman to Woman

One of the most important ideas to remember when you’re trying to get pregnant is that you’re unlike any other woman when it comes to your body and its processes. There are many common misconceptions regarding how soon you can detect pregnancy and there is a sizeable number of women who fall victim to this notion.





After conception occurs, there is typically a 7 to 10 day period before the fertilized egg is firmly implanted in your uterus. At this point, your hCG levels will begin to increase which is essential for making a positive confirmation that you’re pregnant. As you can imagine, this entire process can be lengthy. However, it is the best way to see if you are actually pregnant.

Understand How a Pregnancy Test Works to Guarantee Accurate Results

Of course, if you aren’t taking a pregnancy test properly, there is a high likelihood that you will receive inaccurate results as well. So, before you begin thinking about when to take your pregnancy test, it’s important to understand how it works.

Any pregnancy test that you take is measuring the level of hCG in your system. As your pregnancy continues, the level of hCG is expected to steadily increase. As a frame of reference, most women have an hCG measurement of 25 mIU 10 days after ovulation, 50 mIU once 12 days have passed since ovulation, and 100 mIU around two weeks after ovulation has occurred.

Of course, different tests and brands of tests will have different sensitivities to hCG levels within the body. So, if you take a test that requires a hCG concentration of 100 mIU and your body is only at a hCG measurement 75 mIU, you can expect a negative result although you might be pregnant. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of all of these factors prior to taking a pregnancy test.

  • dxudiva

    I don’t understand why it’s important to wait past the period due date? If you conceive but your period isn’t for another 2 weeks, cant you still get accurate results before a period is missed due to the hormone increasing over those weeks?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    You can take the tests earlier. For the most accurate results, waiting for when your period is due is best. Many of the tests on the market today advertise that you can accurately (so they say) test about 4 days before your period is due.

  • Chelle

    I think and hoping I’m pregnant, so I took a pregnancy test today but my period isn’t for another two weeks and so it came out negative. Mind, I did this before reading about the “too early or else” facts. I have hope now that I am and have too be patience for my next hpt

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    You definitely took it too early. Actually, two weeks before is when you would normally be ovulating and having sex to get pregnant. It sounds like your timing could be off.

  • delfina

    I tries the famous thing our obgyn tell us to do to get pregnant . Have intercouse the three days after two week of the first day of your period I took a pregnancy test today one day before my missed period . And it came out negative do you think I should wait like my dr. Told me to after two weeks of my missed period is when I should take a pregnancy test.

  • Kijafa Kabore

    Try using a menstration and ovulation app. They helped me get pregnant

  • acenitec

    I think people are confused because you used “ovulation” rather than conception regarding HCG levels to rise. Ladies do a preg. test every two weeks if u can afford it then see if you miss your period. If u miss your period it is likely that you will be devorced within 1 year!

  • Ally

    You can only get pregnant in a small window during your cycle, when you ovulate, and (assuming your body is prepared to carry a pregnancy) that can be as little as ten or as much as 16 days before your period. So if your period isn’t due for another two weeks, you have either only just ovulated or you haven’t ovulated yet, and no fertilized egg (if there is one) has had a chance to implant, so even if you do conceive this cycle, your body is not producing the hormone yet that a pregnancy test looks for.

  • Goodgrief

    If you can’t add please don’t multiply

  • Klyne

    I keep track of my periods very well and have consistently had my period around the same time every month. However this month I had a little bit of faint pink spotting one day about a week before my period I took a pregnancy test three days before my period normally would have been and it was negative. However I am now a week past my period due date and have had no spotting or cramping of any sort. should I take another test? Or could it still be too soon

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    If you are relatively regular and you are late by your record keeping, I’d say a pregnancy test is definitely in order :)

  • Rachel

    I found out that i was pregnant 3 months but i only missed a period once.For the two months i had a normal period.Is it possible to have a period during pregnancy.Am totally confused.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Did you ask your doctor about this? I do know that some women apparently bleed, like a period for a good part of their pregnancy so maybe that is what is going on with you. Congratulations on the pregnancy!

  • Julia Price’Banks

    Look. We had sex on the 1st and 2nd tryingto concieve. My period is due on the 14th and im feeling very strong nausea. Is it too early cause we really wanna knoe.the 14

  • Courtney

    I took a pregnancy test 5 days before my missed period, and it came out positive! Should I take another one in a few days anyway to make sure?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    It’s possible. You can start testing with a pregnancy test on the 10th or the 11th.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    The pregnancy tests on the market today typically can pick up pregnancies about the time you got your positive result. :) Congratulations!

  • Lord help us all

    Dear God I hope your kids have better grammar!

  • hockey06

    Bless you and I hope you are. As far the other two of you that replied, you should be ashamed of yourself. I am sure you are not perfect.

  • Jackie

    I had intercourse the day before my period was supposed to come and now, a week later, I still have not gotten my period. It usually comes pretty regularly. Is it possible I can be pregnant? Is it too soon to take a test?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    You would not have gotten pregnant if you has sex right before your period was due. If you had unprotected sex at other times of the month, they might have caused you to get pregnant.

  • sierra

    You can get pregnant at ANY time during your cycle.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Well if you have a normal 28 day cycle, that typically does not happen. You are only fertile when you ovulate which usually only happens once a month, usually around day 14 of you cycle. Yes there are exceptions to that, but they are not the norm.

  • Heather Upton

    What if your period is super irregular? How will you know when to take the test in the appropriate time after conception?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    It is really hard to do that unfortunately. The only way you could be sure is to use ovulation tests, as long as needed, to figure out when you are ovulating. Once you know that, you know how to time sex and then you can do a pregnancy test about 2 weeks later.

  • shirlz

    my periods usually comes regularly every month. I was due to have mines on the 14.10,14 today it still didn’t come through. im getting excited but waiting patiently until it will be a week to take the test. I have 2 beautiful children and is hoping to expand my little family, Patience is the key <3

  • Sarah

    I am a nursing mother to a beautiful seven month old who has been eating real food for theist two months. I just had my first cycle since baby 44 days ago. I had a hard timing getting pregnant and I believe it’s due to my irregular periods. I started keeping track though just to see. Well on my 38th day after my first day of my last missed period I had spotting but not much at all and it was a little over a day. I had unprotected intercourse the day prior to the spotting and 8 days prior. I read about implantation and was hoping it could be that. I took a pregnancy test today which came up negative but the spotting only happened six days ago. Could I have been to excited and should I wait a period of time before taking the test or could my nursing baby be just picking up his nursing ways a little more then usual and that’s throughing off me having a full cycle due to mine always last six to seven days?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    If your period is late (which it looks like based on what you said above) you should be able to take a pregnancy test and find out if you are pregnant :)

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    The the sex at 8 days prior to the spotting could have been implantation bleeding. If it was implantation bleeding you should end up with a positive pregnancy test about 10 to 14 days after that point :) Unfortunately, as you are aware, breastfeeding can cause irregular cycles so that could also play into the spotting as your hormones try and regulate.

  • manou82

    my period started on September

    21 and ended on 27th, had unprotected intercourse on October 3 and October 7, could I get pregnant ? please help

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    If you have a regular 28 day cycle, yes there is a possibility that you could have gotten pregnant.

  • Crystal

    I stopped taking birth control pills last month after my last period on Sept 11th. We started unprotected sex in beginning of Oct. but I only remember some of the dates we had sex without using a condom. Oct. 4th, 7th and 20th. But ever since the first day we had unprotected sex on Oct. 4th I began to feel extremely tired and very high sex drive the following week after that. I started taking home pregnancy test on Oct. 15th and I’ve been testing every other day following that but all came out negative. I do not keep track of my cycles so I’m not sure when I ovulate or if I did ovulate this month but my body felt hot (like fever) on Oct. 14th and 18th. Until today I still feel extremely tired, some pregnancy symptoms here and there and still no period. I’m not sure if this is REAL pregnancy symptoms or just post-pills symptoms. Please help!

  • Sarah

    I have got off the pill my last period which was 24 September , i then had unprotected sex on the 19 October (2 days before my period is due) my period is now a day late and is never late… Could i be pregnant or is my period irregular because I got off he pill? Please help! Xx

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Pregnancy is possible if you had unprotected sex. Based on when you had sex it isn’t likely that you are pregnant. With a normal cycle, you get pregnant about 2 weeks before your period arrives. My guess is that your period is late due to stopping birth control.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Without knowing when you ovulated, there is no way of telling if you tested too soon. As your body is trying to get back to normal hormonally, all that you are experiencing is typical of a shift in hormones. Chance of pregnancy is there as you had unprotected sex, but most likely your symptoms are due to your body trying to regain hormone balance.

  • kitty

    Hi. I had my last period on the 6th of October my next period is due around the first or second of November. I used ovulation strips and they were positive for at least four days, I think I ovulated around the 19th/ 20th we had Sex the day after my period and near everyday since except.for about 3 weeks since I come of my period. When would be best to do a test as I’m so impatient

  • kitty

    Except for about 3 days since my last period

  • Tionne

    My period ended 10/15 && we had unprotected sex the next day. Today is the 29th && I’ve been moody, sleepy, nauseous(but I haven’t thrown up, my stomach will just hurt really bad), I’m bloated && I had a thick white discharge…is it too soon to take a pregnancy test??

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Sounds like you timed everything right. Did you get a positive test? You could have tested when you posted this message and should have gotten accurate results.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    I can’t say when you can take a pregnancy test with the information you provided. I would need to know when your period started for two months in a row in order to figure out your cycle length. If you have a normal cycle (around 28 days between periods) you can typically test about 24 days after your period first started.

  • Kristinam

    Hi I used the ovulation strips and it came up positive about a week after my period. But I only had sex on the first day that my test was positive. It’s been 11 days since I had sex and I took a pregnancy test and it came up negative. Is it too soon?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    It could be a little early as a positive on the ovulation test means you will ovulate in 24 to 36 hours. It may be a little early to get reliable results. Test again in a day or two. Good luck!

  • wondering

    I haven’t had my period since September. Before that since July I got it every month. In my pass im usually irregular. October I didn’t get my period. The whole month of October I was sexually active. And still haven’t received my period. My nipples usually hurt when I know its coming so far nothing. Now my abdominal hurts like craps for the last two days. Could I be getting my period? Or am I pregnant?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Did you take a pregnancy test?

  • wondering

    Not yet im hoping my period going to come in three days. At least that’s what the app said. But I skipped October so it could be off.

  • wondering

    Or could I be ovulating

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    First step should be take the pregnancy test. That will either give you a definitive answer or rule out one of the options. Considering you have been known to be irregular, the lack of period could just be a sign of that. You might want to talk with your doctor to see if they can do some testing to rule of PCOS ( http://www.babyhopes.com/articles/what-is-pcos.html ) or some other hormonal imbalance.

  • DJ

    Hi, my last period was on September 23-27, we had intercourse on October 18 and 19. My period cycle is usually 35-40 days. I had taken Deviry tablet on October 31 and Nov 1. Still waiting for the period. Are there any chances of getting pregnancy? Also, what is the maximum time to wait for a pregnancy test? (I already checked once, which showed as negative).

    Please advise.

  • sharls

    hey vickie, i’m super excited. after a year of being married and trying to conceive, I have my first real symptoms of being pregnant. Please advise: last period started 20-oct-14, prior to that my period started on the 25-sep-14. my husband and i had sex on the 31-oct-14 and by about the 6-Nov-14 my breast began to feel sore. today is the 10-Nov-14 and I feel rather tired and sleepy even though i slept for 10 hours last night. could i be pregnant? when should test?

  • msqueenb

    I had my mirena (iud) removed on october 27th we had sex tht day and quite a few times there after been spotting/bleeding on and off feel very bloated boobs tender swollen and been beyond exhausted.. think its too soon to feel preggers?

  • Shawna

    My period was due 11/8/14 I still haven’t got it is it still to early to test me and my husband have been try to conceive for over a year now I’m hoping please let me no if you think that it’s to early or not

  • don’t judge!

    Don’t put someone down because you speak better english, she’s trying to ask a question just help her out and be done with it!!

  • manou82

    I had one time intercourse the same day my Ovulation Test was positive . is there any chance to get pregnant ?

  • waitingtolisten

    if you are late on your period, you should take a pregnancy test.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    You timed intercourse perfectly it would seem. Our ovulation calculator shows the following:

    Monday 20th October 2014 – First day of your cycle

    Tuesday 28th October 2014 – A little bit fertile

    Wednesday 29th October 2014 – Fertile

    Thursday 30th October 2014 – VERY fertile

    Friday 31st October 2014 – Time to ovulate

    Monday 10th November 2014 – A home pregnancy test may work now.

    Looks like you can already test! Did you test?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Unfortunately, as you seem to have a medical issue surrounding your reproductive system, (having to take Deviry) it is really hard to say. If your cycle was 35 days, you would have had sex too late, but if it was going to be closer to 40 it might have been timed right. You could test about 3 or 4 days before your period is due to arrive, but not knowing really when your period is due to arrive will result in many test being used too early for accurate results.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Most likely. The symptoms you are feeling are also similar to what your body will go through as it tries to regain it’s hormonal balance. The only way to make a guess is if you knew if you were ovulating when you were having unprotected sex.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Yes there is. Sperm can survive up to 5 days after ejaculation. A positive ovulation test means you will ovulate in 24 to 36 hours. You can use a pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant about 12 days after you got the positive ovulation test.

  • dee

    I stopped my period november 1 .i had intercourse everyday since then. And i spotted twice sense ive been off my period. My next period is due december second. I have had cramping and bloating . Headaches. Could i be pregnant and is it still to early to take a test

  • bree_

    How soon should you take a pregnancy test if you had sex days before your cycle starts and you are 19 days late? The pregnancy test was negative


Last modified: March 7, 2014

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