Can You Take Home Pregnancy Tests Before Missing a Period?

Most mothers-to-be today look at early detection as something that is immensely important. This is especially true for women who begin experiencing symptoms of pregnancy before missing their periods. However, how do you know whether you should wait to take a test or if you can take one before your period while still getting accurate results?

Waiting Until After You’ve Missed a Period is Often Best

Most drug stores today offer a wide variety of pregnancy tests that you can buy over-the-counter. Each might use a different method to help detect pregnancy, ranging from urinating into a cup and then dipping the stick in the urine to putting your urine into a special container with the use of an eyedropper and urinating on the test itself.

Amenorrhea, or missing your period, is often the first sign that you might be pregnant. It’s important to remember that even after you miss your period, it might take several days for your test to show you accurate results. Because of this, you might have to take multiple tests before you have a positive determination that you are pregnant.

Some women choose to have blood pregnancy tests done instead. Blood pregnancy tests measure the concentration of human chorionic gonadotropic, or hCG, in your body which typically reach high enough levels 10 days after ovulation to be detected.

There are highly sensitive pregnancy tests that can detect pregnancy up to six days before ovulation, which is around eight days before your cycle begins. However, this increases the potential for false negatives. Another possibility is that you might be experiencing a chemical pregnancy, meaning that you will test positive although the pregnancy is going to result in a miscarriage. Of course, negative urine tests aren’t always the best indicator, especially because it’s possible to become pregnant later in your cycle.

Once one to two weeks have passed since your period, or three to four weeks have passed since fertilization, you can confirm that there is a fetus developing with a transvaginal sonogram. Six to seven weeks after your last period is the point at which a heartbeat can be detected and you will be able to see the fetus itself.

Are Home Pregnancy Tests Accurate?

In general, home pregnancy tests claim to be between 97 and 99 percent accurate, however this statistic can vary. Each brand’s sensitivity to hCG is different, and if you aren’t using the test properly, results will be less accurate. It is typically best to take multiple tests from the same brand to get the most accurate results.

Detecting Pregnancy Before You Miss a Period

Women who take pregnancy tests too early often don’t have high enough levels of hCG in their body for accurate detection. The most accurate time at which you could take a pregnancy test is if you take one around the time of your period.

Negative results can sometimes occur because you aren’t actually pregnant, or because you might be ovulating later than you think. Many issues that happen during pregnancy can affect levels of hCG in your urine as well. If you ever have a negative pregnancy test, take another test shortly thereafter. If you still believe that you’re pregnant, it’s best to talk to your doctor.

Blood pregnancy tests are always the most accurate way to determine whether or not you’re pregnant. Results from these tests are available after 24 hours and can be taken as early as eight days after fertilization occurs and hCG is present in your body.

  • Charmaine

    thank you this helps alot. I’m nerves I’m suppose to start my period tomorrow.

  • Jamie

    thank you so much. i tryed it yesterday and it was negative but its prob bc i wasnt close to my pd yet. thank you!!!!

  • Lyns

    We had a miscarriage a two months ago. I tested yesterday (6 days before I’m due for my period) and the digital one said I was pregnant. I had taken 3 answer ones and the line was really faint, but at least with this one I got a “pregnant”. So here’s hoping this time we will continue to get good news instead of bad! I also drank wheatgrass which is suppose to help with fertility I heard! Good luck ladies!

  • Lyns

    Jamie, with my first child years ago I didn’t get a positive until a week after my missed period! So fingers crossed!

  • earthsmagic

    Congratulations Lyns!

  • tya

    I took 4 preg test came back all neg, which i feel like i was prego.. My LMP was March 4th, 2013 and now its been 8 days since i haven’t got my period.. This morning i woke up, first thing in the morning and took another test, came back ”Not pregnant” as i can see the other blue line were very light which were positive.. Does it count or can i still be pregnant?

  • earthsmagic

    What brand test are you using? For most tests, if you see two line it means you are pregnant, but you said it came back “Not pregnant” Did the test actually say “Not Pregnant” or are you interpreting the results as a negative? If you are using the same brand test for each of your test, it might be helpful for you to use a different brand. Maybe the test you are using isn’t as sensitive as it could be.

  • Shayela

    I took a home pregnancy test two days ago, which would be about 3 days before my period is supposed to come and it came back postitve, so I took a second one and it came back postive. how accurate are these tests when taken before missed periods?

  • Vickie B.

    Most pregnancy tests on the market will pick up a positive at 3 or 4 days before your period is due and they are pretty accurate. You have a better chance of getting a false negative than a false positive. Congratulations!

  • DH& 3

    Hi…I am only 5 days dpo and am REALLY hoping I am pregnant. My last cycle was 5/5/2013. I have purchased a test (first response-6 days sooner), should I test Mon/Tues/or Weds? UGHHH the waiting is agony. Thanks for your help…

  • Vickie B.

    Tuesday would be a good day for you to test. The longer you can hold out the better though because the earlier you test, the larger the potential for a false negative result.

  • Pinky

    Hello. My last cycle started 5-1-13 and I had a faint positive the 27th and 28th using Walmart equate brand. Period is not expected until June 3. 33 day cycle

  • Z4

    Ok. I’m 26 no kids. But I’m a little nervous. My LMP was May 18.. Well on the 16 I was active… And the morning of the 18. Should I be nervous about June???

  • Vickie B.

    If you have a regular 28 day cycle, you would have ovulated at the end of may and your period would be due around now. Having sex on the 16th and the 18th (be in in May or June) would not be timing to worry about.

  • HDub

    I have a 24 day cycle…. does the 3, 4 or 5 days before missed period still apply? I am 8 dpo today and that is 4 days before my period.

  • Vickie B.

    You could try try testing. Did you get a positive ovulation test? If you aren’t pregnant, you might want to try herbal supplements that help lengthen your luteal phase ( the days after ovulation).

  • Emily

    I had a period last month starting on the 3rd or 4th and ended on the 6th. I have very short periods. I have been feeling nauseated and sleepy recently. I missed my period last week. I took a test yesterday morning that came back negative. When should I take another one? I am 6 days late.

  • Shelly

    Hi, I have a 32 day cycle. Lmp was June 9th. I am due for my period tomorrow but am concerned I am pregnant. My husband and I have only been using spermicide. Test says negative. Can I trust this?

  • Ashley84

    I have a 32 day cycle. LMP was July 6th. When can I test?

  • Alisha

    Hi I have been trying to get pregnant for awhile now I had my period July 20 thru the 25 th, I had sex August 4-8 when I thought I was ovulating today is aug 15 would a pregnancy test be accurate?

  • Vickie B.

    If you typically have a 28 day cycle, our ovulation calendar shows that you would have been ovulating on August 2nd. If that is the case, you would have missed your chance to conceive this cycle. If you had timed it correctly, a pregnancy test should have worked now.

  • Ana SoIndependent

    im confused idk if I have a 28 day cycle or 32 day cycle because my period is irregular but im supposed to get my period on sept 27 when can I take a test if idk what my cycle days are????? too a test todat at 9dpo and neg

  • vanessa

    Hello. So I had my last period on September20. So my on oct 6th would of been my ovulation day in which I had intercourse and again on the 11, and the again the 16. Im suppose to have my period tomorrow. Is there a possibility I can be pregnant. I havent took a test.

  • Vickie B.

    If you had sex on the 6th, your timing would have been good to catch ovulation. There is a chance that you are pregnant.

  • Raye

    I’m not entirely certain when I’m due either a week to fortnight away, had sex three times in the last 2 weeks where my husband and I have not used contraception and came off the pill a month ago.. I know there’s a chance but what’s the likelihood?

  • Chelsea

    Hi, my last period started about 23rd dec-27th. Have we already missed the best time to conceive?

  • Kay

    I still have a week to go before I am due my period, however I am having bad lower back aches, random nausea, eating food I usually don’t like, feeling really tiered and even though I am dieting, I am gaining weight! My husband and I are actively trying for a baby, and have been for just over a month, but I had a period a week after we first began trying. I took a test about 9 days ago and it was negative, but my symptoms were not frequent as they are now. We had intercourse on everyday of my ovulation. Would a home test pick it up this early? Or do I still have to wait?

  • yana

    i have pcos so i am not sure of the period frequently and when should i test

  • Whit:)

    Ok I Usually Have My Period between The 1st and 5th of the month .. and it lasts 3 days . In December I got my period on the 28th (which was the 2nd time that month .) and it ended on the 30th .. On The 1st of January I had sex with No condom .. and In January between the 1st and 5th I Did NOT Get My Period . I don’t know if I should wait til February to see if I get my period or if I can take it now . Is there a possibility that I am pregnant ? HELP !!!

  • slccmom

    can you test 7 days before your period and get an accurate result?

  • Guest

    A friend of mine has the same problem as I do with not having regular periods.

  • oasis

    hi my last period was april 1st to 5 then i had intercourse on the 20th we used pull out method but without any condom. but still im kinda worried is there a great chance for me to get pregnant? please help! thank you

  • Nicole

    My son was conceived with pull out method. Always a chance

  • Nicole

    My son was conceived with pull out method. Always a chance

  • Toby12

    Hi need help I think I’m pregnant but I due on in 5 days and my preg test keep say native y help

  • tina

    So I had sex a day before my period and I am niw 14 days late when should I take a pregnancy test

  • saly

    i had a period on 16th june and i had the ovulation.when i have to take pregnancy test

  • sadie

    I had unprotected sex on the 5th and now have a period can I still be pregnant? I’m worried I might not be!

  • kristen

    so according to my chart, my most fertile day was june 7th. I had sex that day. ive been feeling pregnant since then, I have a son so I know how it feels. im due for my period in 4 days, so could I be pregnant?

  • Vickie B.

    You should consider taking a pregnancy test to see what it says. Most of the drugstore brands should give pretty accurate results at this point. You can also wait a day or two and get even more accurate results.

  • kristen

    I have took several home pregnancy tests and they were negative, I even took one today and it was negative…I feel pregnant!! I have the nausea and everything…but the fact that I had unprotected sex the day I was the most fertile makes me lean more towards being pregnant

  • Ginge

    I had sex on the 5th and 6th of this month my period is due on the 13th could I be pregnant? Or have I missed the chance

  • roxana

    I had my period on June 26, it lasted until July 1st. My cycle is 28 days. I had unprotected sex on July 4,5 and July 9,10..when should i test?

  • CutieKutie86

    My last period was June 19-23. My ovulation app said I ovulated on the 27 of June. I had unprotected sex on the 28th and 29th of June. What are my chances that I am pregnant?

  • Vickie B.

    Hmmm, it sounds like your cycle is off by the dates you shared. If your period started on the 19th and your app says you ovulated on the 27th, there are only 9 days there instead of the typical 14 days. If you have a regular 28 day cycle, you should have ovulated on the July 2nd. Also, if you really did ovulate on the 27th, the chances of you getting pregnant on the 28th / 29th are slim as you need to have sex before or on the day of ovulation in order to have the highest chances of getting pregnant.

  • Vickie B.

    If you plug your information into our ovulation calendar, you will find this information:

    Thursday 12th June 2014 – A little bit fertile

    Friday 13th June 2014 – Fertile

    Saturday 14th June 2014 – VERY fertile

    Sunday 15th June 2014 – Time to ovulate

    Wednesday 25th June 2014 – A home pregnancy test may work now.

    It looks like you haven’t hit your fertile time for this month yet.

  • christa

    I am trying for a baby. We have been trying continuously and his boys are swimming.
    I should be on my period as of a few days ago.
    My areolas are slightly darker, nausea, headaches, really thirsty all the time, fatigued, constipated, hadst, and extra discharge, cravings, etc.
    my test this morning my test said no, though. I really should be ..could I be?

Last modified: June 1, 2014

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