Can you take a home pregnancy test before you miss your period?
Early detection of pregnancy is a major concern with all to-be mothers. And most you must often wonder if you can you find out if you’re pregnant prior to a missing period? For example, if you’re a week from getting your period, but having symptoms of being pregnant, can you find out via a home pregnancy test, or should you just wait until you’ve actually missed a period to be accurate? Let us se what scientific data and the doctors have to say.
Best to wait till you have missed a period!
There are many types of home pregnancy tests, or HPTs , that can be bought over-the-counter at drug or discount stores. Some involve collecting your urine in a cup and dipping a stick into the urine, or putting some of the urine into a special container with an eyedropper. Others are done by placing a stick into your urine stream. Tests vary in how long you have to wait for the stick or container to turn a certain color or have a symbol on it (like a plus or a minus).
A missed period (amenorrhea) in someone who has always had regular periods is often the first sign of pregnancy. It sometimes takes several days beyond the missed period before the home pregnancy test becomes positive, so you may want to repeat it. Your doctor could also do a blood human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone test, which is more reliable and becomes positive about 10 or so days after ovulation. Hence, most doctors and home pregnancy test manufacturers recommend that it is best to wait until at least the first day of your missed period before you take a home pregnancy test.
Very sensitive pregnancy tests can be positive as early as 6 days after fertilization – about 8 days before your period. But occasionally there are false negatives (a negative test when you’re pregnant) or false positives (a positive test when you’re not pregnant). Or, you could have a chemical pregnancy, which is a positive test without the development of a fetus. In addition, a negative urine test isn’t absolute proof you aren’t pregnant, because you may have become pregnant later in your cycle.
One to two weeks after the missed period (three to four weeks after fertilization) a transvaginal sonogram can confirm the presence of your fetus inside the uterus. Four to five weeks after fertilization (six to seven weeks after your last period) you should be able to see your fetus and its heartbeat.
How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
Home pregnancy tests are generally very accurate. Most brands of home pregnancy tests say they are 97% to 99% accurate, but this can vary with actual use. Each brand varies in how sensitive it is in picking up the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). If a test is not done correctly, it will be less accurate. For best results, most brands of home pregnancy tests instruct users to do the test again in a few days, no matter what the results.
How to detect pregnancy before a missed period?
If you use home pregnancy tests too early in your pregnancy, you may not have enough of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine to have an accurate test result. Most home pregnancy tests will be accurate if you test yourself around the time your period is due (about 2 weeks after you ovulate, or release an egg from your ovary).
You can get a negative test result if you are not pregnant or if you ovulated later than you thought you did. You may also have problems with the pregnancy, which affects the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) you have in your urine. If your home pregnancy test is negative, test yourself again within a few days to 1 week. If you keep getting a negative result and think you are pregnant, talk to a doctor right away.
If you haven’t missed your period and want to find out for sure, the most reliable way would be a blood test for the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).Results come back in about 24 hours. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) blood tests can be positive as early as 8 days after fertilization.