When Can I Take A Pregnancy Test After Trying to Conceive?

For a couple that is trying to conceive, the time between they attempt to conceive and the time that they can know for certain whether they were successful in their attempt can seem like an eternity. This can be especially true if the couple has been trying to conceive for some time. Knowing when to take a pregnancy test after trying to conceive can help make the waiting a little more tolerable, and can also avoid the expense and disappointment of having a pregnancy test turn up negative, not because you aren’t necessarily pregnant, but rather because you took the pregnancy test too soon after trying to conceive.

The most reliable time to take a pregnancy test after trying to conceive is after you have missed your period. If your period should have started but didn’t, and if you are pregnant, you are almost certain to get a positive result on a pregnancy test. Having said that, again, many couples who are trying to conceive just don’t have the patience to wait that long. Understanding a little bit about how pregnancy tests work, however, can help you time your test after trying to conceive.

Pregnancy tests measure Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, or hCG for short. HCG is the hormone that your body produces once the fertilized egg has implanted into the uterus. Here is where timing becomes important. It takes anywhere from 7 to 10 days after the egg has been fertilized for it to implant into the uterus. Thus, your body won’t be able to produce that hCG that can be detected by the test until 8 or more days after you ovulate, which can be as many as 5 days after you have tried to conceive, depending on what sorts of methods you are using as far as proximity to ovulation.

One additional factor to consider when thinking about taking a pregnancy test after trying to conceive is that some tests are more sensitive than others. The most sensitive home pregnancy tests will detect 25 MI/U of hCG, whereas other tests won’t be able to detect the hCG until it reaches 150 MI/U or more. Using a pregnancy test that is more sensitive will, then, allow you to take the test sooner after trying to conceive.


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Last modified: February 10, 2013