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When Does a Pregnancy Test Turn Positive?

One of the more frustrating things when you’re trying to conceive can be the wait. It’s that wait between the time you actually try to conceive and the time that you get a positive (or negative) result on a pregnancy test. Unfortunately, you can’t know right away after conception when it’s occurred. You need to wait a little bit before you can really know. In other words, a pregnancy test won’t turn positive immediately after you try to conceive.

For a pregnancy test to turn positive, you need something specific to happen. A fertilized egg has to implant in the uterus. From there, it has to generate a sufficient amount of the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and send it in high enough amounts into your urine and blood stream. The pregnancy test then looks for that hormone.

This takes time. The fertilized egg will implant into the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) approximately one week after you ovulate. This can be from six to twelve days. After the fertilized egg implants, you’re looking at another three or four days before a blood-based pregnancy test will turn positive.

The results from a urine-based home pregnancy test are actually pretty similar. Your home pregnancy test will turn positive about two or three days after a blood pregnancy test would. Because of this, and because of the expense involved in taking a blood pregnancy test early on, most women will choose to wait until they could get a result from a home pregnancy test.

Some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others, which means that a more sensitive pregnancy test could turn positive before a test that’s less sensitive. Here again, we’re really only talking about the difference of a couple of days.

Overall, you could get a positive pregnancy test result about six to ten days after ovulation. Before that, any pregnancy test you take is likely to show a negative result, even if you are actually pregnant. There just isn’t enough hCG in your system yet to be able to show that you’re pregnant.


Last modified: February 10, 2013

The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.