When to Use a Pregnancy Test

If you’re trying to get pregnant, the time that you have to wait between trying to conceive and finding out whether or not you were successful can drag on and on and on. You want to know, and you want to know now. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to know for at least a few days, and you won’t get the most accurate results until after you’ve missed your period.

It’s important, first of all, to look at the particular pregnancy test you want to use. Most of the time a home pregnancy test is a urine-based test. The test measures the amount of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) that’s present in your urine. However, a home pregnancy test doesn’t give you an exact count, but rather looks for the hCG to be beyond a certain threshold.

If you use a home pregnancy test too soon, there may not be enough hCG in your urine yet to register on the test. This means you will get a negative result. Usually, you won’t have enough hCG in your urine to register on a home pregnancy test until you have missed your  period, and probably a few days after that.

If you get a negative result with a home pregnancy test that measures the hCG in your urine, don’t lose hope. You may be testing too early. It’s also possible that there’s something going on in your body that would affect the level of hCG in your body. If you get a negative result, wait a few days (if you don’t start your period, of course) and use another home pregnancy test.

You can also take a blood test to know whether or not you’re pregnant. A blood test requires, of course, a sample of your blood. These tests are done in a lab environment, and are much more expensive than a simple home pregnancy test. A blood test might be able to detect pregnancy earlier than a urine test could, because a blood test can be used to measure a smaller amount of hCG. If you want a blood test for pregnancy, you need to get an order from your doctor. Otherwise, you should wait and take a home pregnancy test.

Last modified: February 10, 2013

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