When to Use a Pregnancy Test
When Can I Use a Pregnancy Test?
If you’re trying to get pregnant, you are eager to find out as soon as possible if you are pregnant. The waiting to test can drive you to distraction. You want to know, and you want to know now but unfortunately, there is no way to make the process go any faster. The best way to get the most accurate results is to wait until after your period is due before you test. All pregnancy tests on the market today should show a positive result at this time.
If you just can’t wait and want to test as soon as possible, you can test earlier but need to take some things into consideration. It’s important, first of all, to look at the particular pregnancy test you want to use. The home pregnancy tests measure the amount of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) that’s present in your urine. The tests on the market today vary in sensitivity. A pregnancy test won’t show a positive result until the concentration of hCG in your urine exceeds the sensitivity level of the test.
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. Some pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others, so the potential to get a positive result before your period is late is there but usually, you won’t have enough hCG in your urine to register on a home pregnancy test until two or three days before your period.
If you get a negative result, 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 then test again, preferably with first morning urine. First morning urine will have the highest concentration of hCG in it, making it easier for the test to pick it up and give you a positive result.
Getting a pregnancy blood test done at your doctor’s office is another option. 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 a little earlier than a urine test. Usually a blood test is considered positive for pregnancy if there is a hCG level of between 5 and 10 mIU of hCG present in the blood. Most of the urine based tests on the market will show a positive result at around 15 to 20 mIU of hCG. Realistically there is only a day or two difference in being able to get a positive result between the two methods.