When to Use a Pregnancy Test

Waiting for Pregnancy Test Results

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.

  • adwoa serwaa

    My menstrual cycle is 28days. It was successfully for almost 10 years now. But recently,just two months now,it has changed. Do i have a problem ?

    • There are many reasons your cycle can change. Depending on how old you are, it could be perimenopause. If you are not that old, you could be experiencing things in your day to day life that is affecting your cycle length.

      • hailey

        Hi I’m 5 days late now and I’ve never been late before I was supposed to start the 10 th and it’s the 15the I took a home test two days ago witch was negative how long should I wait to take a other one?

        • Wait a couple of days and try again.

  • alexis

    My name is alexis and I won’t to have get a pregnancy test and won’t to be a good mother help me I am 18

    • I’m not exactly what help you are looking for?

  • brandy

    I am 6 days late for my current cycle and i had negative tests earlier in the week.(possibly tested to early) but when i tested today it is positive; there is a faint blue line.:) i am wondering if this can be a false positive?

    • It’s not very likely if you followed the instructions for the test you used. If you were to test again, it should definitely show a positive result quickly now.

  • nadine

    I had my last period on December 13th I had sex on January 1st I’ve been feeling sick n tired I was wondering when am I suppose to take a test …I start my period in the 13th..

    • If you haven’t already taken one, you can now. It’s definitely close enough to get a positive result if you are pregnant.

  • Kimi

    I recently had the iud removed and immediately got the depo shot same day and not within the 5 day period mark. I also started antibiotics the same day and had unprotected sex. Three weeks late on my period and showing crazy pregnancy signs but two negative at home tests… Is there any way I could be pregnant? I didn’t think the depo stopped your period instantly. I had a regular cycle through my whole year with the iud

    • What type of iud did you have a Mirena or Copper T. If you had the Mirena, it could be that the hormone in that iud that allowed the doctor to give the depo shot right away.Did you have unprotected sex just once in the first week of the depo shot or several times? The delay in your period could be the different ways the two bc methods actually work. Unfortunately due to the fact that you had unprotected sex shortly after getting the shot there is a possibility of pregnancy but not likely.

    • Kristy3445

      The antibiotic according to Science will deactivate your birth control. So yes it is possible

  • angi21

    Hi im over a mouth and 2 weeks late , but i have taken 5 tests and they say im negitive. … im confused and dont k ow what to do?

  • angi21

    I havent had my period in a month and two weeks but iv taken 5 tests and it says im negitive. … idk what to think or do

    • I would suggest you go and see your doctor if your period still hasn’t arrived.

  • Andrea

    I’m Andrea. I am 10 DPO, having pregnancy symptoms. I just took 3 tests One was negative, one was very faint, and one is definately a positive. Is it too early and just throwing off false positive or should I wait a few days and test again?

    • My guess is that by now, you are seeing a full positive test? 8 days dpo is a bit early to get good results. Typically 4 days before your period arrives is the earliest you should test.

  • chrissy

    me and my husband has been trying and trying but idk what is wrong i know he is fertal becuase he has a baby allready. i have had a miscarrege .. im 18 and my husband is 28 … i have taken multiple test but all said negative. sometimes i feel like i have symptoms and i get excited and in a couple days i start my menstrual i get so depressed and i just dont know what to do!

    • Kristy3445

      Ok first off what r u doing with a 28 year old? That’s really gross

    • How long have you been trying to get pregnant? Are you sure you are having sex around when you ovulate? How do you determine when you are ovulating?

  • Becka

    My period was on January the 6th and I had sex January the 23rd I have a doctors appointment the 4th if I am pregnant should my pregnancy test come back positive at my doctors appointment or would it be to soon??

    • If you are pregnant, it should show up positive at that time if you have regular 28 day cycles.

  • Sandeep

    How Common Is False Positive and False Negative Pregnancy Test And What Causes It?

  • shelley

    Hi need some advice on first response

    • shelley

      Dec 20 was lmp sex on the 24 9 first response tests one just today all neg but the symptoms are there …how accurate is first response at detecting should have picked up hgc by now. I would think

      • First response is one of the better tests and usually really accurate. If you had your period on the 20th and had sex on the 24th, you are most likely not pregnant if you have the typical 28 day cycle.

  • Kim

    My last menstrual period was January 12th I took two tests both came up negative could I be or not?

    • It really depends. If you have regular 28 day cycles, you should have started your period by now. If you have irregular cycles, then this could be totally normal, for you. If you are concerned, you should go and visit your doctor to find out what is going on with your body / cycle.

  • Skyface Beel

    I had my period 31 January to 3 of February my cycle 28 I had sex 12 to 16 I feel weak and sick
    can I go for pregnancy test?

    • You timed sex right so you could be pregnant. If you take a pregnancy test around Wednesday, you might get a positive result if you are pregnant.

    • You timed sex right so you could be pregnant. If you take a pregnancy test around Wednesday, you might get a positive result if you are pregnant.

  • xxx

    I’m 18 and decided I wanted a baby after being with my boyfriend for 3 years. We’ve been trying and I know I was ovulating around 9th Feb- 13th Feb, so we had sex everyday between then. It’s now Feburary the 20th and I think I MAY have experienced spotting. And I have been reading up symptoms and I feel bloated. Maybe it’s just me and wanting to fall pregnant so bad that I think I have the symptoms. But really I don’t. Is it too early to see spoting or to be feeling bloated?

    • It is possible to have implantation bleeding around the time you saw the spotting. You should be able to test around Wednesday to see if you are pregnant. Good luck!

  • maame

    My last period was 14th February and I had sex on 8th and 11th but I dnt feel any pregnancy symptoms with the exception of lower abdominal pain , can I be pregnant?

  • april

    Will I take a pregnancy test and it said I was not pregnancy abd a week later I looked at the test again and it had a faded line what dose that mean

  • Alyssa C

    My period is always the first week of every month. I had sex the 6th and I ovulate the 9th. This was back in early September now it’s the 19th, and I can’t stop eating I constantly feel sick but I don’t get sick and I get cramps. I look everything up, and it says no symptoms until 4 weeks. Is it possible to get them sooner? Taken 2 tests both negative but I do no that it’s too soon I shouldn’t start my period for another week. Is it a possibility I am pergnant?

  • Laura

    My last period was on the 7th April, I had sex on the 25th April. My cycle is usually 35 days, took a pregnancy test on the 12th May and it came back negative, was it too early for me to test? My period is now 3 days late

Last modified: January 24, 2015