When Can I Take A Pregnancy Test and Get a Positive Result?

When to take a pregnancy test

You are dying to know how long it will take for your pregnancy test will read positive. You’d love the answer today, but you are going to have to wait a while. Women who are trying to conceive call this awful waiting time the “two week wait”.

Unfortunately, pregnancy tests are not magic. You cannot take one the morning after you had sex and assume that it will be positive, or negative.

How Long After Ovulation Can You Take A Pregnancy Test?

Positive pregnancy test reaction

You’re pretty sure you know when you ovulated this month. The baby making sex was timed perfectly. Now you’ve got all your fingers and toes crossed. Maybe this will be the month you see that elusive positive pregnancy test.

You know it is best to wait until you’ve missed your period to take a pregnancy test. Most of the tests on the market say you can test earlier than that. You NEED to know right now! So what do you do?

False Positive Pregnancy Tests – What Causes Them and How Common Are They?

False Positive Pregnancy Tests

If you are trying to get pregnant, the desire to take a pregnancy test can be powerful. Instead of waiting for their period to be late, most women will decide to test as early as possible. Testing before your period is due is a major cause of false positive pregnancy test results. When someone says they had a false positive result, it usually means that additional pregnancy tests were not positive like the first one.


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

Negative Pregnancy Test

Using Home Pregnancy Tests

Home pregnancy tests are the quickest and easiest way to find out if you are pregnant. Pregnancy tests work by measuring the amount of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) present in your urine. Most standard home pregnancy tests tell you to wait until you have missed a period to test. The results are more accurate when you do this.

If you are unable to wait and need to know sooner, you can take a pregnancy test 2 or 3 days before your period is due. Most brands of pregnancy tests are about 97% accurate. You do need to follow the instructions and read the test in the time stated. If you do not, you need take another test as any results you get could be invalid.

It is advisable to buy pregnancy tests that have more than one test in the kit. You can test again if you are unsure of the result or just want to see the positive, or negative, result again.

What is a False Negative Pregnancy Test Result?

A false negative pregnancy test indicates that you are NOT pregnant when, in fact, you are. This can lead to quite a bit of confusion and anxiety. To avoid this error, you must be aware of the possible causes for this result.

What Causes a False Negative Pregnancy Test Result?

1. Testing To Early

One of the most common reasons for a false negative result is testing too early. For accurate results, give your body time to produce enough hCG. Every pregnancy test has a certain level of hCG required for a positive result to show up. Sensitivity levels vary from pregnancy test to pregnancy test.

Most brands will show a positive result if you are pregnant around the time your period is due. Best bet is to wait until you have actually missed your period before testing. Even pregnancy tests that say you can 3 or 4 days before your period might show a false negative results if you test too early.

The pregnancy hormones don’t increase the same in every woman. If implantation and hCG production happens later than expected, you might not get an early positive result. A negative result in this case would be a false negative.

2. Not Following Test Directions

In your intense desire to find out if you are pregnant, you rip open the package as soon as you get home, pee and soak the test. Did you look at the instructions before you did that? There is a chance that you didn’t and that could negatively affect the the reliability of the test results. Some tests will tell you how long to dip or urinate on the test. Wetting the test for too little time or for too long can create unreliable results.

3. Reading Test Results at The Wrong Time

Be sure you read the test results within the time range listed in the pregnancy test instruction. If you read the results too early, you could have false negative result. Patience and a timer are both called for if you want to avoid a false negative result.

Reading the results after the time frame in the instructions can show inaccurate results too. How many people freak out after seeing a very faint line on the pregnancy test 2 hours after throwing away? Well, while it might be a positive, you should never consider it a positive at that point.

Any changes in the test that you see after the time frame outlined in the test instructions are invalid. Test again with a new test and follow the directions well this time. Using a timer will help avoid any time related invalid results.

A negative result on a home pregnancy test COULD mean that you are not pregnant. It could also mean you took the test too early, or that there was a problem with the technique or timing.

If you think you are pregnant and are having pregnancy symptoms, it could mean you had a false negative pregnancy test result. Wait a few days and test again. If you get different results with other home pregnancy tests, contact your healthcare provider. A blood pregnancy test might be necessary to find out if you are pregnant or not.

I See A Faint Line On My Home Pregnancy Test, Am I Pregnant?

Faint line on pregnancy test

I Think I See A Second Line!

Home pregnancy tests use a sample of a woman’s urine in order to detect the ‘pregnancy hormone’ – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). The growing placenta produces the hCG hormone soon after a fertilized egg has implanted in the uterine lining. Since hCG is present so early in a woman’s pregnancy, and continues to rise, it is one of the best indications of pregnancy. If you are testing before your period is late, you may end up with a very faint second line on your test.

Ultimately, the answer is yes, if you see a faint colored line on the pregnancy test, you are pregnant.

On a pregnancy test, what if 1 line is very light and the other is very dark?

Reasons for Faint Lines on Pregnancy Tests

Even though there are a number of different home pregnancy tests, they all operate on the same testing principle. Your home pregnancy test results should be accurate, as long as you have followed the directions.

However, there may be times when a home pregnancy test will show a faint line. As long as you followed the test instructions, a faint colored line will indicate pregnancy. If you are seeing a colorless line, you can’t interpret that as a positive result. It could be that you are seeing an evaporation line on your pregnancy test.

There are multiple reasons for faint lines:

  • Taking a pregnancy test too early can result in a very faint positive result. You will likely not have enough hCG in your urine if you test earlier than nine or ten days after ovulation.
  • Each brand of home pregnancy tests has differing levels of sensitivity in detecting hCG. The more sensitive the pregnancy test is, the earlier you will see a positive result.
  • A urine sample that has been diluted as a result of large liquid intake can also cause a faint line. Testing with first morning urine avoids this issue. If you plan on testing later in the day, try and avoid potty breaks for three to four hours before testing.
  • A chemical pregnancy can also create a faint line. In this situation, implantation has occurred and hCG has therefore been produced. Nevertheless, the pregnancy itself is not viable and was followed by an early miscarriage.

Types of Home Pregnancy Tests

There are three different formats of home pregnancy tests – midstream, pregnancy test strip, and cassette.

All formats of test work well and are accurate. The only differences are the method of wetting the test with your urine and the cost of the tests.

Midstream tests require that urinate directly on them. Test strips and cassette tests require that you collect your urine in a clean dry container. You then either dip the test or use a dropper to transfer the urine into the test.

When Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?

The best time of day to take a home pregnancy test is first thing in the morning. The hCG in your urine will be more concentrated at that time. If you want to take the test later in the day, be sure to limit the liquids you drink before you test. This will allow the hCG to be as concentrated as possible.

If you are drinking a lot of liquids, you may dilute the level of hCG so it will not show up as a positive result.

Ultimately, the best time, during your cycle, to take a pregnancy test is when you have actually missed your period. Having said that, most women don’t want to wait. You can typically begin using a pregnancy test about 4 days before your period is due.

It is important to remember that the accuracy of home pregnancy tests can vary between women for a number of reasons.

  • The length of a woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation can change from month to month.
  • The day that the fertilized egg implanted may have been later than expected. This would cause the hCG levels lower than expected when you test.
  • Every home pregnancy test will have a different hCG sensitivity level. If you use a test that isn’t very sensitive, testing before your period is due may result in a false negative result.

If you get a negative pregnancy test result before your period is actually late, it does not mean that you aren’t pregnant. It could just mean you are testing too early.

Positive Pregnancy Test Results

A positive result will typically show up between three and five minutes. However, the overall reaction time of most tests is five to ten minutes. You need to carefully read the instructions that came with your pregnancy test to determine the actual time frame for reading it. Reading after the specified time in the instructions can lead to inaccurate results.

All home pregnancy tests will have a control color line that indicates whether the test is working or not. A second colored line will show up when hCG is detected. If the second line on your pregnancy test is very faintly colored, it can still be read as a positive sign, although it is suggested that you retake the test within the next day or two.

Evaporation Lines and Early Pregnancy Tests

Home pregnancy tests:

When an ovum is fertilized in your body and after the embryo attaches to the uterine wall, the newly formed placenta produces the pregnancy hormone or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). Home pregnancy tests contain monoclonal antibodies, which are molecules coated with a substance that bonds to Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). If Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is detected, the test reacts with a positive result.

There are different types of home pregnancy tests and you can use them at home or in a clinic. Most doctors recommend that you wait until the first day of your missed period before taking a home pregnancy test. This is usually about two weeks after conception. However, some tests are more sensitive than others and can be used earlier.

The first type of home pregnancy tests – dip strip pregnancy tests, involves collecting your urine in a container and dipping a stick into the urine, or putting urine into a special container with an eyedropper. A second type of home pregnancy tests-stream tests, involves placing a stick into your urine stream and soaking the tip of the pregnancy test with your urine.

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How Long Do I Have to Wait for Results?

Tests vary in how long you have to wait to get a result. This time period is called reaction time of the test. You will be looking for a change in color, a line or symbol (like a plus or minus). All tests come with instructions and it is important that you follow these instructions to get an accurate reading.

What are Evaporation Lines?

Evaporation lines, as the name suggests are caused due to evaporation of the urine within then testing area of your pregnancy test. These are lines that shows in the result window of the test, exactly where a positive sign would be. An evaporation line develops when the urine on the test area begins to dry, leaving a faint, usually colorless line. Evaporation lines appear to show up (or not show up) as a result of the composition of the particular urine specimen – and they may appear on any test regardless of brand.

How Can you Avoid Formation of Evaporation Lines?

You should always read the literature that comes with the test and look for instructions on when to read your results. Usually home pregnancy tests have a reaction time of three to five minutes. While some tests are no longer accurate after a certain amount of time, others have been known to pick up Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) after a longer period of time than is recommended. You can only know for sure by testing again a few days later. If you don’t see a positive result in the amount of time that the manufacturer states, you should not rely on that test result. Evaporation lines can cause confusion if the home pregnancy test is not interpreted within the clinically recommended time frame.