We know that you’re excited about the possibility of becoming pregnant. Even if you’re trying to conceive a second child or beyond, the prospect of becoming pregnant is thrilling in so many ways. Because of this, it’s easy to want to jump the gun when it comes to pregnancy tests. You want to know as soon as you can that you’re pregnant. You want to be able to shift out of “trying to conceive” mode and into “I’m gonna have a baby mode.” We understand, we really do.

But here’s the thing to remember: it takes time for your body to actually know that it’s pregnant. Once you have sex, the sperm still have to travel to the fallopian tubes and fertilize an egg. That egg then has to travel to the uterus and implant. It takes some time for that to happen, and until it does there’s no way to really know if you’re pregnant.

So, how soon can you take a home pregnancy test? Usually, it’s best to wait until you’ve missed a period. Technically speaking, a home pregnancy test might be able to register a positive for you right around 10 days after conception, which will be a three or four days before you miss your period.  However, even if you get an negative result, it doesn’t mean you are not pregnant.

A pregnancy test measures something called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is produced by your body when you’re pregnant. It usually doesn’t reach levels that can be measured by a pregnancy test until around day 10 after conception. At the very earliest, you could possibly  have high enough hCG levels at about 8 days.

There is a down side to testing this early though.  As much as 25% of all pregnancies end up in a miscarriage.   There is a chance that you will get a positive result testing at 10 days past ovulation but end up getting your period any way and then know that you have had an early miscarriage.  The heart break and disappointment that  ensues will test even the most positive person trying to get pregnant.

Ultimately, the answer is you can get a positive result at about 10 days past ovulation but you need to weigh the pros and cons of testing this early.  If the emotional costs are too much for you, it would be best to wait until after you have a missed period.