How Long After Ovulation Can You Take A Pregnancy Test?

How Long After Ovulation Can You Take A Pregnancy Test?

You're pretty sure you know when you ovulated this month. The timing of the baby making sex was perfect. 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?

Time Between Taking an Ovulation Test and Taking a Pregnancy Test

Your ovulation test gave you a positive result, and you and your partner got busy. The timing seemed pretty good, and if all goes well, you will be able to take a pregnancy test soon.

Many women start testing way too early in their eagerness to know. The urge to test is strong. Doing that can line you up for disappointment and false negative results. You will have to spend more money and endure more stress when you have to test again. It takes a while to get from conception to the point where a positive pregnancy test result is possible.

hCG Levels and Pregnancy Test Results

It takes time for your fertilized egg to become implanted in your uterine wall varies from woman to woman. 85% of pregnancies start producing hCG between 8 and 10 days after ovulation. The pregnancy hormone (hCG) level starts low after implantation and doubles every 2 to 3 days.

For example:

Let's say your fertilized egg implanted at 8 days past ovulation (DPO).

If you have a regular 28-day cycle, that will be 6 days before your period is due. By the end of the day, your hCG level could be at 5 mIU.

If you wait two days (4 days before your period), your hCG level should be around 10 mIU. You might be able to get a very light positive result at this point. It depends on the sensitivity of the test you are using. It's not likely, but it is possible.

If you were able to wait two more days (2 days before your period), your hCG levels would be around 20 mIU. Your chances of getting a distinct positive result are much better at this point.

Most of the pregnancy tests available today can detect at about 20 - 25 mIU of hCG. Not every woman will get results this early. If your fertilized egg is slow moving, it may not implant until 10 DPO. You wouldn't get a positive result until closer to when your period is due in this case.

The doubling rate of the hCG is a variable too. The hCG typically doubles every 2 to 3 days. If it takes 3 days, a positive result might not show up until later.

So, When Should I Take A Pregnancy Test?

Maybe you're a glutton for punishment. Perhaps you have tons of money laying around. If so, by all means, test early.

Waiting until 2 or 3 days before your period is due to take a home pregnancy test is a better option. The chances of a positive result are better at this point. Keep in mind, a negative result at this point doesn't mean you are not pregnant. It could mean you are still testing too early.  Negative results could mean your baby implanted later than calculated. 

Sadly, it could also mean you are not pregnant this month. The best answer to when should you take the pregnancy test is simple. Be strong. Wait until your period has not arrived. You will get the most reliable results at this point.

Blood-Based Pregnancy Tests

If you can't wait, you might be able to get quicker results by visiting your doctor. Blood pregnancy tests will measure the hCG in your blood. It bypasses the chance that your urine is not as concentrated as it needs to be.

Home pregnancy tests rely on the hCG in your urine to produce a positive result. The more liquids you drink, the more dilute the hCG will be. When your urine is too dilute, it might not trigger a positive result on your pregnancy test.

Depending on the lab, a positive result will be between 5 mIU and 25 mIU of hCG. If the result is at the lower end, another test will be in order. You will have to go back and get another blood test to make sure the hCG is increasing.    

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