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Jun 12, 2017 OHIOHEALTH
How Soon Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?

You want to know if you’re pregnant, but is your body ready to tell you? 

If you think you might be pregnant, taking a home pregnancy test may be all you can think about. It may be nerve-racking to wait to find out if you’re pregnant, but there’s one good reason not to rush it: accuracy. Home pregnancy tests have come a long way. Today, you can count on them delivering a fast, reliable result, but getting the timing right is key to making sure it’s accurate.

How Home Pregnancy Tests Work

Home pregnancy tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a pregnancy hormone your body produces after conception. When a fertilized egg implants in your uterus, your body begins to release hCG into your blood, and some of it passes into your urine. The amount of hCG in your urine doubles every two to three days. A pregnancy test measures the amount of hCG in your urine.

The Most Accurate Time to Take a Pregnancy Test

Every woman’s body is different. That means the amount of time it takes to produce enough hCG for a pregnancy test to detect can vary. So if you take a test before you miss a period, you may get a positive test result (you’re pregnant), or you may not. Waiting until you’ve missed a period increases the test’s accuracy.

When You Just Can’t Wait

If waiting until you’ve missed a period is just too much to ask, there are early testing kits on the market. Whatever test you choose, it’s important you read and follow the instructions carefully to get the most accurate results. Manufacturers also recommend you take another test a week or so later to confirm the results of the first test. If you’re pregnant, it’s important you set up an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to get started on the pregnancy care you and your baby need.

There are also early signs and symptoms of pregnancy that you may have if you’re pregnant. If you’re having any of those symptoms, a pregnancy test was negative, and you still haven’t had a period, see your doctor. You’ll likely have a blood test to find out for sure if you’re pregnant.

Dealing with the impact of a negative pregnancy test? Here’s some help on how to cope