If you think you might be pregnant, you probably have a lot going through your mind. Take a moment to take a deep breath—you’re not alone in this. Most importantly, take things one step at a time to confirm your pregnancy, and find out all you can about your options and next steps. A pregnancy test is your first step if you think that you might be pregnant or have missed a period. In this blog, we will explore how soon after sex you can take a pregnancy test, how pregnancy tests work, and more.
How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?
Pregnancy tests are typically most accurate on the day of your expected period or the first day after a missed period.
Although it may be tempting to want to take a test earlier than this, you may get inaccurate results if you decide to take a test before your period is expected.
What is hCG?
Pregnancy tests test the concentration of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)—the pregnancy hormone—in a woman’s body. This hormone is present after implantation when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus and begins growing.
Typically, hCG begins production in a woman’s body about 6 days after fertilization and doubles every couple of days afterward. Testing before hCG may have reached a detectable level in your body may result in a false negative pregnancy test.
Does the Time of Day I Take a Pregnancy Test Matter?
Typically, a home pregnancy test is at its most accurate when taken in the morning, during your first urination of the day. At this time, the most concentrated amount of hCG will be present and detectable if you are pregnant. However, taking a urine pregnancy test about 4 hours after your last urination may also be sufficient.
It’s important to note that your hCG levels may not be detectable or accurate if you push fluids before taking a pregnancy test—in other words, if you drink a bunch of water right beforehand. This could result in the hCG levels being diluted and your result being inaccurate.
Is A Home Pregnancy Test Accurate? How Do I Confirm My Pregnancy?
While an at-home test is a great start, you’ll want to confirm your result with a medical-grade pregnancy test verified by a medical professional. Although this is a rare occurrence, it is possible to get a false negative result from a home pregnancy test. Your results may also vary depending on when you’re testing and if your memory of the date of your last period is correct.
The best way to further confirm a pregnancy and diagnose other medical details— including gestational age and whether or not other medical complications are present—is through an ultrasound exam.
Our professional staff at Life Line Pregnancy Center can provide you with medically-accurate pregnancy testing and ultrasound services at no cost to you. We’d be happy to help you navigate your pregnancy decision by helping you find out key information on your unique pregnancy situation and answer all your questions. You can count on us for compassionate and confidential care.
Schedule your free appointment today —we’re here to help.