When to Take a Pregnancy Test for an Accurate Result

When to Take a Pregnancy Test for an Accurate Result | Baby Chick

When to Take a Pregnancy Test for an Accurate Result

When you’re trying to get pregnant, or simply just think you may be, waiting to take a test can be unbearable. Many women will go out and buy multiple packs of pregnancy tests and start using them as soon as their ovulation cycle ends, but there is one big problem with doing this: false negatives. A negative test, whether false or not, can be extremely trying when you are working on having a baby, and that added stress will only cause more issues with TTC (trying to conceive) and pregnancy. Let’s take a look at how pregnancy tests work and other ways you can determine just when to take a pregnancy test.

How Pregnancy Tests Work

Home pregnancy tests are actually quite simple. When you become pregnant, you produce a hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropin—or hCG. This hormone can be found in your urine early on in the pregnancy and is the ultimate sign that you are, in fact, pregnant. For some women, their hCG levels spike immediately, but for others, it can take some time for the hormone to fully enter the urine and the bloodstream. Because of this, most tests will tell you to wait until a full week after your missed period to ensure you do not get a false positive. However, with new technology, many tests today promise they can actually tell you multiple days before your missed period. These tests have a higher sensitivity to detecting the hCG hormone, and they do work—sometimes. Even if you buy one of these tests, it’s still best to wait until at least the day after you miss your period as every women is different and not every test has the same accuracy for everyone.

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Common Early Pregnancy Signs

Use the time between ovulation and missed period to get in tune with your body. By doing this, you’ll be able to notice some of the common early pregnancy signs before a test could even tell you whether or not you have conceived. These signs include:

  • swollen breasts that are tender or sensitive to the touch
  • increased fatigue
  • headaches
  • mood swings
  • nausea
  • light spotting
  • cramping
  • constipation

Of course, all of these symptoms are also signs of menstruation for some people, so it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what is happening with your body. Some women may be able to notice some less common signs, such as darkened nipples, a metallic taste in their mouth or a sensitivity to smells. Pay attention to any and all changes you see in your body, your mood and your overall well-being.

How to Choose a Pregnancy Test

When you’re ready to take a test, one big issue you’ll face is WHICH test should you try? There are so many options! I’ve been there—when I went to get my first box of tests, I was overwhelmed. Do I need to splurge on the digital test? Should I get a box with two tests or do I need more than that? Is one brand better than the other? All of these are valid questions, but luckily you can’t really go wrong when it comes to choosing a test. Some women start with the non-digital kind and once they get a positive result, confirm it with a digital test. Also, some women have had bad experiences with blue-dye tests leading to evaporation lines (lines that appear a bit after the test is taken and resulting in a false positive), so one piece of advice is to stick to the pink dye or at least opt for both!

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So, When to Take a Pregnancy Test?

At the end of the day, timing the test is really up to you (and your patience!). When I found out I was pregnant, I had promised my husband I wouldn’t take a test until after I missed my period. Of course, my nerves got the best of me and I ended up taking it two days early. Luckily, I was already far enough along to have a strong positive on the test. But if I had I succumbed to peeing on the stick any earlier, I would have been met with a disappointing false positive. Listen to your body: if you aren’t feeling any symptoms, try to wait it out. If you are sure you are pregnant and waiting one more day may drive you insane, take the test! Just be prepared for any results you may get. 

What to Do Next

So you took the test (at the right time) and have officially found out if you have conceived or not this month. If you have—congratulations! The first step is to call your doctor or midwife. While most won’t see patients until about the 6- to 8-week mark, you should still ensure you can get an appointment as soon as possible. If you are a high-risk patient or have been on fertility treatments, you will likely see your doctor much sooner to get your blood drawn and ensure your levels are rising as they should. If you are met with a negative test, don’t be discouraged! Look into things you can do differently next time and relax as much as you can—your time will come!

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About the Author /

Jessica is a writer and editor with a focus on all things lifestyle. Whether she is discovering the latest restaurants, staying up-to-date on new styles, helping brides plan their wedding, or covering trends in the real estate market, Jessica is on top of it all. After graduating from Florida State University with a B.A. in Editing, Writing and Media, Jessica moved to Philadelphia to get her Masters in Science in Publication Management from Drexel University.

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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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This episode is brought to you by @skylightframe. It's a digital picture frame that has a touch-screen display that documents all of your family’s special moments—a great gift for yourself or for an expecting or new mom. If you want to bring a nice gift when visiting a new mom, be sure to check out Skylight Frame and use our discount code BABYCHICK for $10 off your order! #ad #skylightframe⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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