How pregnancy tests work?
To better understand when it is the best time to take a pregnancy test let me first explain how home pregnancy test works. After a sex intercourse there is a time window in which the sperm fertilizes the egg.
After that the egg travels to the uterus where implantation takes place. That’s when the body starts to produce hCG, which is measured by all pregnancy tests.
How early can I take a pregnancy test?
If you are a woman who charts your fertility in any way, the best time to take a pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant is between 8 days past ovulation to 16 days past ovulation. Of course, as you might see, 8 days past ovulation is about the earliest time that you will see the hormone hCG in your urine, but this is not the same in all women, it is only an average.
In most women, I would recommend about 10-12 days after ovulation to make sure that you are in the correct window for your pregnancy test to detect the hormone hCG in your urine.
If you do not monitor your fertility a good rule of thumb is to test about 20 days after the day you had sexual intercourse that you believe could have caused a conception. They come up with this number because it might take several days after sex for the sperm to have a chance to fertilize the egg, which means conception could actually take place a couple days later. After conception takes place, it takes about two weeks for the embryo to implant and give off the pregnancy hormone hCG, so roughly 20 days is a great starting point on when to take your pregnancy test.
What if it turns out negative?
If you do take the test, it comes out negative and you still believe you might be pregnant, wait a day or two and try again. Or if you would like a professional opinion there are many free clinics available to help you read your results.
What time of day is best to take a HPT?
As far as the time of day, the best time to take a pregnancy test is first thing in the morning, with your “first morning’s urine” as the packages say. Usually the hCG levels are highest in this urine because of sitting all night and not having the opportunity to be diluted with food or drink.
However, if you don’t feel like the best time to take a pregnancy test for you is first thing in the morning, anytime during the day that you have a full bladder will do.
Pregnancy test timing facts:
- best time to take a pregnancy test differs for every woman because of menstrual cycle and ovulation period,
- exact time of implantation of an egg is not known,
- HP tests have different sensitivity levels,
- if you take a pregnancy test too early you could get a positive result, but later turn out not to be pregnant,
- the later you take the pregnancy test, the more accurate it is.