Are you trying to conceive and just want to know if you have a successful pregnancy this month? This is the best time to test...
If you start tracking your pre-pregnancy cycle, you probably have a good fit with your body. Many women track ovulation during TTC (trying to conceive), and you can even buy an ovulation test to make sure you have the right window. Others just do it and hope for the best.
No matter how you're trying to have a baby, you're probably curious to know when to get tested to see if it is!
The good news is that pregnancy testing has come a long way, and you can now test before your period is due. It is advisable to wait until about a week before your period, as the test may be negative before then because there are not enough hormones to test. If you're not sure when your period is due, you should wait until about 20 days after unprotected sex.
Many people talk about "waiting two weeks". If you're tracking your cycle, this is the time between ovulation and the earliest stage you can test. It feels like a lifetime! It's best to keep yourself busy, as hard as it may seem, because while pregnancy is possible, tests within this window are unlikely to show a positive result.
How Pregnancy Tests Work
Pregnancy tests detect a hormone called chorionic gonadotropin (hcG), which starts to be produced about a week after conception, but it takes longer to accumulate enough tests to detect it.
Be sure to follow the test instructions to ensure you get the correct results. Failure to follow instructions may lead to incorrect results.
When to take a pregnancy test
So you've been busy, and got past the "two-week wait", you've bought your pregnancy test, and you're ready to go. But is there a better time of day to take the test?
Yes! If you test early, it is recommended that you test first thing in the morning. This is because your urine is more concentrated and therefore likely to contain higher levels of hcG for the test to obtain and provide accurate results.
Look at the manual, different brands have different detection methods. You may need to run the test under urine flow for a period of time, while others may require you to dip the test into a collected urine sample.
These instructions are also important to ensure you read the results correctly. Some tests have two lines for a positive result, others have a "+" sign next to them with various other brands showing happy or sad faces depending on the result, or text telling you not only if you're pregnant, but how far you are.
If your test comes back negative, don't get too upset, you can try again in a few days. There is a chance that this month may not be right for you, but pregnancy may take time. If you get a positive result, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the next steps in your journey.