Pregnancy Test Q & A: How early can I take a pregnancy test?
Accurate results from at home pregnancy tests
By Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
When a woman thinks she may be pregnant, she will naturally want to know for sure as soon as possible. However, finding out the truth can sometimes be more complicated than she initially thought. If she isn’t able to get a simple answer, she may become obsessed with getting to the bottom of things. In these cases, the quest for the true results can become intense.
One of the most frequently asked questions about pregnancy tests is: when is the earliest someone can take one and get accurate results? While many test companies will claim their product can let you know the day after your period, these claims are not always accurate. Most tests cannot consistently detect pregnancy that early.
To get the most accurate results for an at-home pregnancy test, it is best to wait a full week after you missed your period. So if your missed period was on a Wednesday, you may not want to take that early pregnancy test until the following Wednesday or Thursday. That is when the test will be more reliably able to evaluate the hormone that is the basic indicator for pregnancy: human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG, that appears in your urine.
hCG levels in a woman’s body can fluctuate greatly, making it hard to get an accurate reading on a pregnancy test – especially if it’s taken too early. If a woman takes a pregnancy test too soon after missing her period, the hCG levels in her body might be so faint that the test wouldn’t be able to pick them up, resulting in a false negative. This is more common than one might think and can be very confusing and even devastating for those who receive an answer they weren’t expecting. For some, their whole world could be turned upside down if the initial results are less than favorable, whether positive or negative.
Relax, wait a week and take your test if you think you might be pregnant. You will feel more confident in the results if you wait to take the test until after a week has passed since your missed period.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. is an expert on unplanned pregnancies, having worked with thousands of women going through this challenging time. She has authored many books on adoption as an alternative to abortion, one of which is titled “So I Was Thinking About Adoption”.