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How Soon Can You Take A Pregnancy Test

Updated on September 4, 2012

How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test

False positives are a common occurrence when it comes to pregnancy tests because they are usually taken to early. So, for the sake of our sanity and the accuracy of the test itself, this article will go through each stage step-by-step, from acquiring a test to assessing the results and all the hows, whens and whys that may crop up.

Bear in mind that there are factors which can influence the result of the test, even in a repeat scenario. You can learn more about them by reading the text capsule below and to the right.If you already know your stuff, feel free to skip to the appropriate heading in the process!

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About False Positives

Medicine which contains hCG will spark false positive scenarios. If you know you or taking hCG or fertility medication (such as an Ovidrel shot) you will have to wait for all traces to have left the body.

Acquiring A Pregnancy Test

Almost all modern brands search for the same thing (for the curious, that would be human chorionic gonadotropin -- hCG -- in the urine), but their sensitivity to levels of hCG may fluctuate slightly. My only recommendation would be searching for package deals because you'll need to buy more than one kit. Follow-up tests, which are usually taken after four or five days, are essential in confirming the initial result. Here are some key facts you may be interested in knowing:

  • Most home pregnancy tests can be bought for around $5-20 in drug stores. If you simply cannot afford it, don't forget that planned parenthood offers free pregnancy testing.
  • There are two main kind of tests. The first uses a dipstick, the second collects urine in a collection cup (and subsequently a part of the device should change color -- both detect hCG).
  • Home pregnancy tests can, and often do expire. Although this is rare, make sure to check the expiration date before using any.

When Should I Take It?

Most pregnancy tests offer a 99% accuracy guarantee if the test is taken one day after a missed period, but some particularly sensitive models boast detection hCG a couple of days before a missed period. For those who weren't keeping count, or tend to have irregular cycles, know that levels of hCG will increase during pregnancy. Thus the more time that passes after a missed period, the more certain the result will be.

In some cases it can be difficult to know exactly when a period is due. Probably the best way to be sure is to chart body temperature in order to correctly determine ovulation. It is highly recommended to have a professional confirm when ovulation actually occurs. For those who are looking for pregnancy, it will also help you determine the perfect time to have sex.

Taking The Test Tips

In order to maximize your chances at achieving an accurate result, here are a few swift tips that you probably, but may not have, already known:

  • In addition to a pregnancy meter, most tests will have a control mechanism that tells you that the test is working. Make sure you check the control window and not just the result window.
  • Urinating directly onto a test dipstick can be a little messy at times. You can also collect some urine in a clean container and then dip the stick into it instead.
  • The best time to take the test is right after waking up because hCG levels will be slightly higher than usual.
  • Read the manual thoroughly (I don't mean this to sound condescending!) because some tests may require a slightly different methodology than others (that you might have already used).

Assessing The Results

Be wary not only of false positives, but also of false negatives. If the result of your home pregnancy testing was negative, you can expect your period to begin soon. If, however, no period is forthcoming, it is best to visit a doctor and get to the bottom of it.

If your test is positive you're first action should also be to consult a doctor in order to determine your future course of action.

I hope you enjoyed this article on how soon can I take a pregnancy test. If you have any further questions, criticisms or comments, please use the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as humanely possible!


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      Prince 4 years ago

      educate. irrelevant posts don't uallusy find takers.your blog articles should also cater to the reader's needs and provide information they can identify with or relate to. the blog posts must be able to address or answer the questions, problems, issues and queries faced by the target audience.thought provok

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      Arleth 4 years ago

      hello,I just wished to write to say how much I've enoeyjd reading your site. I am part cherokee on my mother's side and my sister is half blackfoot on her father's side. we are half sisters actually as you can see. but anyway I love anything and everything to do with the Native American culture. I also have a friend who is always looking for new info on this as well and I am having a problem with finding information about her birth totem. Her birthday is September 13 If you could help me I'd be grateful as I say she loves Native American stuff as I do. Also I noticed you do crafts. I do too and am looking for a crochet pattern for a native american girl dress to do for a project I'm working on. If you may have any ideas or could help in any way I'd be grateful. Sorry if I've rambled I take medication due to a serious ailment which has left me bedbound. Thanks again for any and all help!!!!

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      uknow 6 years ago

      a lot of planned parenthood are also adoption counseling centers. so be careful going there if you intended to get pregnant. good information.

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thank you all for your gracious comments!

    • naeemebrahimjee profile image

      naeemebrahimjee 6 years ago from London

      Very good hub. I'm sure this information will help a lot of people out there! Great idea.

    • sisterofdummy profile image

      sisterofdummy 6 years ago

      Great hub! I found it to be very well-written and informative. Well said, BrightMeadow!

    • BrightMeadow profile image

      BrightMeadow 6 years ago from a room of one's own

      Your article is very informative and well written. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who would be glad to have this info.