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When to Take a Home Pregnancy Test

Updated on October 14, 2012

Know When to Take a Home Pregnancy Test

If you're trying to conceive then knowing when to take a home pregnancy test is very important. Taking a pregnancy test too early could result in a false negative and put you through a lot of unnecessary heartache. Here you will learn about the best time to take a home pregnancy test and how soon can you take a home pregnancy test.

It took us nearly six years to conceive our first baby, so I know from experience how hard it can be to wait to take a pregnancy test. This page will explain everything you need to know about when to take a home pregnancy test.

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Image from Flickr
Image from Flickr

When to Take a Home Pregnancy Test

Learn how HPT work so you know the best time to test

Home pregnancy tests work by detecting the pregnancy hormone hcg in a woman's urine. No food or supplement can mimic hcg, making home pregnancy tests a very effective way to detect a viable pregnancy. The only thing that could possibly effect a woman's hcg levels without being pregnant is some fertility drugs. If you are on fertility drugs and are unsure if they effect your hcg levels, be sure to ask your doctor before getting excited over a potentially false positive home pregnancy test.

A woman's hcg levels are very low during early pregnancy, but rise quickly throughout the first trimester. Hcg levels can vary greatly from woman to woman and even pregnancy to pregnancy. This means one woman may get a positive home pregnancy test a week before she expects her next period, where as another woman may not get a positive home pregnancy test until several days after she actually misses her period.

Here is a range of hcg levels during the first part of pregnancy based off of a woman's last menstrual period:

3 weeks after implantation: 5 - 50 mIU/ml4 weeks after implantation: 5 - 426 mIU/ml5 weeks after implantation: 18 - 7,340 mIU/ml6 weeks after implantation: 1,080 - 56,500 mIU/ml

It is important to understand the basics of hcg levels in early pregnancy in order to know when to take a home pregnancy test. Most home pregnancy tests detect hcg levels of anywhere between 30 mIU/ml to 100 mIU/Ml and most early home pregnancy tests detect hcg levels of 25 mIU/Ml. If you refer back to the list of hcg ranges week by week, you will see that even with a super sensitive early home pregnancy test, many women will not get a positive result until 6 weeks after their last menstrual period. This is why most manufacturers of home pregnancy tests recommend not testing until you've actually missed your period.

After going through six years of trying to conceive, I understand better than just about anyone how difficult it is to wait until your missed period to take a pregnancy test, but the honest truth is the best time to take a home pregnancy test is after you miss your period.

Image credit: Esparta on Flickr.

When to Take a Home Pregnancy Test - When to take a pregnancy test and how

Image on Flickr
Image on Flickr

How Soon Can You Take a Home Pregnancy Test

The absolute earliest you can take a home pregnancy test

While the directions on all home pregnancy tests and most doctors recommend waiting until you miss your period to test, most women who are either trying to conceive or hoping to avoid pregnancy are too anxious to wait that long and want to test early. If this describes you then read on to discover how soon you can take a home pregnancy test.

Before I describe the absolute earliest your pregnant body will began produces detectable levels of hcg, I first want to caution about taking pregnancy tests too early. If you're trying to conceive and are emotionally vulnerable, then getting a negative pregnancy test result may be devastating. If you test too early, your results will be negative regardless of whether conception took place or not because your hcg levels will be too low to detect. Another problem with testing too early is the possibility of having a chemical pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy is when the egg is fertilized but fails to implant improperly. It is a pregnancy that simply doesn't take. It is estimated that about 25% of all pregnancies are a chemical pregnancy. These pregnancies are miscarried very early. If you had not taken an early pregnancy test, you wouldn't even know that you were pregnant because the miscarriage occurs close to when you would expect your next period.

As a woman who has been through disappointment after disappointment when I was trying to conceive, I urge you to only test early if you feel you can handle the emotional roller coaster that may come of the results of testing early.

That being said, the absolute earliest you can possibly take a pregnancy test is 11 days after conception. Most women, however will have hcg levels too low to detect at this point. I, however, received a faint positive line on a generic home pregnancy test at 11 days after conception with my third baby. It is important to note though that the beginning of that pregnancy was a twin pregnancy, which will naturally have higher levels of hcg, but the second baby didn't make it past the sixth week.

Many women have reported that they start getting positives on home pregnancy tests at four days before they expect their next period. All three of my pregnancies resulted in a positive pregnancy test at this time in my cycle and I took several different brands of HPT. Early pregnancy tests claim to be accurate the day before you expect your next period, so according to the manufacturers of early home pregnancy tests, the day before your missed period is the earliest you should test.

Image: Pearl Mountain on Flickr.

Early Home Pregnancy Test - Super sensitive home pregnancy test.

Customer give this extra sensitive home pregnancy test 5 out of 5 stars. It includes 25 testing strips and 25 cups. This super sensitive pregnancy test should be able to detect most pregnancies just before you miss your period.

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Trying to Conceive Advice and Tips - Great book for getting pregnant

Learn when to take a home pregancy test and so much more with this helpful trying to conceive tips book.

Feel free to share your TTC and pregnancy stories.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      what do i need to do to get pregnant faster....