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How Early Can I Test for Pregnancy?

how early can you test for pregnancy

Testing for pregnancy can bring about a wide range of emotions. From nervousness, to excitement, to happiness to sadness, finding out that you are pregnant is one of the most life-changing experiences a woman can have. So, it makes sense that most of us want to know about a pregnancy as early (and as accurately) as possible.

If you want to know if you are pregnant, taking a home pregnancy test is a crucial first step. But how early can you test for pregnancy?

Keep in mind that there is a danger in taking a home pregnancy test too soon, since you can easily get a false negative. (The pregnancy test says that you are pregnant, but a few days afterwards, you get your period.) On the other hand, if you wait too long, you have less time to prepare yourself for the reality of pregnancy.

How Early Can I Test for Pregnancy?

The earliest you can test for pregnancy and get an accurate result is about seven to twelve days after the date of conception.

If you are worried that you might have gotten pregnant and you want to know as soon as possible – you do not want to wait until your missed period – you need to make an appointment with your doctor and get a blood pregnancy test.

Home pregnancy tests will not work this early. Many are not sensitive enough until at least the day of your expected period. Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), the unique pregnancy hormone that the developing placenta secretes immediately after implantation, enters your bloodstream before it filters to your urine.

So, if you have a feeling that you may have gotten pregnant, you have to wait at least a week afterward you had unprotected sex before you can take a blood pregnancy test and get an accurate result for pregnancy.

With a blood pregnancy test, you can still get a false negative result if you test too early. You might be pregnant, but the level of hCG in your bloodstream is too low for the blood pregnancy test to pick up.

It is also possible that you get a false positive result. The pregnancy test says you are pregnant, but a few days (or a week later), you have a regular period.

When this happens, it’s called a chemical pregnancy, or a very early miscarriage. It basically means that you were technically pregnant (your sperm was able to fertilize your egg), but the pregnancy did not take. Either, the embryo was unable to implant in your uterine lining (for whatever reason), or there was a genetic defect with the fertilized egg.

The majority of doctors simply recommend waiting until you miss your period before you take a pregnancy test. This will never be more than 2-3 weeks after conception, and a missed period is the first sign of pregnancy, so it’s really not too much extra time to wait, as opposed to waiting a week to see a doctor. Some at-home tests can be taken before this time, but accuracy cannot be guaranteed until around first missed period, or about 2 weeks after conception.

How Home Pregnancy Tests Work

At-home pregnancy tests work by determining the level of hCG in your urine. The placenta produces hCG hormones after an embryo attaches. HCG is unique to pregnancy. The level of hCG in a non-pregnant body is zero. So the presence of this hormone is a positive sign of pregnancy. Most home tests are about 97 percent accurate on the day of your missed period.

It is best to take multiple tests from a couple different brands if you want to be extra sure you’re getting an accurate result.

How Early Can I Take a Home Pregnancy Test?

A majority of over-the-counter home pregnancy tests claim to be accurate on the day of your missed period. However, studies have shown that they are most accurate a week after your missed period, since the level of hCG in your body doubles every 2 to 3 days after implantation.

There are a few of the newer (and more expensive) home pregnancy brands that can detect very low amounts of hCG – some as low as 10 mIU/L. These tests allow you to test before you miss your period.

I Think I Might Be Pregnant – What’s Next?

No matter how you choose to test for pregnancy, it’s always best to consult with a doctor when you have questions or concerns about the best way to get accurate results.

If you have a feeling that you’re pregnant and you don’t want to be, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you possibly can. He or she will be able to offer advice on how to move forward.

If you had unprotected sex, a condom broke, or you missed a birth control pill, you can also consult a pharmacist about a morning-after pill, such as Plan B, One-Step, or Next Choice, which should be available over the counter to women over 17 years of age.

This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99

About the author: This blog post was written by a guest contributor. If you’d like to guest post for Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies, please read my Guest Writing Policy for a guideline of what I am looking for. All guest posts need to be at least 500 words and be original to this site only.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Blunky February 14, 2016, 9:02 pm

    Not sure how long my cycles are but my period only last 4 days. If my husband and I have sex on the 7 th day of my cycle. What are the chances of me being pregnant? I have been having cramping and some white order less discharge.

  • Meg December 10, 2015, 1:16 pm

    I’d been on the pill for I’d say 2 years. I was using it to try help acne issues and to skip my periods. I ran out of tablets and got lazy and didn’t get more, because I’m not the biggest fan of sex anyway. I went out and had a few drinks and went back to a mates house.. I ended up having unprotected sex at least 15-16 weeks ago. The guy said he couldn’t remember if he came in me or not.
    Anyway I was super paranoid, waiting for my period when I had no idea when it was supposed to come because I always kept track by skipping them with the pill packets.
    I took a test I think at the start of week after all that and it came back negative. So I waited til the end of the next week to take another one. Negative again. ( same test brand) so I left it alone thinking i wasn’t pregnant. Anyway I got some spotting a little while ago and figured that was my period showing through so I started my pill again. Been fine ever since… until the other day. I saw a little dot of white clear fluid come out of one of my nipples. I got so nervous and scared. Then I started looking at my belly thinking I was pregnant. Last few days I’ve been stressing about it so bad constantly watching my stomach, feeling bloated & thinking I’m pregnant. So I took another test by a different brand. It comes back negative. If it comes back negatice now after 15 weeks after unprotected sex, can that confirm I’m not pregnant and even after 3 negative tests?

  • Jyoti August 13, 2015, 8:43 am

    I am married last 1 day before a sex my husband plz advice me how many time check to pargency test after 1 day

  • pooja May 16, 2015, 9:34 pm

    i have done unprotected sex with my bf last 4-5 days. He was release the his sperm outside of my bottom not in it. After that i was go to the washroom n wash all area. So there is how many chances for pregnancy. i have done the urine test its showing negative. So please advise correct directions.

  • chandeller November 27, 2014, 12:38 pm

    I have been trying for 10 years to get pregnant and needed help! Been going to the doctors but still nothing. the doctor said me and my husband are fine, I don’t know where else to turn. until one day I read how DR.TAMAZAKI TEMPLE helped others get pregnant ONLINE i then contacted the great spell caster DR.TAMAZAKI via email and DR.TAMAZAKI cast a pregnancy spell for me and gave me a 2months sure guarantee that i will become pregnant, and exactly 6weeks later I went to check and i was pregnant and later on i gave birth and i named my child Ashley so that i can never forget the great spell caster that DR.TAMAZAKI who opened my blessings of conceiving today its marking 2year Ashley was born and i also have a baby boy josh who is one and half years old, i want to use this medium to tell other women out there who is having pregnancy issues not to wait for years like i did contact DR.TAMAZAKI today and be happy this its contact email : or cell phone +9

  • Tammy Williams November 29, 2013, 6:51 pm

    I have been trying for 10 years to get pregnant and needed help! Been going to the doctors but still nothing. the doctor said me and my husband are fine, I don’t know where else to turn. until one day I read how helped others get pregnant ONLINE i then contacted the great spell caster via email and Prophet BABA cast a pregnancy spell for me and gave me a 2months sure guarantee that i will become pregnant, and exactly 6weeks later I went to check and i was pregnant and later on i gave birth and i named my child “great” so that i can never forget the great spell caster that`s Prophet BABA who opened my blessings of conceiving today its marking 5years great was born and i also have a baby boy who is one and half years old, i want to use this medium to tell other women out there who is having pregnancy issues not to wait for years like i did contact fertility temple today and be happy this its contact call +7 or email: , Tammy Williams

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  • July 22, 2012, 1:39 pm

    My three kids are now teenagers, and I know pregnancy tests may have come a long way, but I have a theory about them. I used the same tests and my kids are only 5 years apart, but it took almost 2 weeks late for one to show up with my daughter and they showed up immediately with my boys. I have always wondered if there is any connection with what you are having as to how long it can take to show up.

  • chelsea April 26, 2012, 9:56 am

    I was on the deli for two years after I was ready for my next shot I decided not to take it and my body reacted by having a period that rarely stopped. After 3 months I went on the pill I took it everyday until one night the night my boyfriend ejaculated in me twice… I forgot to take my pill. It’s been about two weeks and I’ve had on and off nausea in the morning… Things I used to eat I just throw up it all. I’m also having a slight pain near my pelvic area agnd by my ribs like side cramps… And I haven’t had my period lately which is unusual because my period never stopped… I’ve had spotting and discharge… Could I be pregnant? It’s hard because I have no health insurance or can’t tell if I am by a missed period cause my period isn’t like other women. What do I do?

    • felica May 19, 2012, 7:06 pm

      i missed my period and im seriously bloated with mild to severe abdominal and lower back pain..could i be preggers?? lemme kno wut u think

  • rashad April 18, 2012, 6:14 pm

    please can i be pregnant with my pant on and that of my boy too on

    • Nothando January 16, 2016, 6:58 am

      what do u really mean by ur pants on and of that of ur boyfriend.
      Be more specific so that u could get help.

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