Every woman wants to know, “When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?” When you are trying to conceive a child, the excitement and impatience to know whether or not you’ve succeeded in becoming pregnant is overwhelming.
While most women know that you have to wait a few weeks after ovulation to test for pregnancy, some women are unaware of the reason behind this wait. For that reason, you might continue to wonder when it will be the best time to take a pregnancy test.
The fact is simple: Women should wait until at least the day your period is scheduled to arrive to take a pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are 99 percent accurate when determining pregnancy on this day, but not before.
However, the opinion of medical experts remains different from the accuracy of at home pregnancy test claims. According to medical experts, women should wait to take a home pregnancy test until one full week past the day your period was schedule to arrive.
What About Early Response Pregnancy Tests?
When wondering about the best time to take a pregnancy test, many women want to know if tests designed to detect pregnancy early are worthy. Before continuing, you should understand that while many pregnancy tests are sensitive enough to detect pregnancy before the date of your missed period, the accuracy results are not very high.
Additionally, because all women have different bodies and those bodies all work differently, many women do not have enough of the pregnancy hormone in their urine to detect this early.
To conclude, while there is no harm in taking a sensitive pregnancy test early, it does increase your chances of receiving a false negative result. For this reason, testing early is not considered the best time to take a pregnancy test.
The Importance of Waiting To Test For Pregnancy
It is admittedly very frustrating for women to wait weeks after ovulation to test for pregnancy, and the fact that doctors want you to wait a week longer only adds to that frustration. Perhaps a deeper understanding of the reasons behind this wait will help you practice a little patience.
Pregnancy tests work because they are able to detect hCG, the pregnancy hormone, in your urine. Women who are not pregnant have less than 5 mIU/ml of this hormone in their urine. You are considered pregnant when your hCG level exceeds 5 mIU/ml. There are three facts you must know about hCG.
The first is that your body does not being to produce hCG the moment you ovulate and your egg is fertilized. It can take a week before your body produces the hormone. This is because your fertilized egg needs that time to travel through your fallopian tubes, into your uterus, and to implant into the wall of your uterus. It is not until after your egg implants in your uterus that hCG is produced.
The second fact is that it takes anywhere from 48 to 72 hours for your hCG levels to double. This means that if you start with 1 mIU/ml it could take anywhere from six to nine days for your level to exceed 5 mIU/ml, which is the lowest recognized level of pregnancy. Additionally, all women’s bodies are created differently. Some women may produce hCG faster than others.
Finally, not all pregnancy tests are created equal. Some tests are sensitive enough to pick up a low level of hCG earlier than others, but most tests are not designed to recognize hCG in your urine until it is anywhere between 20 mIU/ml and 25 mIU/ml. This means it could take an additional week or so for your hCG levels to become high enough for pregnancy tests to recognize.
At this point, depending on your body, it could be anywhere from a week and a half after ovulation to three weeks after ovulation before a home pregnancy test is able to detect your pregnancy.
Best Time To Take Pregnancy Test After Missed Period
The best time to take a pregnancy test is one week after the first day of your missed period, as far as medical professionals are concerned. At that point, the levels of hCG in your urine should be more than high enough for your best home pregnancy test to detect. However, if you are set on taking a test earlier than that, try to choose the test with the lowest possible sensitivity to increase your chances of seeing a positive result.
The sensitivity level of each test is typically listed on the exterior of the packaging. This means you can compare tests in the store to see which one is most sensitive.
The more sensitive the test, the lower levels of hCG it will pick up. This means you could learn you are carrying the baby you’ve been wanting much sooner than the recommended best time to take a test.