When you are in a hurry to find out if you are pregnant, you may want to test as soon as you can. Fortunately, today’s over-the-counter pregnancy tests are extremely sensitive and reliable, allowing you to take a test earlier than ever. However, before you take a test, you should know how to time it so you get the earliest, yet most accurate result possible. When considering can you get a positive pregnancy test at 3 weeks, you would do well to learn when an early pregnancy start releasing hCG, the hormone detected by today’s tests.
The hormone hCG is released about 11 days after conception. The cells that comprise your baby’s placenta create this hormone into your bloodstream and urine, allowing a test to detect whether or not you are pregnant. By the eleventh day after you conceive, you are technically closer to four weeks pregnant than three. With that, if you tested at the three week mark, you likely would not get a positive result.
It is important that you understand how the weeks of pregnancy are counted. Doctors determine how far along you are by counting back to the first day of your last period. If, for example, your first day of your last period was on January 1, yet you ovulated and conceived on January 13, you would technically be two weeks pregnant on the very day that you conceived. The weeks of pregnancy do not count back to your conception date, but rather the first day of your last menstrual cycle.
If you count three weeks past your first period date, you would still be too early in your pregnancy to get a positive test result. The hCG in your urine would not be detectable until about a week later, closer to the four-week mark.
Can Home Pregnancy Test Give False Positive?
The presence of hCG in your blood and urine at the four-week mark does not guarantee that your pregnancy will be viable. In fact, as many as 25 percent of all early pregnancies end in miscarriage. This statistic proves to be cruel to women who test early and get a positive result, only to miscarry a few days or week later. Testing too early remains one of the top reasons why women believe that they get a false positive pregnancy test result, in fact.
Along with early miscarriages, home pregnancy tests can give false positive results if you are taking medication that alters the hormone levels in your urine. For example, if you are taking anti-seizure medication, medicines for Parkinson’s disease, or hormone therapy for gynecological issues, you could get a positive test results when you are in fact not pregnant at all. If you are on any of these medications and suspect you could be pregnant, you should ask your doctor for a blood test instead of taking a home pregnancy test. A blood test will provide you with more accurate results.
Another reason women get false positive results involves their own misuse of the test. Women who are not sure how to take the test or make a mistake like touching the indicator window could skew their own results. Moreover, they may misinterpret an evaporation line as a positive indication of pregnancy. Before you take a test, you should thoroughly read the test instructions and make sure you know how and when to use the strip. If you use the test correctly, you better your chances of getting an accurate result.
When Will A Positive Pregnancy Test Show?
Depending on what brand of test you use, you can get the most accurate results within a few days of conceiving. The hormone hCG typically shows up in your blood and urine by the eleventh day after you conceive. It continues to build up in your body throughout your first trimester and then wanes as your pregnancy progresses. By the time you are due to start your period, the level of hCG is high enough to be detected by most over-the-counter pregnancy tests. Some tests, however, are designed to be used on that eleventh day after you conceive.
These early testing kits are often significantly more expensive than regular pregnancy tests. If you cannot afford to pay the price for one of these tests, you can wait until you miss the first day of your period and use a cheaper brand. Even the cheapest of brands are within one to three percent accurate with their results. Most doctors will accept these tests’ results as positive proof that you are indeed pregnant.
You ideally should take the test when you are in good health and not on any medications that can throw off the result. If you are sick with the flu or taking medications for serious health conditions like seizures, you may not get an accurate result. You should wait until you are over the flu or other minor illness to test. Likewise, if you are taking medicines for seizures, Parkinson’s, or other serious conditions, you may get better results with a blood test.