How Soon Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?
Are you ready to have another addition to your family? If you and your significant other have been trying to get pregnant and are still unsure if maybe this month you've finally conceived, you really do need to know when to have a pregnancy test. You see, once you've conceived, it is really easy to learn if you are already pregnant or not. That is why we are going to talk about the 101 in pregnancy testing.
Where can I get a home pregnancy test?
Pregnancy testing is so easy now that you don't need to wait for you to miss a period or experience the symptoms of pregnancy to find out if you are pregnant. Getting an over-the-counter pregnancy test kit is a no brainer. Just go to any drugstore and you can easily get a home pregnancy test. You can even purchase a home pregnancy test kit online.
There are two types of home pregnancy tests that you can buy from the drugstore. The first one is the test strips, which is sold in bulk and are really cheap. Each test strip costs between $0.50 to $1.00. The more strips you buy, the lesser the cost you have to pay for each strip. When we say you buy this in bulk, we don't mean a number of 10 and above, you need to buy about 20-50 pieces at a time.
And the other one is the midstream test stick. This is 10 times the price of a test stick. So, if you and your hubby are really planning on getting pregnant—or maybe not—you may want to opt for the test stick since you can test any time at your disposal. A midstream test stick is probably more of a confirmation thing since you only buy one, two, or three pieces per set. Each stick costs between $6 to $10.
Another test involves getting your blood extracted. There are some instances where HCG appears later in the urine, thus producing a negative result even after two months. It doesn't necessarily mean that all the different brands you have used are misreading your urine, but rather there is too little amount of HCG in your urine that it only reveals a very faint positive result or none at all. And in order to be more accurate, you can also have a blood test to be surer.
How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?
Most pregnancy tests are labeled with 99% accuracy. Although in reality, home pregnancy tests are very accurate; the accuracy actually stands at 90% - 93%. There is still a margin of error of about 7%, which is actually pretty low. The accuracy of these tests is very reliable, no matter how cheap or expensive they are. That is because a pregnancy test kit tests for a chemical called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG is a hormone that is only produced once a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. HCG is also called the “pregnancy hormone” since it is only produced by pregnant women. This hormone is easily passed onto your urine and your blood as well.
Test kits are very sensitive in identifying this hormone. That is why there is a very high reliability of these test kits showing the right results almost all the time. Whether you go for a blood test or a urine test, you will still get the accurate results.
Over-the-counter pregnancy tests have different ways of showing a positive or a negative result. Some uses lines: one line for negative and two lines for positive. Others use a change in color. Others use a plus for positive or minus for negative. Others use a 'pregnant' or 'not pregnant' for a more direct to the point result. The most common, however, is the double strip.
You only need to dip a test strip in a cup of your urine, or you use a dropper to drop some urine into the test stick. Waiting for about 5 minutes—often less—you already get the results.
How Early Can You Detect Pregnancy?
Although the body is already able to release the HCG hormone six days after fertility, it is not yet able to be detected by tests since it is very faint. However, the amount of HCG in the bloodstream and in the urine becomes more evident since the body produces double—even triple— of HCG every two or three days.
Ideally, though, early pregnancy testing can be done since the hormone is already present on your body even before you miss a period. The best time to take a pregnancy test actually depends on your choice of testing (blood test or urine test).
Blood tests can be done earlier about 6 days after ovulation. However, it takes a longer time for you to get your results; but, you will still be able to get the results within a day and not within 5 minutes as compared to the urine tests. Urine tests can be taken about 5 days before your expected period begins. This is a much better time to have your test done because a few weeks after your ovulation would most probably not show a positive result yet. Even so, detectable amounts of HCG can already be detected one or two weeks after your ovulation.
How soon can I test for pregnancy for an accurate result?
As we've said, blood tests can already detect HCG in your blood six days after your ovulation. However, the best time to take a pregnancy test through your blood is about two weeks after your ovulation, which is a couple of days before your next period. Home pregnancy test kits can be done at home anytime but ideally, the test strip can identify the hormone about 5 days before your expected period.
You can also calculate when you should buy an OVC pregnancy test kit. There are a lot of sites that can help you calculate the best time to take a pregnancy test by just providing what date your latest period began and the normal number of days of your cycle.
For example, your latest period began on the 10th of this month and you have a 28-day cycle. Then, you can have your pregnancy test done on the 3rd or 4th of the next month; it depends whether this month has 30 or 31 days.
When is the Best Time to Take a Pregnancy Test?
Even before you miss a period, you can already notice a few symptoms of pregnancy. However, if you are shy of buying an OTC pregnancy kit and you don’t want to buy one online in fear of it being delivered and picked up by someone else in your house, you can try some DIY pregnancy tests. Surprisingly, there are so many pregnancy tests you can do just by using everyday items.
But before we get to that, you must follow a couple of tips or guidelines:
- In dealing with harsh chemicals, make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area.
- Wear gloves if necessary, especially in dealing with bleach and other strong chemicals.
- Use your once-you-wake-up-pee. Your first-morning pee is very concentrated with HCG-if you are pregnant.
- Only use clean or preferably new and sterilized plastic disposable cups; metal cups will cause other unwanted chemical reactions.
You should also prepare the following things when you are going to do your own home experiment: plastic cups, stirrer, and fresh morning urine
Here are some DIY pregnancy tests that you can do at home:
You need to be careful since bleach is a very strong chemical. Put on a face mask or a scarf and do this test in a well-ventilated area. Put a quarter or a half cup of bleach in a clean disposable cup, and slowly add your urine. The bleach will bubble, hiss, or even foam up for a positive result.
In a separate plastic cup, put about a quarter or a half of vinegar. Add your urine about half the amount of the vinegar. A positive result leads to a change in color—whatever it may be depending on the vinegar you use.
Squeeze a decent amount of toothpaste in one plastic cup. Collect your pee in another cup and drop a couple of your urine on the toothpaste and mix. The white toothpaste will change into a bluish color for a positive result.
Pine sol test
Make sure you are also in a well-ventilated area and preferably wear a mask or scarf. Mix equal parts of urine and Pine-Sol. A change in color will definitely be a positive result. Mind you, the change is very evident. After doing this test, dispose of it properly. Pour the liquid into the toilet and throw the disposable cup away.
This is simply putting your pee in a closed jar and you need to keep it away for 24 hours. After 24 hours, just check the state of your pee in the jar--don't touch it. You will notice a thin white layer on top of your pee, this is a positive result. If your pee looks normal, then you're not. Just dispose of the jar and your pee immediately.
These are only some of the few DIY tests you can do to check if you are pregnant. We have only listed those that are readily available in your household. Trying these different tests would most probably show a more accurate result rather than just trying one test. False results can happen and repeating your tests would ensure a more accurate result.
I'm Not Pregnant, What Should I Do?
Well, if you and your hubby are really planning on conceiving, then try again! If both of you are normal and are fertile enough to conceive, then don't worry about it. Take your time. Be patient and it will come. Just continue hoping.
However, to increase your chances of getting pregnant, you should know when your fertile window is. It will help you learn when you are most fertile. Your fertile window opens about 7 days before your ovulation. Experts recommend that you and your partner have sex every day or every other day during your fertile window. If you do it every other day, make sure that you will end on the day of your ovulation.
You also have to consider your health. A healthy body is perfect to carry a baby. You should:
- Start a daily exercise routine (walking around the block for 15-30 minutes at a time)
- Go green! Start eating more green veggies and fruits. This helps your body become more alkaline and is a great state for you to get pregnant.
- Stop it with alcohol and cigarettes.
- Cut down on your caffeine
- Have plenty of sleep
There are plenty of ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant but you have to be very patient. Pregnancy odds from woman to woman is different and there is no exact science in increasing your odds but crossing your fingers and keeping up the high spirit will surely make it happen. Hang in there, mommy-to-be!
By the first trimester of your pregnancy, your body is going to adapt to having a baby inside you. Your body will undergo a series of discomforting symptoms like morning sickness, nausea, fatigue, and so on. You will also notice early signs of pregnancy that by the time you take a pregnancy test, you are positive and already in your 4th week of being pregnant.
Some of the things you need to prepare for are:
In summary, you can easily get your hands on home pregnancy tests, have a blood pregnancy test in a clinic or even do your own home pregnancy test using ordinary household items. But knowing when is the best time to have a pregnancy test is simply going for one of a few days before your expected period to start. As soon as you miss a period, you should also start testing if you are pregnant or not. Nonetheless, whether you are pregnant or not, knowing for sure the state of your body is always a good thing. That way, you'll know whether to have another try or to already start planning for a nursery.