How soon can you take a pregnancy test?
A pregnancy test is used to determine whether a woman is pregnant or not. It works by checking for the presence of a particular hormone known as hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin, which gets secreted by the growing placenta soon after a woman experiences pregnancy. The placenta is the tissue which surrounds the growing fetus.
In pregnant women, hCG hormone concentration in the body, 10 days after ovulation, is usually 25 mIU(mIU = milli-International Units/ or equal to 1/1000th of an IU for every milliliter); 50 mIU 12 days after ovulation; and 100 mIU 15 days after ovulation.
It may be noted that conception generally occurs with 24 hours from ovulation, while implantation may occur 6 or more days post conception. After the implantation of the fertilized egg in the womb’s uterine lining, the placenta starts releasing the hCG hormone. This takes place about 7 days post ovulation.
Two of the most common ways to check for pregnancy are the blood pregnancy test and the urine pregnancy test at home. Both procedures may be carried out in around eight days post implantation. It is however important to note that implantation can occur anytime between 7 to 10 days post ovulation.
It is also important to remember that regardless of the type of pregnancy test chosen, a woman should always start testing only on or after the day of missed period. Any pregnancy test carried out before this time will most probably yield results that are incorrect. The best time to go for a pregnancy test and get the most accurate results is about a week after the missed period.
Detection of pregnancy with the help of a ‘home urine pregnancy test’
- A home urine pregnancy test kit is one of the most common tests used to verify pregnancy in the early stages. Such kits are widely available at drug stores and normal shops. They are also quite easy to use. Women just need to put some drops of urine in the region marked on the device and then wait for the time specified on the kit to get the results.
- In order to get the best results, women should perform the urine pregnancy test in the mornings. This is because early morning urine has the highest concentration of hCG hormone. In case you are not able to do it in the morning, then you may try and avoid passing urine for many hours. You may then use the pregnancy kit to detect pregnancy. It may be noted that frequent urination can decrease the levels of hCG hormone in urine, thereby interrupting the process of early detection of pregnancy.
- Home urine pregnancy test kits usually identify pregnancy in the range of 50 to 100 mIU/hCG concentration levels. There are also certain highly sensitive urine pregnancy test kits that can detect 20 mIU of hCG hormone levels, 8 days after a fertilized egg gets implanted.
- When a faint line is noticed with reference to the control line then the test is usually positive, even if urine hCG hormone concentration is low. In certain cases involving the presence of a faint line against the test color band, doctors may suggest carrying out the test once again after a day or two so as to confirm the pregnancy.
- The results of a home urine pregnancy test are typically up to 97 percent accurate when the test is carried out carefully as per the instructions and the results are correctly interpreted.
Detection of pregnancy via a blood pregnancy test
- Also referred to as ‘Beta HCG,’ the blood pregnancy test generally yields highly accurate results of early pregnancy detection. It normally displays positive results for pregnancy about eight to 12 days post conception.
- The test can ascertain pregnancy even when the levels of hCG are as low as 5 to 10 mIU/hCG. It is one of the best and most reliable ways to detect pregnancy at a very early stage. It is particularly helpful for women suffering from varied health disorders such as epilepsy or diabetes. The test allows them to prepare in advance and take all the necessary precautions and decisions with regards to their ongoing treatment and medications and thus avoid complications in the developing fetus.
Morning sickness, a missed period, etc. have always been regarded as some possible signs and symptoms of pregnancy. However, it is not wise to rely on just these signs to detect pregnancy as they are not as reliable as the pregnancy tests. The above mentioned pregnancy detection tests are not only consistent, but also an economical way to get more accurate and optimum results than depending on the physical and physiological symptoms.
Women also need to remember that negative results after performing a pregnancy test during the early stages may not necessarily be an indication that they are not pregnant. You may give yourself sufficient time, after conception, for the hCG hormone levels to increase adequately and then conduct the pregnancy tests once again.
Positive Pregnancy Test: When and How Long After Implantation
A pregnancy test can show a positive result a few days after implantation has occurred. Most women who want to get pregnant are very keen to take a home pregnancy test (HPT) to see if the result is positive. Depending on your body and the levels of hCG hormone, early pregnancy can be detected by a pregnancy blood test as soon as 3-4 days after implantation. Usually, a urine home pregnancy test takes a few days longer to detect a pregnancy and may show a positive result as soon as 5-7 days after implantation.
Even if the home pregnancy test result is negative, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not pregnant. How soon an early pregnancy can be detected depends on the levels of the hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is produced during pregnancy. Blood and urine pregnancy tests check for elevated levels of hCG which start to rise right after implantation. A positive urine home pregnancy test will undoubtedly mean that you are pregnant and should visit your doctor for hCG blood test.
Most home urine pregnancy test kits advise that you should wait until the first day of your missed period before taking the test. This is when levels of hCG will usually be high enough for the majority of pregnancy testing kits to show a positive pregnancy result if you have conceived. However, some urine pregnancy testing kits are more sensitive and may be able to show a positive result and detect early pregnancy quite soon after implantation.
If you have already waited for a few days after your missed period to take a pregnancy test, and it is still negative, chances are that you are not pregnant.
You may want to take a pregnancy test, but you probably have questions such as: How long after implantation can I test? How long do I have to wait after a missed period before I take a test? In this article, you will find out how early you can detect pregnancy using at-home pregnancy testing kits. You will also learn about the other early signs of pregnancy that can help determine if implantation has taken place.
How Long After Implantation You Need to Take a Pregnancy Test
How early you can take a pregnancy test depends on a number of factors such as the sensitivity of the home pregnancy test (HPT), levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your body, and the regularity of your menstrual cycle.
A pregnancy test can only become positive when an egg is fertilized after ovulation. According to the American Pregnancy Association, ovulation happens about 11 to 21 days from the start of your last period. 1 At ovulation, an egg is released and lives for up to 24 hours in the fallopian tubes waiting for a sperm that lives long enough to fertilize it. Some signs of ovulation include discharge, light abdominal cramping, and some ovulation spotting.
When the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of your uterus, implantation occurs. As soon as implantation happens, your body produces hCG and the pregnancy hormone can be detected in a pregnancy test. At the same time, you may have other signs of implantation such as light spotting that lasts a day or two, mild cramping, tender breasts, and an increased need to pee.
The length of time after implantation you need to take a pregnancy test to check if it’s positive or not depends on the sensitivity of the pregnancy test that is carried out. The two types of pregnancy tests to check for early pregnancy are:
- Urine hCG pregnancy test kits that you use at home and show up a mark to indicate a positive pregnancy test or a negative test result.
- Pregnancy blood tests at the doctor’s office to check for hCG in blood serum in order to detect a pregnancy.
Urine hCG test – when is it positive after implantation?
Some of the most sensitive urine pregnancy test kits can detect early pregnancy in less than a week after implantation. The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, found that urine pregnancy testing kits will usually show a positive result 3-4 days after implantation. By 7 days (the time of the expected period) 98% of pregnancy testing kits will be positive. 13
Urine pregnancy test kits have an hCG sensitivity of 25 mlU/ml (sensitivity of 25 units per litre). The American Pregnancy Association say that a reading of more than 25 mIU/ml in urine indicates pregnancy. 2
The levels of hCG are detectable a few days after implantation. For example, a report published in a German medical journal said that sensitive pregnancy testing kits can detect hCG as early as 4 days or even 10 days before your next period is due. 3
According to Dr. Nivin Todd on WebMD, implantation occurs 3-4 days after the egg is fertilized. This may result in implantation bleeding which can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Dr. Todd says that hCG levels will show up in most urine tests from as early as 7 days before you expect your next period. 4
Sometimes, urine home pregnancy tests show up “false-negative” results because not enough hCG hormone has been detected yet. This means that you could still be pregnant even though the pregnancy test shows up as negative. However, in a few days, the pregnancy test will become positive in women if implantation has taken place.
You can test for pregnancy using a urine pregnancy test as early as a week before your next period is expected. Even if the results are negative, you shouldn’t lose hope. Take another urine pregnancy test after 5-7 days to see if it becomes positive. According to Lab Tests Online, if you are pregnant, an early positive urine pregnancy test will be reliable 10 days after your missed menstrual period. 5
Blood hCG Level and early pregnancy test
A pregnancy blood test will be positive 2 or 3 days before a urine pregnancy test. Pregnancy blood tests check the levels of the hCG hormone and they are more accurate than urine pregnancy tests as they can show the exact levels of hCG.
Doctors also use hCG levels to determine how many weeks you are pregnant and to monitor your health during pregnancy.
A blood pregnancy test will become positive very soon after implantation. According to Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet, positive pregnancy blood test result can show up as early as one week after conception. Because implantation happens 3-4 after conception, you might get early pregnancy blood test results that are usually positive within 3 or 4 days after implantation. 6
In very rare circumstances, you might have a “false-positive” pregnancy test result. Dr. Stöppler says that medication, tumors, or other conditions can show up as a positive pregnancy test when there is, in fact, no pregnancy.
Pregnancy Test Soon After Implantation – How Accurate Is It?
A positive pregnancy test is almost certainly correct and is usually very accurate. However, you always need to follow the instructions of the home pregnancy test correctly.
Doctors from the National Health Service say that if the pregnancy test results are positive, then you are probably pregnant. However, a negative test result is less accurate and isn’t necessarily an indicator that you’re not pregnant. Sometimes, taking the pregnancy test too soon after implantation doesn’t allow for high enough levels of hCG hormone to develop. 7
Pregnancy tests can show a positive result when the concentration of the pregnancy hormone (hCG) is high enough to be detected in a blood test or urine sample.
According to Dr. Traci Johnson on WebMD, there are 6 factors that can affect how accurate a pregnancy test is soon after implantation. Some of these are: 8
The European Journal of Epidemiology says that smoking and being overweight can also negatively affect hCG levels. This makes it harder to test for early signs of pregnancy soon after implantation. 10
However, if you are pregnant, then pregnancy test result is usually positive within 7-10 days after you have missed a period.
How to Test for Pregnancy Soon After Implantation
Most women use at-home urine pregnancy test kits because they are cheaper and quicker than making an appointment with your doctor for a pregnancy blood test. These will test positive for pregnancy when hCG levels reaches at least 25 mIU/ml.
To use a urine pregnancy test soon after implantation to check if it tests positive, this is what you should do:
What do Pregnancy Test Results Mean After Implantation?
Positive pregnancy results usually mean that you are pregnant. Most home pregnancy testing kits show the results by means of a line to indicate a positive or a negative result. Dr. Traci Johnson on WebMD says that even if the line for a positive pregnancy test result is very faint, it still means you are pregnant. 8
If your pregnancy test is positive, then it means that you should make an appointment to see your doctor. The earlier you can arrange for prenatal care, then the better health you and your baby will enjoy during pregnancy.
Negative pregnancy results may not necessarily mean that implantation hasn’t happened. You could still be pregnant because you tested too soon after implantation or you took the test the wrong way. Dr. Traci Johnson recommends retesting for a positive result in a week to check for pregnancy.
If the HPT still tests negative over 10 days after your missed period, you should speak to your doctor. A late or missed period could be a result of a hormonal imbalance as well as emotional stress, excessive weight loss or gain and problems with pelvic organs. 12
Early Signs of Pregnancy Very Soon After Implantation
Even before an hCG pregnancy test becomes positive, you may have some signs of implantation that show up before a pregnancy test confirms that you are pregnant.
Implantation spotting. Many women experience implantation spotting as one of the earliest pregnancy signs. Implantation bleeding looks like very light spotting that could be a rusty brown or light pink color. Spotting associated with implantation usually last up to 2 days.
Implantation cramping. Around the time when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining you might experience mild cramping. Implantation cramping usually happens just before or just after you notice implantation spotting.
Breast tenderness. Doctors from the American Pregnancy Association say that your breasts may become sore when implantation happens. In fact, your breasts may appear swollen and tender even as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception. 11
Other signs of implantation or early pregnancy that you might notice before a pregnancy test tests positive are frequent urination, food aversions or cravings, backaches and headaches, and mood swings.
If you notice these signs of pregnancy, and you know that you had intercourse around the time of ovulation, you should take a home pregnancy test. If the results are negative, they may become positive several days later as pregnancy hormone (hCG) increases.
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