If you think you might be pregnant and are wondering when you can take a pregnancy test, the answer is to wait two weeks after you have missed your menstrual period. This will give you the most accurate result.
Read on to learn more about how a pregnancy test works and what to do if you receive a positive result.
How a Pregnancy Test Works
When an embryo implants in a woman’s body, it develops a placenta which produces human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a special hormone that triggers the body to support the pregnancy. During the first week of pregnancy, hCG levels double every few days.
A pregnancy test detects hCG in urine or blood, although at-home tests rely solely on urine. By two weeks after you’ve missed your period, hCG levels in the body have built up and are easily detected by an at-home pregnancy test. This is why it’s best to wait until then for the most accurate results. It’s also a good idea to take the test in the morning, as hCG levels are highest at this time.
If you take a pregnancy test too early, you risk a false-negative result. This happens if you’re too early in the pregnancy and your hCG levels aren’t yet detectable on a test. Since hCG levels rise quickly in early pregnancy, your test could be false one day and positive the next if taken too early.
What If I Get a Positive Result?
If you weren’t planning to get pregnant, receiving an unexpected positive result on a pregnancy test can feel overwhelming. However, you can take steps to protect your health and clarify the next steps.
The first thing to do is receive an ultrasound. This will confirm your pregnancy and ensure that it’s in the right location (if it’s growing outside the uterus, it is a potentially life-threatening condition called an ectopic pregnancy).
Talking to a trusted friend or family member is also important as you consider your next steps. Choose someone who will listen without judgment and won’t try to persuade you on what to do next. Only you can make the choice that’s right for you.
You’re Not Alone
Whether you’re worried that you might be pregnant or you received a positive result on an at-home test, you’re not alone in this. At Bright Hope Pregnancy Support Centers, we’re here for you. We offer free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and other resources to support you. Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment in a welcoming environment.