How soon after sex can you take a pregnancy test?
When you’re worried about an unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex (or contraception that went awry), it’s only natural to want to test as early as possible. But for the most accurate results, you want to wait at least 12 days after intercourse, or three weeks if you have an irregular period.
Pregnancy tests work by detecting the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which the body only begins producing after implantation (when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of uterus). Typically, this occurs six to 12 days after you’ve ovulated.
“If you’re comfortable with the fact that you might get a false positive, you can take a home pregnancy test just 10 days after unprotected sex,” says Dr. Felice Gersh, a board-certified OB-GYN. “Sometimes pregnancy tests will turn positive by then. But keep in mind, that still is on the early side.”
What can I do if I think I’m pregnant?
Okay, almost everyone who is capable of getting pregnant has experienced a pregnancy scare at some point. There are some straightforward facts that might be helpful whether you are experiencing only a little anxiety or are having a complete breakdown. While every circumstance is unique, we will do our best to assist here.
Try emergency contraception (EC) if you had unprotected sex within the previous five days and don’t want to get pregnant. Every US state offers over-the-counter emergency contraception available without a prescription at the majority of drug and grocery stores. Cheaper versions are acceptable because brand names like PLAN B perform similarly to the many generic alternatives. One thing to keep in mind is that this option might not work for you if you have a BMI of 30 or higher or weigh more than 165 pounds. The effectiveness of ELLA, an EC prescription brand, is unaffected by body size. Another choice is to visit a clinic to have a Paragard IUD implanted. All of these methods can be used to avoid getting pregnant even after unprotected sex.
When is the best time of day to take a pregnancy test?
Pregnancy test runs in the middle of the night, fueled by panic, are not uncommon, but it is best to wait until the morning.
“Home pregnancy tests are best taken right after waking up, since that’s when the concentration of hCG is highest in the urine,” says Dr. Kecia Gaither, an OB-GYN, maternal fetal specialist, and the director of perinatal services at NYC Health and Hospitals in New York.
Gersh advises delaying drinking any liquids until after you’ve taken the test in order to increase accuracy.