A common question among women who suspect they may be pregnant is “what’s the soonest I can take a pregnancy test?” While it’s important to remember that only a doctor can definitively diagnose a pregnancy, at-home tests can provide useful guidance and help you decide if you need to schedule an appointment. It’s important to understand the accuracy of the test and when it is most effective, so that you can have the most accurate information about your possible pregnancy.
This blog post will provide an overview of when you can take a pregnancy test, how soon the results will be available, and the different types of tests available. We’ll also cover how to interpret your results and what other steps you should take if you do receive a positive test result. Knowing when and how to take a pregnancy test gives you the information you need to make the best decisions for your health, whatever the outcome.
How Does A Pregnancy Test Work?
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), also known as “the pregnancy hormone,” is found in pregnancy tests. This hormone is produced by the placenta, an organ that joins the mother and fetus, Once the egg is implanted along the uterine wall, it starts to form and protect the egg, indicating pregnancy has started. HCG levels start out low, but they rise early on in the pregnancy before leveling off.
HCG levels can be detected in both blood tests (performed in a doctor’s office) and urine tests (most frequently taken at home) as they rise, frequently doubling every three days until they peak within the first 8 to 11 weeks of pregnancy.
Three different at-home test formats are available: strip, cassette, and midstream. You must urinate into a cup for a strip test, then dip the test strip directly into the urine. You must urinate into a cup for cassette tests, then drop small amounts of urine directly onto the test stick. Last but not least, midstream tests demand that you urinate directly on the test stick.
For a positive result, your HCG levels must reach 25 milliInternational units (mIU) per millimeter (mL), which typically occurs 3 to 5 weeks after your last menstrual cycle. Depending on the type of test you take, at-home pregnancy tests that detect these HCG levels typically show lines or a reading of “Pregnant” to indicate a positive result.
According to Kelly Culwell, M.D., “the majority of home (urine) pregnancy tests detect HCG levels of 20 (mIU) or higher.” D. —known professionally as “Dr. A former medical officer for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and board-certified OB-GYN, Lady Doctor “Since blood tests detect HCG levels of 2 (mIU) or higher, a positive blood result may occur before a positive urine result,” ”.
It depends on your urine concentration; the less diluted your urine is, the higher the concentration of HCG will be, even though a typical urine test will show positive results at around 20 to 25 mIU. A morning urine test is more likely to result in a positive result than one conducted later in the day because morning urine is more concentrated. Even so, the majority of urine tests will show up positive one to two days after a missed period.
What should I do if my pregnancy test is positive?
To find out what to do next if your pregnancy test is positive, call your doctor.
What type of pregnancy test confirms pregnancy first?
Because a blood test can detect a smaller amount of HCG than a test that uses your urine, it first confirms pregnancy.