How Soon Can You Take A Pregnancy Test After Sex

When to take a pregnancy test is a big choice to make. How Soon Can You Take A Pregnancy Test After Sex? Taking an early test may immediately confirm your hopes or alleviate your anxieties, whether you’re hoping for a big fat positive or a big fat negative.

1. How Soon Can You Take A Pregnancy Test After Sex

You should wait until your period is a week late before taking a pregnancy test to acquire the most reliable results. However, you may be tempted to take a pregnancy test straight immediately.

How Soon Can You Take A Pregnancy Test After Sex?
Photo by Roman Wimmers on Unsplash

Waiting is necessary because your body must produce enough of the pregnancy hormone hCG1 for a pregnancy test to detect it.

In most situations, home pregnancy tests can detect hCG levels 10 days after an egg has been successfully implanted (which does not occur immediately after intercourse). Even if you are pregnant, you might get a negative result if you take the test too soon.

2. When Is The Best Time To Take A Pregnancy

2.1. Before You Miss Your Period

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Photo by Srikanta H. U on Unsplash

The less accurate a test is, the sooner it is taken. A false negative might occur if you take a test before your period or less than two weeks after intercourse.

Some women take a pregnancy test too soon and conclude that they are not pregnant. This is particularly perplexing if a woman spots or bleeds during her first trimester, assuming she has had her period.

2.2. After Two Weeks

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Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Many women follow the two-week rule when it comes to testing. For women who have a 28-day cycle and ovulate once at a regular interval, this may produce reliable results.

Some women’s cycles aren’t as regular, and drugs like birth control and antibiotics might alter their ovulation date and cycle. A regular or normally expected cycle might also be disrupted by stress.

2.3. If You Don’t Get Your Period

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Photo by Marketing City to Sea on Unsplash

Taking a pregnancy test around the beginning of your period or when you know your cycle is late is the best time to find out if you are pregnant. The following day, retake a pregnancy test if your findings are still illegible or ambiguous.

The test should be taken first in the morning to get the most accurate results. In the morning, the hCG hormone is greater and more concentrated. If the test comes up negative, but you still suspect you’re pregnant, wait a few days and try again. Early in pregnancy, HCG roughly doubles every two days.

3. How To Do A Pregnancy Test

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Photo by Cedrik Wesche on Unsplash

Even with the most successful birth control techniques, there is always the possibility of making mistakes. After all, only one sperm is necessary for each egg to develop into a viable egg. Taking an over-the-counter (OTC) pregnancy test2 to determine whether or not this has happened is as straightforward as it seems.

Pregnancy tests that are available over the counter detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) 3in the urine of a pregnant woman. The hormone is produced if a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus or to the uterine lining. If you’re pregnant, hCG is only present.

There are many methods for collecting urine for the test. Depending on whatever exam you take, you may be required to:

  • Fill a cup with urine and dip a testing stick into it approximately halfway.
  • Place the testing stick in the area where your projected urine stream will be located in order to catch your pee in the midstream.
  • Collect your urine in a cup and use an eyedropper to transfer a very little amount of fluid into a designated container to avoid contamination.

When done after a missed period, most tests are 99 percent effective.

What’s more, you can do it in the comfort of your own home. Just open the test, follow the instructions, and wait for the appropriate period to see the results.

When the stipulated waiting period has elapsed, the tests will present your observations in one of the following ways:

a shift in hue, a line, or a symbol, such as the words pregnant or not pregnant with a plus or negative sign.

4. Are Home Pregnancy Tests Reliable

Are Home Pregnancy Tests Accurate? | Ask Cleveland Clinic's Expert

Although home pregnancy tests are very reliable, they may have trouble identifying a pregnancy if a woman has just recently missed a period. Most home pregnancy tests may be performed as early as the first day of your missed period.

Furthermore, fertility medicines and other medications might skew the findings.

You should start prenatal care straight soon if you’re expecting a child.

5. Negative Results That Aren’t True

A home pregnancy test might result in a false-negative result. This indicates that you are pregnant, even though the test indicated otherwise.

False negatives may happen if:

  • You have taken the test too soon.
  • It’s not a good idea to check the test results too quickly — it’s crucial to follow the package guidelines exactly.
  • Use diluted pee — first-morning urine is ideal since it is the most concentrated.

Repeat the test if you receive a negative result, and your menstruation hasn’t begun yet.

6. Obvious Pregnancy Symptoms

6.1. You Haven’t Had Your Period In A While

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Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Missing menstruation is one of the earliest and most dependable indications of pregnancy.

It might be difficult to tell whether you’re late if you don’t watch your cycle carefully. A 28-day menstrual cycle is common among women.

For women who have not had their period in more than a month, it is recommended that they consider having their cervix checked.

Keep in mind that stress, poor diet, physical activity, and certain medical conditions may all contribute to your period being delayed or missing.

6.2. You’re In Pain

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Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash

Implantation may also cause you to experience symptoms similar to those associated with menstruation. You may experience this pain in early pregnancy and believe your period is on its way, but it never arrives.

6.3. Your Breasts Are Aching

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Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

With each stage of pregnancy, your body adjusts to accommodate the increased production of estrogen and progesterone 4necessary to aid in the growth of the baby.

Because of the increased blood flow, your breasts may feel more sensitive and seem bigger as a result of the procedure.

Your nipples may ache, and the veins under your skin may seem darker.

6.4. You’re Experiencing A Shift In Your Mood

Early pregnancy may cause: Along with cramping and aching breasts, early pregnancy can cause:

sickness, aversions to certain foods, tiredness, and frequent urination

6.5. Your Contraception Didn’t Work

Contraceptive pills, condoms, and other contraceptive devices do not guarantee pregnancy prevention. In other words, no matter how cautious you are, there is always a risk of pregnancy.

If you encounter any of the indicators we’ve outlined, you should consider taking a test regardless of your birth control options.

7. Conclusion

Typically, you can take a pregnancy test about two weeks after having unprotected sex or experiencing a contraceptive failure.5 This waiting period allows enough time for the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) to build up in your body if you are pregnant. Most pregnancy tests on the market are designed to detect hCG levels around the time of your expected period, although some tests claim to provide earlier detection.

It’s important to note that while some early detection tests may claim to provide results even before your missed period, their accuracy may vary. Taking the test too early can lead to false negative results, as the hCG levels may still be too low to be detected. If you take a test too early and receive a negative result, it’s recommended to wait a few more days and test again if your period hasn’t started.


1. How soon can you take a pregnancy test after having sex?

A: It is recommended to wait until you have missed your period before taking a pregnancy test for accurate results. This is usually around two weeks after ovulation and fertilization, which typically occurs about two weeks after the first day of your last menstrual period.

2. Are there any early pregnancy tests that can be taken before missing a period?

A: Yes, there are early pregnancy tests available in the market that claim to detect hCG in urine even before you miss your period. These tests are designed to be more sensitive and can detect lower levels of hCG. They may advertise the ability to provide accurate results a few days before your expected period.

3.  How accurate are early pregnancy tests?

Early pregnancy tests are generally quite accurate when used correctly. However, their accuracy depends on various factors, including the sensitivity of the test, the timing of the test, and how well the instructions are followed. It’s important to carefully read and follow the instructions provided with the test kit to ensure accurate results.


Read more

  1. Cole, Laurence A. “Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules.” Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 8.1 (2010): 1-14. ↩︎
  2. Tomlinson, Catherine, Jayne Marshall, and Jayne E. Ellis. “Comparison of accuracy and certainty of results of six home pregnancy tests available over-the-counter.” Current medical research and opinion 24.6 (2008): 1645-1649. ↩︎
  3. Licht, P., V. Russu, and L. Wildt. “On the role of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the embryo-endometrial microenvironment: implications for differentiation and implantation.” Seminars in reproductive medicine. Vol. 19. No. 01. Copyright© 2001 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.:+ 1 (212) 584-4662, 2001. ↩︎
  4. Taraborrelli, Stefania. “Physiology, production and action of progesterone.” Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica 94 (2015): 8-16. ↩︎
  5. Trussell, James. “Contraceptive failure in the United States.” Contraception 70.2 (2004): 89-96. ↩︎

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