How soon can you take a pregnancy test after sex

pregnancy test
Photo by Fred Jala / flickr

When to take a pregnancy test is a big choice to make. 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.

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.

Waiting is necessary because your body must produce enough of the pregnancy hormone hCG 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.

When Is the Best Time to Take a Pregnancy Test (For the Best Results)?

  • Before You Miss Your Period

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.

  • After two weeks.

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.

  • If You Don’t Get Your Period

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.

How to do a pregnancy test

Photo by MichaelMcLean / flickr

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 test 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) in 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 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.

Are Home Pregnancy Tests Reliable?

home testing
Photo by Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallhold / flickr

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.

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.

Obvious pregnancy symptoms

1. You haven’t had your period in a while.

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.

2. You’re in pain.

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.

3. Your breasts are aching.

With each stage of pregnancy, your body adjusts to accommodate the increased production of oestrogen and progesterone necessary 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.

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

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.



While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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