Early Pregnancy Tests
When you are trying to get pregnant, it can be hard to wait until it’s time to take a pregnancy test. Knowing how they work and when to test can save you from multiple tests, and can help you get the correct results.
How They Work
Pregnancy tests work by measuring the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your system. Tests can be conducted by measuring the hCG in urine or blood. Each test is accurate at different times during your pregnancy.
Home pregnancy tests measure the amount of hCG in your urine. They have become much more affordable and accurate in recent years, and new super-sensitive tests can detect a pregnancy a few days prior to your missed period. However, caution must be used when testing at home. If you use the test too early, there will not be enough hCG in your urine to trigger a positive result. It is extremely important to test on, or after, the recommended date. Even if you do get a negative, you may want to wait 2-3 days and test again to be sure, particularly if your period is late.
If you really need to know whether you are pregnant or not, look for early pregnancy tests that can detect levels of hCG of 20-25 mIU. This will let you know, about 10 days past ovulation, if you are pregnant. While these types of tests cost more than standard pregnancy tests, they can tell you if you are pregnant earlier, which may be worth it!
A blood test can measure the amount of hCG in your blood as early as a week before your period, or six to eight days after you ovulate. Additionally, by taking two tests a few days apart you can confirm the viability of a pregnancy because your hCG amounts should double every few days. That being said, most doctors will not order a blood test unless there is a medical reason to confirm your pregnancy early.
If you follow the instructions on your pregnancy test you should be fine; just don’t test earlier than recommended. Make an appointment with your doctor for confirmation if your test result is positive. And, of course, once you know you're pregnant your next question is when you are due, so check out a due date calculator like this one from Pampers and good luck!