When to Take a Pregnancy Test

woman looking at home pregnancy test result

Odds are you didn’t arrive at this article just out of curiosity. More likely, you have reason to think you may be pregnant, and you’re wondering how soon you can or should take a pregnancy test. The short answer is: as soon as possible. The more complete answer is: keep reading.

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Pregnancy tests are designed to detect the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced in higher quantities when a woman is pregnant. This surge in hCG production is triggered by the implantation of the placenta into the uterine wall. Once there’s a high enough concentration in your system, hCG can be detected in both your urine and blood.

How Early Can You Get an Accurate Pregnancy Test Result?

A good rule of thumb is to test seven days after a missed period. By that point, the hCG levels in a pregnant woman are usually high enough to be detectable by most pregnancy tests. While some home pregnancy tests claim they can provide results within a day of a missed period, those tests may produce inaccurate results, as the body has not yet had enough time to produce enough hGC.

Should You Do a Home Test or Have a Medical Pregnancy Test?

Most women start with a home test for sheer convenience, and that’s a reasonable first step. Home tests can be fairly accurate, but you should be aware they’re not as accurate as medical testing. So, if you get a positive home test result, you should definitely follow up with a medical pregnancy test. If you get a negative home test result, listen to your body. If a few days pass and you still don’t get your period, or you start feeling pregnancy symptoms, schedule an appointment for a medical pregnancy test.

What Symptoms Might Indicate a Pregnancy?

Common early pregnancy symptoms include cramps and spotting (which can unfortunately sometimes be confused for the start of a period), sore breasts, nausea, frequent urination and muscle aches. If you already suspect you might be pregnant and you start experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to go ahead and get a pregnancy test.

Can You Be Pregnant Without Having Symptoms?

Yes, you can be pregnant and not experience symptoms, at least not for a while. Every woman’s body is different. If you believe you may be pregnant, pay close attention to yours. Your symptoms may be very subtle or practically non-existent. If this is the case, it can’t hurt to get a pregnancy test. Better to know for sure than to wonder and stress.

How Will I Definitely Know Whether I’m Pregnant?

The best way to know for sure whether or not you’re pregnant is by getting a medical pregnancy test followed by an ultrasound exam. As described earlier, the medical pregnancy test will evaluate your body’s hCG level. If your hCG is elevated, your pregnancy care provider will conduct an ultrasound exam to scan for a heartbeat and confirm the pregnancy.

If you believe you may be pregnant, Sira in Gainesville can help. We offer free medical pregnancy testing and free pregnancy confirmation ultrasounds. All of our services are confidential and there’s no insurance required.

Contact Sira today at 352-377-4947 to schedule your appointment.

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