If you think you might be pregnant, it’s probably hard to concentrate on anything else. Your mind will be buzzing with questions like “How soon can you take a pregnancy test, and how accurate will the result be?”
There’s so much to do to prepare for a baby (Find out how to prepare for a baby here), and it’s vitally important that you know as soon as possible so you can start planning (or stop panicking). Whether you’re hoping for a positive result or not, there are a lot of pregnancy tests to choose from, and it can be hard to know which one to use, when to use it, and how accurate the result really is. In this post, we’ll address each of these elements, but let’s start by answering the question at the top of everyone’s minds, “When should I take a pregnancy test?”
How Soon Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?
Before we answer the question above, it’s important to understand how a pregnancy test works.
Every at home pregnancy test on the market works the same way. Once the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine wall, small amounts of a hormone known as hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) are released. This hormone is found in the body most of the time, but appears in higher concentrations in pregnant women. At home pregnancy tests work by measuring the levels of hCG present in the urine.
The concentration of hCG in the body begins to increase slowly starting around 7 days before the beginning of your menstrual cycle. HCG is detectable by the most sensitive pregnancy tests as early as 6 days before your missed period.
So, the answer to the question, “how soon can you take a pregnancy test?”:
You can take a pregnancy test as early as six days before your missed period.
When Is the Best Time to Take a Pregnancy Test?
Even though you can test early, the at-home tests become much more accurate as you get closer to the start of your cycle. Concentrations of the hormone hCG continue to rise during early pregnancy, and it becomes easier to detect the closer you get to your missed period.
How Accurate Are the Results of a Pregnancy Test?
Very accurate if they are taken at the right time.
At-home pregnancy tests become more accurate with time. As the levels of hGC in the body rise, the results of the tests become far more reliable because they can more easily detect the hormone in the urine. To make sure you get the most accurate reading, wait until the day of your missed period. At that point, the results of your test will be around 99% accurate.
Which Test is Best?
When you’re waiting for a result, the last thing you want to have to do is try to decode some convoluted combination of colored lines (pardon my alliteration). That’s why my wife uses First Response Early Result Pregnancy Tests. They’re the most accurate, they have a wide tip for easy testing, and a simple readout of the result so there’s no confusion.
How Soon Can You Take a Pregnancy Test: The Takeaway
So, how soon can you take a pregnancy test?
Short answer: Up to 6 days before the start of your next cycle.
However, for the most accurate results, you’ll need to wait until the day of your missed period to find out. The best pregnancy test, and the one we recommend, is the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Tests. It’s easy to use, and the simple readout takes all the confusion out of interpreting the results.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our post in answer to the question, “how soon can you take a pregnancy test?” We have our favorite, but what’s your’s? Let us know which is your favorite pregnancy test in the comment section below.