When Should I take
a Pregnancy Test?

Do you think you might be pregnant? Are you wondering when to take a pregnancy test? We can help you determine when testing is right for you.

First, have you missed your period?

Waiting to find out if your pregnant after a missed period can be stressful and cause anxiousness but it is important to wait and test at the right time to get an accurate result. Testing too soon can result in inaccurate results so its important to wait and test until you miss your period.

Other pregnancy symptoms could be associated with something else, such as illness, stress, or PMS. This is one reason why tracking your cycle is important – if you know you typically start your period around the same time each month, it will be easier to tell if you are late.

Secondly, are you having any pregnancy related symptoms?  

Common symptoms include:

  1. Missed period – A late or missed period is the most common reason why women take a pregnancy test.
  2. Spotting or light bleeding – This can be what is called implantation bleeding and can occur when the embryo is attaching itself to the wall of the uterus. It usually happens about six to 12 days after conception has occurred. If you experience spotting or light bleeding outside of your period, it could be a sign of pregnancy.
  3. Frequent urination – While many only associate this with the end of pregnancy as the baby is larger, using the restroom more frequently actually begins in the first trimester.
  4. Swollen or painful breasts – An early sign of pregnancy can be swollen or tender breasts. This can begin as early as one week after conception. If your breasts appear swollen or are painful to the touch, it could be an indication of pregnancy.
  5. Fatigue – Early pregnancy and the hormonal changes that accompany it can lead to a feeling of being tired all the time.
  6. Nausea – also referred to as morning sickness, nausea is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms. Increased hormones, sensitivity to smells, and overall heightened senses can lead to nausea during pregnancy.

When should I test? 

If you missed your period and are experiencing some pregnancy symptoms (some women do not have any symptoms) it is recommended that you wait 5-7 days after you missed your period.  You should take your test first thing in the morning before drinking anything.   Urine pregnancy tests are designed to detect human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in your urine.  If the test detects a level associated with pregnancy then the test result will be positive. 

What type of test should I buy?

Every brand of pregnancy test that you can buy at a store will require different levels of the pregnancy hormone to provide an accurate reading. If you are worried that your test may not be accurate, Options for Women provides free pregnancy tests, as well as ultrasounds to confirm viable pregnancies.

What happens if my pregnancy test is Negative? 

If the test is negative it may mean you are NOT pregnant but it can also be what’s called a False Negative.  That means you are actually pregnant but the test is not picking up a high enough HCG level because it’s too early in the pregnancy.  There are also other reasons that you may have a negative pregnancy test and not getting your period.  It is recommended for you to follow-up with your healthcare provider to determine the cause of why your period has not started. 

If you believe you may be pregnant, call Options for Women for a free pregnancy test, ultrasound and other resources.

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