How soon can you take a pregnancy test?
If you are tying to have a baby, you are likely eager to find out if you have succeeded or not as quickly as possible. It still most reliable to take a pregnancy test after a missed period, but there are several methods, including early detection home pregnancy tests, designed to help women find out if they are pregnant or not even before they miss a period.
The answer for how soon you can take a pregnancy test can best understood with a basic understanding on what happens inside your body soon after an egg is fertilized.
Once a matured egg is released from the ovary, it travels through the fallopian tubes towards your uterus. If, on the way, this egg meets a sperm and is able to penetrate the egg, then fertilization takes place. The resulting product is known as an embryo. This fertilization should occur within the first 24 hours after the release of the egg. The fertilized egg then travels through the fallopian tube towards the uterus. Once in the uterus, it will implant itself into the uterine wall by a process known as implantation. Researchers say that this usually happens around 6 to 12 days after ovulation. Once implantation happens, the placenta starts to secrete human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) hormone.
In a non-pregnant woman, hCG levels are as little as 5mIU/ml but in a pregnant woman, hCG hormone doubles every 48 to 72 hours. This causes hCG hormone levels in blood and urine to greatly increased in just a few days. After 7 or more days following ovulation, the hCG hormone level can increase to about 50mIU/ml.
So, how soon can you take a pregnancy test? Well, the answer for this question depends on the type of pregnancy test you use; some pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others. The more sensitive tests have the potential to detect a pregnancy days earlier. The sensitivity of a pregnancy test will be labelled on the packet in mIU/ml (milli international unit per milliliter). There are several pregnancy tests designed with varying sensitivities starting from as low as 10mIU/ml. This means that these tests can detect pregnancy even when the hCG levels are as little as 10mIu/ml.
This means it may be possible to take a home pregnancy test 7 to 10 days following ovulation. However, it is important to keep in mind that false negatives can happen if this test is taken too early, especially if ovulation took place a few days later than you predicted. If you take a test 7 days after ovulation and it is negative, you might choose to take another test in a few days.
You can also test for pregnancy by a simple blood test that measures the level of hCG in the blood. Blood tests are more sensitive than urine tests and therefore will help you to test for pregnancy much earlier. A blood sample can detect a pregnancy as early as 6 to 8 days post ovulation.
So, based on numbers, the earliest you can theoretically take a pregnancy test is around 6 to 8 days after ovulation either by a blood test or through a home pregnancy test at 7 to 10 days.