Eager to find out if you’re pregnant? Women are always quick to take a pregnancy test, only to find out that the test they took was inaccurate. So exactly, how soon? The answer relies on the body’s production of hCG and truly depends on the women.
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How Long Should You Wait To Take A Pregnancy Test?
Most women will want to wait until they’ve missed their period before taking a pregnancy test. Why? All of the tests that you can buy in stores will use hCG to determine pregnancy. This hormone is only produced in high amounts when a woman is pregnant, and in rare cases, it may also be produced when a woman has cancer.
The problem is that it takes a while for the amount of hCG to accumulate in the body.
Many doctors suggest waiting until you’ve missed your period to take a pregnancy test, but many tests allow for earlier prediction.
Some tests promise detection up to 6 days before your missed period. While these tests have a high accuracy rate of 99% after your missed period, they do not have the same level of accuracy when taken early.
It’s a tradeoff between being 99% certain of pregnancy and just 85% certain, or lower.
How soon can you take a home pregnancy test with high precision? Many OBGYNs recommend that you take a pregnancy test when you’re period should be starting. The ideal time is two weeks after ovulation has occurred.
Statistics show that 1 in 10 women will still have low levels of hCG at the time of their missed period. If you still haven’t had your period and the test is false, retake the test again 3 days later to allow hCG levels to rise to sufficient amounts.
A blood pregnancy test can be administered, but the test will need to be taken at the doctor’s office. These tests will need to be sent to a lab, so results can take 2 -3 business days to be received.
How Long Does A Pregnancy Test Take?
The results from a pregnancy test can be as short as 3 minutes or as long as a week, depending on the test. Most at-home tests will take just 3 – 10 minutes to show the results. Blood tests are fast, but the blood will be sent to a lab, and the final results can take up to a week to arrive back at the doctor’s office.
Can You Take A Pregnancy Test While Bleeding?
The short answer is: yes. There are only a few reasons why you would be bleeding when you’re pregnant. In most cases, women will not be bleeding when they take a pregnancy test because a woman’s menstrual cycle stops during pregnancy. But, there are rare occurrences where a woman will get their period at this time.
The three reasons for vaginal bleeding are:
- Menstrual Cycle: Under normal conditions, a woman will not experience blood that is as thick or consistent as their regular period blood. If this occurs, it’s unlikely that you’re pregnant.
- Implantation Bleeding: Approximately 30% of women will experience implantation bleeding. This bleeding is short-lived, and is very light or spotty.
- Miscarriage: An unfortunate event. Women that are having heavier blood or severe cramps may be experiencing a miscarriage. Even at this time, when the baby miscarried, there would be enough hCG to trigger a positive blood test.
It’s always best to take a pregnancy test when you’re not bleeding.
What Does A Positive Pregnancy Test Look Like?
Pregnancy tests will have a variety of ways to indicate that pregnancy has occurred, depending on the brand. The standard signs are:
- 2 lines
- 2 “+” signs
Right on the face of the test will be wording that lets you know what a test should look like if you’re pregnant. Most tests will use the double line method. Keep in mind that the lines can be faint and still indicate that pregnancy has taken place.
How Soon Will A Pregnancy Test Be Positive?
A tricky question to answer. Most pregnancy tests will be positive within 2 weeks of conceiving. This is when the amount of hCG in the body has reached high enough levels for tests to pick up on it (25 is the standard level when pregnant).
As pregnancy progresses, the amount of hCG in the body will continually double.
Women that take a test three weeks after they’ve conceived, or one week after their missed period, will have a higher chance of accuracy.
Many tests claim that they can predict early pregnancy, and most of these tests will have an accuracy scale that indicates the level of accuracy depending on the days before your period. For example, a test that offers results as early as 6 days before a period may be 60% accurate 6 days before a period, and 95% accurate the day before your period.