How soon can you take a pregnancy test?

If you think you might be pregnant, or if you had unprotected sex, your instinct may be to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible. However, if you take one too early, you may get an incorrect result.

How do pregnancy tests work?

Urine-based pregnancy tests detect a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This hormone is released when a fertilized egg implants itself, so the presence of ihCG indicates you are pregnant.

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

Urine-based pregnancy tests are most effective if you wait to take one until one week after your missed period. This allows time for a detectable level of hCG to develop if you are pregnant.

What causes a false negative pregnancy test?

A test can show a falsely negative result if:

You take a pregnancy test too early.

If you do not wait long enough to take a pregnancy test, your body may not produce a detectable level of hCG. The test may deliver a negative result, even if you really are pregnant.

You drink too many fluids before the test.

You might think that it’s a good idea to consume a lot of water before a pregnancy test, but that actually dilutes the urine, therefore diluting the hCG levels in your system.

What are some signs that I should take a pregnancy test?

While the first and most common sign of pregnancy is a missed period, there are other symptoms of pregnancy that could indicate you are pregnant and need to take a pregnancy test. Some of these symptoms include nausea, food aversions, tender or swollen breasts, frequent urination, darkening of the nipples and more.

Where can I get a pregnancy test?

Most drug stores and grocery stores offer pregnancy tests that you can purchase over the counter. You can also schedule an appointment for a no-cost pregnancy test at Aim Women’s Center. Pregnancy tests are offered in a clinical and confidential setting, and one of our trained staff members will give you your results during your appointment.