If you think you might be pregnant, waiting to take a pregnancy test can be nerve-wracking. But how soon can you take a pregnancy test and get accurate results? Below is some information on accuracy and the best time to take a test. Always speak with your Jacksonville Beach OBGYN as soon as possible if you think you may be pregnant.
When to Test
It’s important to keep track of your monthly cycle so you can be aware of your chances of being pregnant. To determine the best time to take a pregnancy test, you’ll want to know when your last period began and how long your cycle normally lasts.
Some home pregnancy tests claim to detect pregnancy as early as the first day of your missed period or sooner. The levels of HCG, the hormone used to detect pregnancy, begin to rise several days after conception. So, it may be possible to detect pregnancy that early. You’ll get the most accurate results, however, if you wait until about a week after your period was due.
If you see your Jacksonville OBGYN for a blood test, pregnancy can be detected a bit sooner. A blood test will usually detect pregnancy within 3-4 days after implantation or 10 days after fertilization and ovulation. It’s always recommended that you see your healthcare provider as soon as you believe you may be pregnant with proper care.
Accuracy of Pregnancy Tests
Not all pregnancy tests are created equal as far as accuracy goes. Some brands of home pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate, but not all detect pregnancy as early as they claim. Since each woman’s HCG levels may vary, it’s possible that a test detects one woman’s pregnancy sooner than another’s. Waiting until one full week after your missed period will give you the most accurate results.
While a false-positive result from a home pregnancy test is rare, it is possible. A false-positive could result if you had a loss of pregnancy shortly after the fertilized egg attached to the lining. A test could also come back positive if taken too soon after taking certain fertility medications containing HCG. There are other issues that could cause a false-positive, such as ectopic pregnancy or menopause. Speak with your Jacksonville Beach OBGYN right away if you think your results may be inaccurate.
A false-negative result is far more common and is usually due to taking a pregnancy test too soon. The earlier you test, the more difficult it is for a home pregnancy test to detect HCG in your urine. Again, a home test will be most accurate one week after your missed period. Another reason for a false-negative could be that your urine was diluted. It’s best to test first thing in the morning. You might also see a negative if you check your test results too soon. Be sure to set your timer according to the instructions to avoid this.
Contact Your Jacksonville Beach OBGYN for a Blood Test
Confirming your pregnancy as early as possible is important so that you can get proper care for you and your baby. Home pregnancy tests will be most accurate one week after your missed period, but if you prefer your results sooner you can see your healthcare provider for blood testing. Contact the physicians at North Florida OBGYN of Jacksonville Beach if you’re newly pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Our compassionate team of healthcare providers will ensure you get the best possible care.