When you’re trying to conceive, you want to know if you’re pregnant as soon as possible. Getting through the two-week wait is difficult, and any pregnancy tests that can tell you early results are a welcome solution. Pregnancy tests come in varying sensitivity levels, meaning that some will work earlier than others. Consider all of your options before you make a purchase.
How Pregnancy Tests Work
When a fertilized egg implants in your uterus, your body begins to produce human chorionic gonadotropin, hCG, often called the “pregnancy hormone.” The amount of this hormone in your body increases rapidly after implantation, doubling every two days. You can find it in both your urine and your blood. Home pregnancy tests detect whether you have the hCG hormone in your urine.
How Soon Can You Test?
In order to get a positive result on a home pregnancy test, your fertilized egg needs to have implanted. The sperm fertilizes the egg around your day of ovulation, but it then takes between six and 12 days past ovulation for the egg to implant in your uterus. Even after implantation, you must wait two or three days for there to be enough hCG in your urine for a test to measure it. The earliest you can test is nine days past ovulation, but the most accurate time for you to test is after you have missed a period.
Accurate Early Pregnancy Tests
Early pregnancy tests can measure between 12.5 and 25 mIU of hCG in your urine — the amount that you should have a day or two after implantation. The test should state the amount that it measures on the package. Anecdotal evidence shows that some tests work better than others. At PeeOnAStick.com, a site that compares the official sensitivity with the anecdotal evidence reported by readers, the recommended accurate early pregnancy tests are the Fact Plus, First Response, Equate (Wal-Mart generic brand), New Choice (from Dollar Tree) and Inverness (generic brand found at Target, Rite-Aid and Walgreens).
Misconceptions About “False Negatives”
You can get a negative result and still be pregnant. Some people mistakenly assume that a pregnancy tests that shows this “false negative” is somehow defective. This isn’t usually the case. If you are testing too early, it’s possible that your fertilized egg has not yet implanted, so you are not yet producing the hCG for the pregnancy test to measure.
One of the dangers of early pregnancy testing is getting a so-called “false positive.” In this scenario, you receive a positive result on a pregnancy test, but then get a period a few days later. You may have been pregnant, but there was some anomaly with the egg, causing you to have a miscarriage. If you had waited to test until after your period came, you may have never realized that you were pregnant and would not have to deal with the loss.