Pre-Conception: When Can I Test??

If you have been actively trying to get pregnant, it is SO hard to wait until you can take a test and find out if you are indeed carrying a small human in your uterus. But, we can guarantee that if you take a test too early, it will be negative, no matter what is really going on at a cellular level.

Let’s look at the two most common methods of pregnancy testing, the first is an over-the-counter urine pregnancy test and the other is a blood test performed by your provider. Most women prefer to find out in the privacy of their own home and choose to purchase a urine pregnancy test at the pharmacy counter.

If you choose a urine test, you really should wait until the first day of your missed period to get accurate results. Yes, there are some brands that claim to be so sensitive, they can test as soon as five days before the first day of your period, but they don’t know your body, your ovulation cycle, and your hormone production rates. At five days before a missed period, the tests are only about 60% accurate in negative results. You may be pregnant, but not making enough hCG to make the test turn positive. Two days before a missed period, the test’s accuracy raises above 90% and the day before that missed period, it raises to 97% accuracy. As hard as it is to wait, knowing a few days earlier will not make a difference to your baby if you are already eating, drinking, and taking supplements to prepare for pregnancy. Save your hard-earned money and take your test the day before or of the first day you expect your period.

If you choose a blood test, you can begin the testing around 8-9 days after you believe you conceived. This is a little earlier than a urine test, but not significantly so. Most providers would then prefer for you to return within a few days and test again, so they can see that your hCG levels are rising, suggesting a healthy pregnancy. Depending on when you ovulate, this could be as soon as day 22 of your cycle, six days before you expect your period to begin. Your provider should be able to help you identify an estimate of your cycle if you have not been charting, and help you determine the best time to perform the test.

If you think you might be pregnant, and would like to take about the difference in testing, or schedule a blood test, give us a call. We are patiently waiting right along with you for those two pink lines.

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