But this could prove to be an expensive habit that could just end up in disappointment.
Instead, it’s best to understand how a pregnancy test works before you go throwing away thousands of dollars peeing on sticks.
Better still, there’s no need to waste time visiting the doctor.
In this article: 📝
- How soon will a pregnancy test read positive?
- How early can pregnancy be detected by urine?
- What is the best time of day to take a pregnancy test?
- What should I do if the test is negative?
How soon will a pregnancy test read positive?
“When should I take a pregnancy test” is one of the most commonly asked questions by women on Peanut trying to conceive.
But for maximum effectiveness, you need to know a little about the human body—specifically, your pregnancy hormones.
Pregnancy tests work by detecting a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin.
If you’re trying to conceive, you can urinate on the test kit or place the kit into a clean container of your own urine—whichever you prefer.
The best time to take a pregnancy test is when this hormone is likely to be at its highest concentration in your body.
How early can pregnancy be detected by urine?
You may have heard of some pregnancy testing kit brands boasting ‘early detection rates.’
That’s great in theory, but there’s no arguing with science.
And be wary of tests claiming pregnancy detection eight days before menstruation.
Really, the best pregnancy test timing aligns with your menstrual period.
Let’s say you have a 28-day cycle.
Conception will usually occur a few days after ovulation, around 10 to 14 days into your cycle, assuming your partner’s sperm has successfully fertilized the egg.
If you’ve not had sex, you should expect the uterine wall to break down as usual and result in a normal monthly period around two weeks later.
If the egg has successfully implanted, you may notice some implantation symptoms.
Don’t reach for the pregnancy test just yet—rather, wait until the next date of your suspected period.
Generally, the closer you are to the date of your next period, the more accurate the test will be.
Of course, it’s much easier to get a false negative than a false positive!
The pregnancy test is looking for the presence of a hormone, so it’s unlikely it will detect something that simply isn’t there.
As always, you should check with your doctor if you’re not sure—but it’s best to wait.
What is the best time of day to take a pregnancy test?
So, we know when in our menstrual cycle to take a test.
But when is the best time to take a pregnancy test: morning or night? You might be wondering if it even makes a difference.
If you want to save money on all those sticks, it’s best to test first thing in the morning when you get out of bed.
Why? Because this is when those pesky hormones are at their highest concentration.
During the night, your body has time to accumulate urine (unless you’re a regular nighttime bathroom visitor—another potential sign of pregnancy).
This means that your urine will have the highest concentration of human chorionic gonadotropin.
So, if you’ve not peed through the night, make sure you have a pregnancy test ready and waiting for you in the bathroom when you wake up.
Can I take a pregnancy test during the day?
Of course, the morning is not the only time you can take a pregnancy test.
It’s just best to be wary that drinking large amounts of water could dilute the result.
If you are a nighttime bathroom visitor, you can take the test during the day.
You should try to wait for four hours before your next bathroom break so that the hormone can reach its highest concentration levels.
What should I do if the test is negative?
Don’t panic if the test is negative.
Even the youngest couples average around 12 months to conceive a child.
Better still, you could be pregnant, and the test could be a false negative—particularly if you’ve missed a period.
Within the first four weeks of a pregnancy, human chorionic gonadotropin levels will double every 2 to 3 days so it’s entirely possible for a negative test early on in the pregnancy to turn positive a few days later.
And a false negative can also show if your pregnancy test has expired (yes, that can happen).
Wait a few more days and do another test.
If your period still hasn’t arrived, it may be worth booking an appointment with a doctor to take a blood test.
Like a urine test, this is also designed to measure human chorionic gonadotropin.
Some healthcare providers also recommend this type of test if you have suffered an ectopic pregnancy in the past.
The important thing to remember is not to be disheartened.
Conception is an incredibly complicated process, and many things can affect it, from age to lifestyle and understanding your menstrual cycle.
Remember: thousands of parents will be going through this, so you are not alone.
Here at Peanut, we understand that conception can be one of the most challenging and emotionally taxing parts of pregnancy.
But we’re here for you every step of the way.