If you have been trying to get pregnant, the wait between ovulation and your next period date can be full of anxiety. Waiting for those two pink lines can be an agonizing time. Most of us end up testing too soon and too many times. So what’s the right time to take the pregnancy test using the home pregnancy test kit?
Before we answer this, let’s understand what happens in the process of getting pregnant.
- Ovulation: The follicle that carries the eggs ruptures, thus releasing eggs in the fallopian tube.
- Conception: If within 24 hours, active, vibrant sperm is able to break into one of these eggs, an embryo is formed.
- Implantation: During the next few days this fertilized egg or embryo travels down from fallopian tube to uterus and tries to implant itself to the uterus lining.
Once implantation happens, the placenta starts secreting hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) hormones also called, the pregnancy hormones. The amount of hCG doubles every 2-3 days thus increasing significantly within few days.
How do home pregnancy test kits work?
The home pregnancy test kits we use basically work on detecting the hCG levels in our urine. Each kit is calibrated to detect certain amount of hCG in urine. If the hCG level at the time of testing is equal to or more than that calibrated level, it gives positive result. The unit of measuring the hCG levels is mlU/ml. Please note that the sensitivity of these kits may vary, thus some hypersensitive kits may be able to detect even 15mlU/ml of hCG whereas others detect only after hCG value reach 50mlU/ml.
So when should you take the test?
According to most gynecologists, it is best to take the test a day after your periods are due. If you have irregular periods and you can’t decide when your periods are due, testing 3 weeks after you had unprotected sex would be a good idea.
Early signs of pregnancy
While you may or may not test positive using your home test kit, here are some tell tale signs of pregnancy to give you a heads up:
- Sore breasts
- Feeling exhausted for no reason
- Heightened sense of smell
- Needing to urinate more frequently
What if you have pregnancy symptoms but test shows negative results?
1 in 10 women may have very low hCG even around their date of periods. So if you are testing for pregnancy and it is showing negative result, test again after 3-4 days.
While your anxiety and eagerness to test for pregnancy is understandable, it’s best to wait till the due date of your periods to avoid any disappointments or false results. If you still feel your home testing kit is not giving you accurate result, it’s best to consult your gynecologist and she may advise blood test which is far more accurate in detecting hCG levels.