How To Take Early Pregnancy Tests

If you've been trying to have a baby, you may be wondering if you should take an early pregnancy test. Early home pregnancy tests are new on the market. You can pick them up at drug stores, discount stores and grocery stores. They may be slightly more expensive than other home pregnancy tests and less reliable, depending on the brand. 

Pregnancy tests work by measuring the levels of hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropinin, in your body's system. hCG is produced when implantation occurs, six to twelve days after conception (when the sperm and the egg unite and start dividing into cells to produce a baby). Implantation is when the fertilized egg burrows into the uterus. Because implantation takes place a few days after conception, you may actually be pregnant up to two weeks before you'll get a positive reading on a pregnancy test. For this reason, early pregnancy tests have higher false negative readings. 

You may also get a pregnancy test at your care provider's office. This test will be a blood test and can tell sooner than home pregnancy tests whether or not you are pregnant. However, due to the higher cost and unless there is a medical reason to take the blood test, your care provider will likely recommend that you take home pregnancy tests at least a few times and for a couple weeks before you ask for a blood test.   

The following tips will help you take an early pregnancy test.

  1. If you are trying to get pregnant, wait at least a week after you ovulate to take a home pregnancy test. Ovulation occurs when your ovaries release an egg into your fallopian tubes. If you have a regular cycle, it will take place about fourteen days after the first day of your last menstrual period. If you don't have a regular cycle, and haven't been charting your cycle or looking for ovulation signs (thinner cervical mucus, bursts of pain in the lower abdomen or basal body temperature increase), wait until you're about halfway through your cycle and/or about a week away from getting your period. 

  • Follow the product directions extra carefully. Make sure you understand what you're supposed to do. Are you supposed to fill a container up with urine or hold a stick beneath your urine stream? How long are you supposed to wait? What does a positive or negative reading look like?
  • If you get a negative reading, repeat the test in a few days. To be on the safe side, abstain from alcohol, nicotine and recreational drugs until you are sure you're not pregnant.   

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