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When to test for pregnancy?

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When do you test for pregnancy? Any woman trying for a baby is eager and excited about taking a pregnancy test, but they may not know when to take the test. If you are experiencing pregnancy symptoms before your period is late, you may wish to take the test. But taking the test early could show as negative, when in fact you could still be pregnant. So should you take the test early to scratch that “Am I pregnant itch”, or wait to pee on that moment of truth stick?

Before taking the pregnancy test, you should understand how pregnancy tests actually work. The tests operate by detecting the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. Some clever tests can actually detect a variation to this hormone; the H-hCG. What’s the difference? Well the h-CG is produced only after an embryo has been implanted into the endometrium, while the H-hCG is released a lot earlier, just after fertilization. If you have H-hCG hormone you’re more likely to get an early positive test result, compared to the h-CG.

Do early pregnancy tests really work?

Have you seen the adverts promising to be able to tell you if you are pregnant, three or four days before your missed period? Well these tests are based on assumption of the 14-day luteal phase. (This is the time between ovulation and your period). If your luteal phase is normally 12 days, four days before your missed period would mean 9 days after ovulation – this is far too early to test. A luteal phase of 15 days would result in a better test reading, but it still may not be accurate.

Test for pregnancy

99% accuracy – Is it true?

By reading the instructions carefully you will notice they are promising the 99% result on the actual day of your missed period, not for early results. If you were expecting your period on a friday, Saturday would be the day of your missed period. In recent studies these 99% accuracy result may not be what they seem, between 46% and 89% of these tests were accurate.

Is your period late?

Make sure that you are positive that your period is late before taking the test. If you don’t chart your cycles it may be impossible to estimate if you are late or not. Most women have irregular periods, making it difficult to assume if you are late or not.

Pros and cons of testing too early

If you’ve read all of this information and are still eager to test early please consider the following;

Pros are:

A very slim chance of getting a positive test result, which may relieve that “waiting stress”

Cons:

A very good chance of getting a negative pregnancy test reading

Disappointment of getting a negative result

Waste of money as these tests are not cheap

The best time to take a pregnancy test is when you are certain your period is late. If you have irregular periods then it’s recommended that you wait until you are certain you’re late. By taking a test early can result in severe disappointment and inaccurate results, if you don’t mind this then go ahead take the test early by all means. The 2 week wait really is the hardest part….

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