Here’s how soon you can take a pregnancy test, and it be accurate, from a birth nurse.

No matter the circumstance, whether through unprotected sex or failed birth control, you have some questions. Maybe those circumstances were planned and you are hoping to be pregnant. Maybe it wasn’t and you are feeling scared. Let’s talk about how soon you can take a pregnancy test and it be accurate, from a birth nurse. We will also look at what to do next.

First, let me reassure you that it’s going to be okay. It’s normal to feel anticipation, nervousness, or uncertainty. Take one day at a time, and maybe even one moment at a time. No need to figure it all out just yet. Deep breath.

Home pregnancy tests will give very accurate results when taken in the right time frame (Studies show a 99% accurate rate). They test for hcg levels (human chorionic gonadotropin), or the pregnancy hormone, present in the urine stream. These urine pregnancy test give reliable results, and though they don’t test for the specific amount of HCG, they will detect any presence of HCG. 

When is it too soon to take a pregnancy test?

For most women, taking a home test on the first day of a missed period will give an accurate reading if you are pregnant or not. Rarely ever will a home urine test give a false-positive result.

Most pregnancy tests are able to test for the HCG hormone up to five days before a missed period. (Read the label to see.) The earlier you test, the more likely you will receive a false negative pregnancy test. This is because the HCG levels are too low to register on the home urine test. If you get a negative test result, but you feel you may be pregnant (this happened to me), wait a couple days and take another pregnancy test. 

If you are trying to get pregnant, buy pregnancy tests in bulk to keep expenses down. If you are wanting to keep this private, it’s another great reason to order these tests. I remember going to the grocery store, one-year-old in my arms, feeling yucky, and the store clerk saying, “Looks like someone is getting a sibling.” My face turned beat red. I wasn’t ready to share this part of my life yet, and I felt embarrassed a clerk knew before anyone else.

How Soon Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

The best way to take a pregnancy test:

For best results, take the test on the day you expect your menstrual cycle. If you are too eager to wait, it’s ok to take it a few days before. It will probably be accurate but know it could also give you a false-negative result. Waiting until you expect your cycle allows for scheduling errors or cycle delays.

The best way to take a pregnancy test is first thing in the morning. Your urine will be the most concentrated after a night of sleep. Either urinate directly on the test strip or into a cup and then dip the test strip in it, according to the test’s directions. Always read the directions! Some tests show positive results with one line, some with two, and some with a plus sign. 

how soon will a pregnancy test read positive?

What if the line is faint or barely there?

It’s still a positive test result. You are just early in pregnancy.

Here’s what is happening in early pregnancy:

A sperm and egg have met and become fertilized. The fertilized egg (embryo) attaches to the uterine wall (uterine lining) and the fertilized egg implants. You are pregnant! HCG begins to surge in the body.

What is a chemical pregnancy? 

A chemical pregnancy is an early miscarriage that happens in the first five weeks of pregnancy. An embryo forms and implants in your uterus, but then stops developing. Reasons as to why varies and it doesn’t mean the mom did anything wrong. These miscarriages happen so early that many women don’t realize they ever were pregnant or miscarried. They mistake it for a normal period.

Basically, there is no way to know if it’s a “chemical pregnancy” because a chemical pregnancy is a pregnancy that is lost early on. Chemical pregnancy is pregnancy.

How Soon Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

Early Pregnancy Test Results

​Negative result:

If taken more than five days before a missed period, or if you have irregular periods, this may be an inaccurate result. A false negative result is common in these circumstances. If you are within the time frame of the test’s recommendation and you usually have a regular menstrual cycle, you probably are not pregnant.

Positive Result:

Congratulations! A false positive pregnancy test is extremely rare. HCG is a hormone that is only in the body during pregnancy (and very rare disorders). This is why it’s called “the pregnancy hormone.” Any level of HCG indicates pregnancy. A positive test result is usually accurate. If you still feel uncertain, take another early pregnancy test by a different brand. Always check the expiration date. 

A false result could also be present if the mother is taking fertility drugs. Always check with your healthcare provider if this is the case. 

What are the Next Steps:

Do you have an OB already? If not, now’s the time to do some research. You guys will get to know each other well in the next several months. A midwife is another wonderful option depending on the type of birth you desire. You have a bit of time to think it over. Most healthcare providers want to see you in the doctor’s office around 8 weeks. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment once you choose a provider. They will give you a good idea of your due date over the phone.

If you had a positive result, think about how you would like to share this news with your significant other. Maybe scour Pinterest for some starter ideas. It’s a good idea to wait to share the news with others until you have had time to process this event, and also had your first visit with your doctor. Usually at your first prenatal appointment at eight-weeks, you will get to hear and see your baby’s heartbeat.

Your healthcare provider will probably do a blood pregnancy test which will show exact levels of HCG. HCG will continue to surge for several weeks. They will also discuss your prenatal care. It’s a good idea to write down any questions you have so you remember to ask your doctor.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

I personally had early signs of pregnancy before the test registered positive. I felt bloated, “full” in my uterus, and even had some diarrhea (due to the changing hormones). Even when the test read negative, I had a feeling I was pregnant. I waited two days, tried again, and sure enough, it was positive. 

Other early pregnancy signs are sore and tender breasts, bladder urgency (the need to pee often), and of course, a missed period. 

How Soon Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

Remember, symptoms or no symptoms doesn’t determine pregnancy. Each person is different. The most accurate time to take a pregnancy test is after a missed period, but most tests are 99% accurate when taken 1-3 days before an expected period.

Best wishes to you!

You may also like 27 Creative Ways to Announce Pregnancy to Family.

Post may contain affiliate links


Rachel is a Postpartum Nurse of 15+ years. She is also a Spinning Babies® CPE, Childbirth Educator, Published Author, and Recipe Creator. Rachel's passion is to encourage and empower women in all things related to motherhood.

Write A Comment