How Soon Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?

how soon can you take a pregnancy test

Are you having some of the pregnancy symptoms?

There is always a chance of error even if you are using the most advanced and effective birth control methods. After all, it just takes one sperm to fertilize the egg. The only way to be sure is to take a pregnancy test.

To some people, it is exciting to take the pregnancy test. To others, it is a little bit intimidating. However, the question is, how soon can you take a pregnancy test? Despite a missed period or menstrual cycle is considered to be the most common symptom of pregnancy, it is a good idea to learn and check other pregnancy symptoms if you are really want to take the test.

How Does A Pregnancy Test Work?

How Does A Pregnancy Test WorkA pregnancy test produces the result by detecting the presence of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine or blood. When the embryo gets attached with the uterine lining, hCG is started to produce and builds in the placenta. It happens within a few days of pregnancy and consciously builds up rapidly.

So, when hCG is found in your blood or urine, it is confirmed that you are pregnant. For this reason, a positive test result is correct in most cases and a negative test result is not much reliable. If you are having pregnancy symptoms and still got a negative result, perform the test after a few days of the first test.

When To Take Pregnancy Test?

Are you thinking that you are pregnant and wondering how soon can you take a pregnancy test?

The real proof lies in the pregnancy test. However, you might suspect or hope to be pregnant before a missed period if you have other pregnancy symptoms. If you are getting these pregnancy signs, it is time to go for a pregnancy test. So, what are the first signs of pregnancy? Read below;

Most Common Symptoms of Pregnancy

Most Common Symptoms of PregnancyMost common pregnancy symptoms are those that are found in most cases among most of the pregnant women. If you are having some of these symptoms, it is probably the fact that you are getting pregnant. Read more to learn more!

Missed Period

If your menstrual cycle is not regular and you have missed a period, it possible that you are pregnant. The most common sign of pregnancy is the missed period.

Swollen and Tender Breasts

The hormonal change in your body causes some discomfort to your breast. However, after a few weeks, your breast will feel normal again as your body starts adjusting with the hormonal change.

Nausea Without or With Vomiting

Morning sickness like nausea can strike at any moment of the day and night. Nausea may come with or without vomiting and it starts after a month of your pregnancy. However, there are some women who never face nausea and some may face it more early than others.


Fatigue is also another early symptom of pregnancy. A lot of women face these symptoms at the early stage of pregnancy. The hormonal change in the body might cause this symptom to appear.

Frequent Urination

If you are pregnant, you might need to urinate more frequently than usual. During pregnancy the number of blood increases. Your kidneys then need to process more fluids producing more urine.

These are the highest common early symptoms of pregnancy. If you are finding them, it is best to take the test. However, there are still some other reasons for every symptom. So, an accurate test will be needed to be really sure about what is going on with your body.

Other Pregnancy Symptoms

Apart from the primary and common symptoms, there are still some other symptoms that may appear during the time of pregnancy. These symptoms are not widely common, still, these are the signs that a pregnancy is on the way. The symptoms are;

Food Aversions

During the pregnancy time, you might be more sensitive and sense a different taste and smell for certain types of foods. The hormonal change of your body causes this effect.


Similar to other factors, the increased hCG of your body may slow down your digestive system causing constipation.


Cramping is another early symptom of pregnancy. You might face cramping similar to those happens before period.

Light Spotting

It also found that a lot of pregnant women spot a small amount of light in the early stage of pregnancy. This symptom is also called implantation bleeding and it happens when the fertilized egg is attached to the lining of the uterus.


Hormonal change in the body of a pregnant woman may also make you feel bloated, similar to those starts before the menstrual period.


Mood swings are very common among women who are getting pregnant. The increased amount of hormone affects both the body and mind making a woman highly emotional and sometimes weepy.

These are less obvious symptoms, but you might experience them during the first few months of your pregnancy. However, to be really sure, take the pregnancy test. If you are having negative pregnancy tests one at least for twice and still having some of these symptoms, it is best to consult with your doctor. You might be a victim of a disease without knowing it.

How Fast Can You Take A Pregnancy Test After Unprotected Sex?

How Soon Can You Take A Pregnancy Test After Unprotected SexMost of the pregnancy tests that you buy from the drugstore are best to detect pregnancy after a missed menstrual cycle. There are only a few tests available that can detect pregnancy before you missed a period.

Pregnancy never starts on the day a couple has sex. It generally takes 4 to 6 days after the intercourse for the sperm to join with the egg and fertilize it. It takes around 6 more days to implant the fertilized egg in the lining of the uterus. When it is successfully done, the pregnancy starts. For this reason, you can reduce the chance of pregnancy by taking an emergency contraception within 5 days of the unprotected sex.

So, the overall scenario here is that, if the egg is fertilized after sex and it travels to the uterus and successfully implants itself in the uterus wall, hCG the pregnancy hormone starts to appear in the blood and urine.

For this reason, you can take highly sensitive tests minimum 8 days after the conception before a missed period. However, the drawback of early tests is that you might get an incorrect result as the levels of hCG production varies from person to person and you might not produce enough hCG to be detected in the early stage of pregnancy.

For the above-mentioned reasons, it is always best to take a pregnancy test after you missed your first period. However, if do not know whether your period is delayed or missed, it is best and recommended to take the pregnancy test after 21 days of an unprotected sex.

How Soon Will A Pregnancy Test Read Positive?

How Soon Will A Pregnancy Test Read PositiveMost doctors and physicians recommend taking a home pregnancy test on the first day of a missed period. A missed menstrual cycle is the most accurate symptoms of pregnancy. It happened generally after two weeks of conception.

However, there are some highly sensitive tests which can detect pregnancy very earlier. The hCG concentration is measured using the milliInternational Units which refers to mIU. It is also calculated with the amounts of 1/1000th of an IU per milliliter. For this reason, a pregnancy test that has the sensitivity of 20IU/L is much more sense if you compare it with the one with sensitivity 50 IU/L.

A blood test at a clinic or hospital is more sensitive compared to the home-based testing if the test is administrated correctly. You can perform a blood test between 8 to 12 days after conception. You can do these early tests before starting your period. But be careful, as these tests may produce a false negative result. A false negative result is that when your test result is negative, but actually you are pregnant. So, if you have a negative result and your period is missed, take another test.

How Accurate is Home Based Test Result?

How Accurate is Home TestWhile testing at home, you might think that, will it provide the accurate result? Is the result reliable? The answer is simple. Home-based test results are highly accurate. Around 97% of home-based test results are accurate if you perform the test accurately. Some home kits also provide 2 tests as mistakes can happen. To get an accurate result, do not test too early as you may receive a false negative result.

The pregnancy hormone hCG requires time to rise to a high level so that it can be detected by the test. For this reason, if you get a false negative result and still worried about the pregnancy, perform the test a few days later.

Like a false negative, you might get a false positive result as well. The false positive result is that when you are not pregnant but your result says you are. However, the rate of false positive is very rare and if a test result says you are pregnant, it is pretty sure you are.

Some Products for Testing Pregnancy

There are several types of products available in the market. We have discussed the most common kinds here. However, do not forget to look for new products as new and improved products are continuously coming in the market.

First Response Early Result

It can detect pregnancy 6 days before, calculating from the day you missed your period. So, it is 5 days before the due date of your period.


It can detect pregnancy 4 days before the due date of your pregnancy

Asda home pregnancy test

It can detect pregnancy 4 days before the due date of your period.

Predictor Early Pregnancy Test

It can detect pregnancy 4 days before the due date of your period. However, the packaging says it can detect pregnancy 5 days before the missed period, which is the day after the due date of your period.

Superdrug Pregnancy Test

It can detect pregnancy 4 days before the due date of your pregnancy.

These are the most common and well-known brand of early pregnancy test. There are other brands and products are also available. If you do not want to get the early result, you can try the normal pregnancy taste products designed to provide results after you missed your period.

The Best Early Pregnancy Test

Best Early Pregnancy TestSo, among all of the test methods which one is the best pregnancy test if you consider the fact that, how soon can you take a pregnancy test.

The accuracy of an early pregnancy test depends on its sensitivity to the hCG, the pregnancy hormone. The more the sensitivity, the more accurate it will be.

Currently, one of the earliest pregnancy tests is the First Response Early Result. You can take this test 5 days before the period. However, the accuracy of this test is only 62%, which is a lot more like tossing a coin. The good news here is that the accuracy increases after passing every day, reaching 99% for the day before the period starts.

There are also some other early tests available among which E.P.T. and Clearblue are worth mentionable. However, if you want near 100 percent accuracy, you should wait and test when you are sure that you missed your period.


Getting pregnant can happen at any time. If you are hoping pregnancy or worried about it, an accurate test result can provide the answer you seek. But the questions remains, how soon can you take a pregnancy test? For the most correct result, it is best to test the after you missed your period. You can still perform pregnancy between 8 to 12 days after conception, but the accuracy remains very low, whatever technique you use.

After reading this document, I believe you have got sufficient knowledge of how early can you take a pregnancy test. Please write us back if you need more information. Best wishes for your pregnancy test!

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I am Dr. Pamela H. Young and a specialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine or, perinatology. I got a Doctoral Degree and a Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Parma, and a Fetal Medicine Foundation Diploma in Fetal Medicine at the Kings College, London, UK. I have been honing fetal-maternal medication in Reggio Emilia and Parma for more than 15 years, and I went about as a mentor and analyst for the Fetal Medicine Foundation, Italian Branch. But what I like most is my writing as a freelance blogger which I started back in 2010. As an expert, I know that maternity care is the most pivotal job for every mother and her family. With my writings, I try to inform my readers about the proper maternity care, how to manage health concerns of the mother and fetus prior to, during, and shortly after pregnancy. As a doctor, it's my duty to help people provide with proper medicare and information about healthcare. Through the blog, I am just doing a part of that job. I am happily married to a heart surgeon, and we have three daughters, residing in Brooklyn.


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