When is The Best Time to Take a Pregnancy Test?

The Best Time to Take a Pregnancy

Is there a better time than any other to do a pregnancy test? Let’s not keep the suspense going. The answer is, without a doubt, YES! Patience is generally not the prerogative of women waiting for a crucial response such as pregnancy. So we are often tempted to jump on the first pregnancy test to get an answer. However, it is important to follow a few rules before you start. And most importantly, you will need to determine the best time to perform a pregnancy test. 

The female cycle

Women generally have a 28-day ovarian cycle, consisting of three phases: 

  • The follicular phase: from about the 1st to the 14th day of your cycle. A maturing follicle will expel an egg from the ovary. This one will slowly descend to the uterus. 
  • Ovulation: This is when the mature follicle expels an egg from the ovary. The ovulation phase lasts only 24 hours. 
  • The luteal phase: this is the last phase of the ovarian cycle. After ovulation, the follicle becomes what is called the “corpus luteum” and produces progesterone. The uterine mucosa (endometrium) will then become saturated with blood, to thicken and be able to accommodate the fetus. If there is no fertilization, the hormone level drops and the endometrium empties: these are the rules. 

Pregnancy test: knowing your menstrual cycle

Whether you have a long or short cycle, the luteal phase always lasts 14 days. Essential data to properly calculate your ovulation date. 

For women with a 28-day cycle, ovulation occurs 14 days after the first day of menstruation. But some women have a longer cycle: 29, 30, 31 days… They do not ovulate 14 days after the first day of menstruation but 15, 16, 17 days later. 

To find out if you are pregnant, some signs are obvious. To discover here: Am I pregnant? 

How does a pregnancy test work?

First of all, I think it is important to explain how a pregnancy test works. 

A pregnancy test has a tab that will react to contact with the beta-HCG hormone. This hormone is produced during pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs, this hormone will cause the tongue to react and make the test positive. 

The beta-HCG hormone is detectable in the blood from the 10th day of pregnancy but the sensitivity of the tests sold in pharmacies does not always allow, at this stage, to detect a pregnancy. A blood test is more insightful on this point. Depending on the dosage of the hormone, it is thus possible to date a pregnancy. It is thanks to her that we can determine the day of conception of a baby. At the beginning of pregnancy, the hormone level increases considerably from day to day until the 3rd month of pregnancy. 

This hormone, in addition to being detectable in the blood, is also detectable in the urine. That’s why we urinate on these magic sticks. 

 When to do a pregnancy test?

Are you two or three days late? You can do a urine pregnancy test that shows the level of beta HCG (pregnancy hormone). Sold in pharmacies or, from now on, also in supermarkets, you can make it at home. It is preferable to do this with the first urine in the morning, as it is more concentrated and contains a higher level of beta HCG. 

Negative pregnancy test: what to do? 

Is it negative? Do another one 3 or 4 days later if you don’t have a period. It is possible that the hormone level in your urine is still too low to be detected. That’s why, sometimes, you can have a negative pregnancy test and still be pregnant. 

In general, it is, therefore, better to wait a week for a “delay” before performing the urine test. 

Is a pregnancy test reliable? 

If the test is positive, the first reflex is to ask for confirmation through a blood test. This blood pregnancy test is done in the laboratory and, in addition to confirming or denying pregnancy, it can give you an idea of its stage thanks to the level of the beta-HCG hormone. 

A blood test to confirm pregnancy

If a desire to know if you are pregnant is too strong or if you already have a positive urine test, do a blood test in the laboratory: it will confirm your pregnancy (from the first day of late menstruation) and will indicate approximately since when you are pregnant. You can go to a laboratory without a prescription and request this test. The test measures plasma beta HCG levels, which are visible much earlier than urinary beta HCG. You can have the results on the same day. 

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