You’ve missed your period. One of the first thoughts that may be racing through your mind is “am I pregnant?” Your next stop is the local store to buy an early pregnancy test.
But how accurate are these pregnancy tests? And how soon after your missed period can you take one?
We’ll tackle your early pregnancy test FAQs.
“While early pregnancy tests are pretty accurate, there are several things that can affect them. If your home pregnancy test is positive, it’s important to contact us for an appointment,” said Dr. Carrie Miller. “We’ll confirm your pregnancy and calculate how far along you are. This will enable us to start your prenatal care to help you have a healthy pregnancy.”
Early Pregnancy Tests FAQ
How Accurate Are Home Pregnancy Tests?
You may be surprised to find that home pregnancy tests are fairly accurate—around 99 %–however, a large part of this hinges on your using them properly and if you use them at the right time.
In addition, you could get a false negative if you’ve only recently missed a period. They may also not be accurate if you’re on certain medications or fertility drugs.
You may also get a false positive if you are approaching menopause. A false positive means that you have a positive result even though you are not pregnant.
We go into a little more depth about the accuracy of home pregnancy tests in our earlier article: How Accurate Are Home Pregnancy Tests
When Should I Take a Home Pregnancy Test?
Take it the day after your first missed period. Why? Because at the earliest stages of placental formation, trophoblastic tissue releases a hormone called HCG (short for human chorionic gonadotropin). This is the hormone that home pregnancy tests look for in order to determine whether or not you’re pregnant.
The issue is that if you take the pregnancy test too early—before the placenta starts to form—you won’t get accurate results.
If the result of your test is negative but you still believe you may be pregnant, try repeating the test one week after your missed period. However, if you believe you’re pregnant, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with one of us so we can help you find the answers.
You can find more information in our previous article, How Soon After Sex Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?
Can Irregular Periods Affect Home Pregnancy Test Results?
If you have irregular periods, the situation can become more complicated. It can affect the time when you would get the most accurate results.
If you have irregular periods, and you think you may be pregnant, we encourage you to contact us. Not only will we be able to complete an accurate pregnancy test, but we can get to the heart of the issue as to why you are having irregular periods. This is very important because your menstrual flow says a lot about your general gynecological health.
What Time of Day Should I Test?
You should take the test first thing in the morning because this is typically when your urine is the most concentrated. Remember to avoid excessive fluid intake before you test.
Are There Any Conditions That Can Affect the Result?
As we mentioned earlier, fertility drugs or treatment can affect the results. In addition, the following may influence your results:
- Irregular periods may cause you to test too soon
- If you have recently been pregnant
- You have an ovarian cyst
If you have any result that is unexpected or confusing, please contact us.
We’ll Answer All Your Questions About Pregnancy Tests and Tailor a Plan Just for You
Awaiting the results of a pregnancy test can be stressful. It can be even more stressful when you have EPT pregnancy FAQs.
But that’s why we’re here: to be your resource and your support through every step of your life’s journey. Whether you’re hoping to expand your family or you’re wondering what type of birth control is right for you, our expertise and experience –coupled with compassionate care—are here to help you.
With two convenient locations in Chapel Hill and in Durham, we offer the extensive resources of a larger practice with the personalized care of a smaller one. See why we’re the provider of choice for women in Chapel Hill and Durham.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.