One of the most common questions that arises among women who are trying to get—or are concerned about being—pregnant is when to take a pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests, which involve detecting the presence of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the body, are generally quick, easy to take and—when done properly—about 97 percent effective, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Time of Month
The American Pregnancy Association advises women to wait until the first day of their missed period (approximately two weeks after conception) before attempting to take a home pregnancy test. Some home pregnancy tests, which are available over the counter, are able to detect hCG sooner than others. However, taking pregnancy tests early—or incorrectly—increases the likelihood of an inaccurate reading.
Time of Day
Pregnancy.org recommends taking a pregnancy test with your first morning urine to ensure the most accurate reading, as this is when the body’s hCG level is the highest. Alternatively, it’s best to wait a minimum of four hours after urinating before attempting to take a pregnancy test.
The HCG hormone may first appear 6 to12 days after ovulation when an egg is implanted; in fact, 84 percent of pregnancies implant 8 to10 days after ovulation occurs, according to BabyHopes.com. The time it takes for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus wall varies from one woman to the next, and taking a test this early may result in a false negative.