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How soon you can take a pregnancy test to get the most accurate result

There are two options for when you want to find out if your baby is on board.

Most people use an over-the-counter at-home pregnancy test. However, you can also take a pregnancy test at a clinic. A blood test can also be done at a clinic.

Crystal Newby MD of Kansas City Ob-Gyn says that both tests are positive for the hormone human chorionic Gonadotropin (or hCG). This hormone is created when a fertilized egg attaches itself to your uterus wall. 

The egg attaches to the host 6 days after fertilization. During this time, your hCG levels will rise for 6-10 weeks. You can expect an accurate reading once your hCG levels have reached a certain level.

When is it appropriate to have a pregnancy test done?

A blood test can determine if a woman is pregnant based on her cycle.

Home pregnancy tests are less sensitive than blood tests, but they can detect hCG in blood tests. This hormone can be detected in lower quantities by blood tests and will tell you if your pregnancy is confirmed sooner than home tests.

Although blood tests are quicker than home pregnancy tests, they can take longer and cost more to perform. The lab must also be contacted to analyze the blood.

It will only take a few hours if the lab is located in-house. However, if the lab is located at a different place it may take several days for the results to be available.

When is it a good idea to have a home pregnancy test?

Many home pregnancy tests recommend that you take the test after your period has ended. You’ll be most fertile if you have a 28-day cycle.

If you are pregnant in that time window, you will need to wait at most 14 to 18 days before you can take a home pregnancy test.

If you receive a negative result, and you suspect that you are pregnant, please refer to the instructions. Most home pregnancy tests recommend that you retake the test five to seven days later. This will allow your body to have higher levels of hCG.

False negative results are also known as “false positive.” False negatives can sometimes be received if you wait too long to have a pregnancy test done.

Recent miscarriages, fertility drugs and rare hCG secreting tumors may also affect the results of home urine tests. If you have received conflicting results from multiple home pregnancy tests, your doctor may recommend a blood test.

Best at-home pregnancy tests

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We recommend and test the best home pregnancy tests. Take a look at our top picks.

  • Best overall: First Response Early Result, $9.22 on Amazon
  • Best test strips: Pregmate Pregnancy Test Strips, $21.95 on Amazon
  • The best digital: Clearblue Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown. $27.48 at Amazon
  • Best quick result: First Response Rapid Result, $8 on Amazon

What accuracy are pregnancy tests?

Blood pregnancy tests are considered to be 99 percent accurate by doctors. The most accurate blood tests are also known as beta hCG or quantitative blood tests. They can be used to determine the exact age of the foetus and help detect any abnormalities.

If you follow the instructions, home pregnancy tests can be as accurate as 97% to 99 percent. The accuracy of a urine pregnancy test performed in a laboratory setting like your doctor’s will be close to 99%. You should always verify the expiration date of your home pregnancy test as this can impact the accuracy of the results.

It’s crucial to confirm pregnancy by early ultrasound after taking a blood or urine test.

Insider’s takeaway

Home pregnancy tests are more convenient and faster than a blood test. However, you will likely have to wait longer for accurate results.

A blood pregnancy test can give accurate results within 6 to 14 days of conception. It can take several days for the lab to analyze the test.

To get the best home urine test readings, wait until you miss your period. This could occur anywhere from 14 to 18 days after conception. You can take a home test in 5 to 7 days if the results are negative. This will allow you to determine if your body has higher levels of detectable HCG.

Home pregnancy tests are 97% to 99% more accurate than blood tests. However, it is important to confirm your results with an ultrasound.

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