It doesn’t matter if you want to see two lines on your stick that indicate you are pregnant or if you just want to know if you aren’t, it can be difficult to know when to take a test. Although most women want to know as soon as possible, it is important not to start too early.
Your urine is tested for the hormone human chorionic Gonadotropin (or hCG) in home pregnancy tests. This hormone is secreted from an egg that has been implanted into the wall of the uterus. Although every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, the following days can be helpful:
- Day 1 refers to the first day of your period.
- Day 14 usually marks the time when ovulation takes place (when an egg has been released).
- Fertilization occurs usually within a few days of ovulation.
- Day 21 refers to the time when a fertilized egg implanted in the wall the uterus. This is usually 1 week before most women have their next period.
Day 21 (or one week before your next period) is when hCG will start to secrete and can be detected with a pregnancy test. But, just because your urine test came back negative on day 21, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not pregnant.
If the hCG levels are not high enough to detect, your test may be negative. Yes, it is possible for a pregnancy test to be inaccurate. Different tests can screen for different levels of hCG. You can check the instructions to find out which one is the most accurate. If your hCG levels fall below 25-50 mIU, these tests will usually return positive results.
There are several things you can do if you have a negative test result one week before your period. You can either wait until your period arrives to retest or you can do it at home. You can also call your midwife or doctor to request a blood test for pregnancy. It will detect hCG at all levels, so you can get your pregnancy test results much sooner.
Remember that a negative test early in pregnancy does not necessarily mean that your hCG levels have dropped or that there is something wrong. You could have ovulated on an alternate day or implantation occurred at a different time.