How Quickly Does A Pregnancy Test Work


How Quickly Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Pregnancy tests are one of the earliest tools used to determine if a person is pregnant. As the technology behind these tests has advanced over the years, so have the questions people have about them. How quickly do pregnancy tests work? How soon after conception can you test?

The Basics of Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy tests use a special kind of test strip that measures levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. This hormone is only present in pregnant women, so its presence in a sample can be used to indicate whether someone is pregnant or not. The higher the level of hCG, the more likely it is that the person is pregnant.

How Quickly Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

The answer to this varies, but most home pregnancy tests claim to be accurate after about 48 hours of a missed period. Some brands are even more sensitive, and can detect hCG at lower levels — meaning they might be able to tell you sooner.



Timeline of Results

Here’s a general timeline of when you might be able to get accurate results from a home pregnancy test:

  • When the embryo implants: 0 to 4 days after conception
  • First day of missed period: Around 14 days after conception
  • Days after missed period: Most home tests claim to be accurate 11–14 days after a missed period
  • Weeks after missed period: Tests may be accurate after 4 weeks or more

Factors That Affect Results

The accuracy of home pregnancy tests may vary depending on several factors. These include:

  • Sensitivity: Different types of pregnancy tests have different levels of sensitivity to hCG. Generally, tests claiming to give accurate results sooner (in 1–2 weeks) are less sensitive, and may not detect a pregnancy in its very early stages
  • Time of day: Peeing in the morning gives you the best chance of providing an accurate sample — since levels of hCG in your body increases as time passes
  • Medication: Certain medications, such as fertility drugs, can affect the accuracy of a pregnancy test

Summary

Overall, most home pregnancy tests claim to be accurate after 48 hours of your missed period. Depending on the brand, some may be accurate as early as 1–2 weeks. Factors like medication and the time of day you take the test could affect the results. If you’re not sure about the accuracy of the test, it may be best to wait a few days and try again.

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