Home pregnancy tests detect the presence of a specific pregnancy hormone
present in urine and are, according to the American Pregnancy
Association, 97 percent accurate when taken correctly. Part of taking
them correctly is taking them at the right time. If taken too early, the
test could yield a false negative. In order to determine when the
proper timing is for a home pregnancy test, a woman must calculate when
she should have begun menstruating.
Things You Will Need
Pencil and paper
Home pregnancy test
Write down the date of the first day of your last menstrual period.
According to Teen Health.org, the average menstrual cycle length is 21
to 45 days. This is the starting point for calculating your fertile
dates and the dates when you can take a home pregnancy test.
Count forward 14 days if you know you have a regular 28 day cycle. The
three days before this date to the three days after this date are the
days you're most likely to be fertile, however fertile days differ from
woman to women and cycle to cycle. Ovulation usually occurs in the
middle of a woman's menstrual cycle or two weeks before menstruation for
irregular length cycles. Count forward 15 days from your estimated
ovulation date (or 29 days from the first day of your last cycle for
regular 28 day cycles) to determine the date you can first take a
pregnancy test. According to The American Pregnancy Association, urine
tests are most accurate at least one day after a missed period.
Calculate when to take a pregnancy test for irregular cycles by first
recording what information you know about your previous cycle. Write
down which days you had unprotected intercourse, which days you showed
signs of ovulation, like egg-white discharge, and write down the date of
your last menstrual cycle. Calculating when to take a test for these
cycles can be more difficult. According to Baby Center.com, it takes
approximately two weeks after unprotected intercourse for urine
pregnancy tests to accurately display a positive result. Count forward
14 days from the dates of unprotected intercourse and take your test
then. If you've had unprotected sex on multiple occasions, take a test
weekly until you get your period or until it has been three weeks or
more since your last unprotected sex. Test the third week after your
last unprotected intercourse in case your two week test yielded a false
negative. This can happen if your hormonal levels aren't yet strong
enough in your urine to produce a positive result.
Wait a week before taking another test if your first test was negative.
This will give the pregnancy hormones
time to build to detectable levels
in your body and save you from spending extra money on pregnancy tests.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, some tests are more
sensitive than others. Women's bodies produce pregnancy hormones at
Schedule an appointment with your doctor for a blood test if your home
pregnancy test or tests were negative, but you still haven't gotten your
period, or if you show other signs of pregnancy, like breast tenderness
or nausea. There's no set time frame for scheduling an appointment with
your doctor. Women who want to know right away can schedule
appointments as early as a day ofter a missed period. Your health care
provider may recommend you wait one to two weeks to see if your period
Tips & Warnings