When to take a pregnancy test

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When to take a pregnancy test

Do you think you are pregnant? When to do and how to do the pregnancy test? Is it better to do it in the evening or in the morning? When do you start producing Beta HCG? To remove the doubt, you can do it already from first day of delayed menstruation a pregnancy test (although some tests are sensitive even a few days before the date on which the menstruation was expected).

In this article

  • When to take a pregnancy test
  • How the pregnancy test works
  • Can I get tested before my period is delayed?
  • If the test is negative but you still think you are pregnant?
  • Are there false positives and false negatives?
  • Is it better to take the test in the morning or in the evening?
  • How much does a pregnancy test cost?

When to take a pregnancy test

Responds, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pavia and gynecologist at the Pliclinico San Matteo in Pavia: "The test must be done when the menstrual cycle is late compared to its canonical 'schedule', or particular symptoms are felt, how:

  • feeling excessively fatigued during the day;
  • falling asleep in the evening after dinner;
  • feeling nauseous or uncomfortable with certain smells and tastes;
  • experience excessive tension in the breasts or menstrual-like pains "

"Do-it-yourself tests from the supermarket or pharmacy are great," Nappi points out.

Does it make sense to take the pregnancy test before the delay?

"My advice is always to wait at least the first day of delay in menstruation, to avoid disappointments and exaggerated anxieties. We remind you that for the project of pregnancy the order word should always be no stress". 

How is the pregnancy test done?

The functioning of the DIY urine pregnancy test it's very simple. Follow the instructions in the kit and check the expiration date.

In general, it is usually enough to place the appropriate strip under the urine stream for a few seconds, or dip it into the urine collected in a clean container and the result will arrive after a few minutes. Read the results it's very simple: the package insert that accompanies the kit clearly explains how to do it.

In traditional tests there is a window with a single line: in case of pregnancy the lines become two, while if you are not pregnant there is only one line left. In digital tests, writings may appear in place of lines 

  • you're pregnant
  • or you are not pregnant

or smiley faces:

  • smiling when pregnant,
  • sad otherwise. 

What if the result has a very fine line?

In the event of a doubtful answer, if the dashes are very light or if the result is unclear, the test is considered positive.

Can the pregnancy test be wrong?

They are usually reliable and the success rate reported by the industries that produce them is 97%. But be careful not to take an expired test.

Pregnancy test, when to do it? Listen to the answer from the podcast.

How the pregnancy test works: the measurement of beta-hCG

Pregnancy tests that you can buy at a pharmacy or supermarket, or those based on urinalysis that you can do in a specialized laboratory, are all based on the same principle. In fact, they measure the presence in the urine of Beta HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone that is produced by the trophoblast (the outline of the placenta) starting from the moment of implantation of the embryo in the uterus, that is to say approximately 6-7 days after conception.

When do you start producing Beta HCG?

As soon as its production begins, the hormone first passes into the sangue - where it can be detected as early as 7-10 days after conception - and after a few more days it is disposed of in the urine. The latest generation stick pregnancy tests allow to detect it 12-14 days after fertilization, that is from the first day of delay in menstruation, or in some cases even from two to four days before.

How do you read a pregnancy test

Two dashes appear on the display if you are pregnant, but it can happen that sometimes it is difficult to distinguish them or that only one is marked. If the result is unclear and the second line appears even if faded, it goes anyway considered positive.

Can I get tested before I have a period delay?

If you take the test too early, there is a risk of a false negative. It can also generate anxieties and disappointments. 

Some believe it may make sense to get tested this early if the woman has a very regular period. Otherwise, it is better to wait a few more days, so as not to risk having a result false negative, due to the fact that the concentration of hCG in the urine is still too low.

Read also: All about the menstrual cycle

When can I take an early pregnancy test?

It is possible to take a pregnancy test before the delay making use of early pregnancy test: they are home kits that can be used four to five days before the hypothetical start of the menstrual cycle (as long as it is not too close to intercourse).

If the test is negative but you think you are pregnant?

If the test is negative but you still think you are pregnant and your period does not come, you may want to repeat it after a few days.

Are there false negatives and false positives?

The tests to be done independently at home are reliable.

False positives

False positives they are limited to very rare cases, such as cancer of the ovaries that produce Beta-hCG or drugs that stimulate ovulation. Or it can happen after an abortion (even 20-25 days after the interruption) or in peri and postmenopausal women in which the base beta is higher than normal.

False negatives

False negatives they may be more frequent. For example, if conception was later than expected or if you are using hormonal contraceptives, breastfeeding or unrecognized threats of abortion. For this reason it is always prudent to repeat the test after a few days.

When to take the test? In the morning or in the evening?

"If possible, it is better to perform the test on the first urine of the morning"declares Nappi." Even if those currently on the market are valid and sensitive and the risk of false positives (ie the test says that the woman is pregnant but it is not true) and false negatives (ie the woman is pregnant but the test he says no) it's very rare, it's always good to do things right ".

This is unless there is a valid reason to take the test in the middle of the afternoon or in the middle of the night: "For example an annoying disturbance that alarms you. Then it's okay at any time, and if the test is negative you can. repeat the next day in the morning ".

Read also: Pregnancy tests, false positives and false negatives

How much does a pregnancy test cost?

The cost of a home pregnancy test goes up from 10 to 20 euro. To save money, you can buy them online.

Online pregnancy tests
These are the quizzes that give information on the possible start of a pregnancy. They are very popular on the web, but beware, they have no scientific validity.

Sources for this article: website babycentre.co.uk; consultancy from the professor, gynecologist at the Policlinico San Matteo in Pavia.


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Questions and answers

When to take a pregnancy test?

The pregnancy test should preferably be done from the first day of delayed menstruation.

How much does a pregnancy test cost?

The cost can vary from 12 to 20 euros depending on whether it is a normal or digital test. 

Where can I buy a pregnancy test?

Pregnancy tests are sold in a pharmacy or supermarket. Most are packaged in one or two stick boxes.

Do online pregnancy tests work?

No, the tests you find online in quiz format have no scientific value.

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