Waiting to take a pregnancy test can seem like torture when you are anxious to become a mother. When you consider how long to get a positive pregnancy test result, however, you may appreciate the patience and effort that precedes you finally getting that positive result for which you have longed. In fact, during the few weeks that you must wait to take a pregnancy test after having sex, you can prepare your body by eating well, taking prenatal vitamins, and getting plenty of rest. As you concentrate on getting your body ready for pregnancy, you can pass the time until you can test and get an accurate result.
That time frame generally stands at about two weeks after you ovulate and have sex. During those two weeks, the fertilized egg will have had time to implant itself in your uterus, and the cells for your baby’s placenta will have begun to form. These cells signal to your body that you are pregnant by creating a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. Typically this hormone can be detected by a test by 11 days after conception. However, after you have sex, it can take several days for you to actually conceive, putting this time frame for testing closer to two weeks.
By the time you hit the two week mark, you probably will have missed at least the first day of your period. If your cycles have always been like clockwork, with you starting your period on Day 14 of your cycle, this missed first day is your clue that you are probably pregnant. You can test on that first day or you can wait a day or two in case you are just late. By day three, you should be able to take a test and get an accurate result.
How Accurate Is A Positive Home Pregnancy Test?
Even the cheapest and lowest quality of home pregnancy tests on the market can give extremely accurate results. In fact, scientific studies have shown that tests sold at dollar stores perform just as well as their more expensive store and name brand counterparts. While no test can give a result with 100 percent accuracy, most tests can give at least a 97 to 99 percent accurate result. The key to getting the most accurate result, however, centers on when you take the test.
Some tests are designed to be used before you miss your period. For example, EPT Early Result can be used a few days before your period is scheduled to begin. It reports being able to pick up hCG in your blood about 11 days after you conceive. ClearBlue Easy pregnancy test is another brand that can be used before you miss your period. You can use this test one to two days before you expect your period to start. Both tests can indicate that you are at least four to five weeks pregnant.
Other tests are designed to pick up hCG by the second week after you conceive. These tests generally recommend that you test a day or two after you miss your period. To get the best result, you should not be taking any hormone-based medications that could alter your hormone levels in your body. You likewise should avoid testing while you are ill with conditions like pneumonia or the stomach flu. Even minor illnesses can throw off a test result. Most over-the-counter tests are just as accurate with their results as a blood test can be. The positive results give you the evidence you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor so you can begin prenatal care.
How Early Can You Get A Positive Pregnancy Test?
As noted, the earliest an over-the-counter test can pick up hCG in your blood is around 11 days after you conceive. Even so, it can be difficult to tell when you conceive after you have sex. Most women conceive within a one to two day window after ovulating and having sex. Other women have sex first, ovulate a few days afterward, and conceive in the next day afterward. Timing really is everything when it comes to getting pregnant. Unless you are extremely in tune with your body, you may have no idea when that timing took place.
However, many women have hunches that they did conceive and want to test right away. If you are confident that you got pregnant, you can test 11 to 12 days after you had sex. If you get a negative result, you can test again a few days later. Of course, if you miss your period, you should test the day after the first missed day. Waiting until you missed your period can give you a good, readable result on the testing strip.
By the time you miss your period, the cells that make up your baby’s placenta should be creating hCG in copious amounts. The level of hCG will continue to grow throughout your first trimester and taper off as you progress toward delivery.