When can I take a pregnancy test?

Hamed Al-Taher

Obstetrician and gynaecologist

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You’ll get the most accurate result if you test around the time your period’s due, although it may depend on the test you’re using.

Pregnancy tests measure the amount of pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), in your urine.

Some pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others. The more sensitive tests may be able to detect low levels of hCG as early as four days before your period is due, which is usually about seven days after you’ve conceived.

The sensitivity of a pregnancy test is described on the packaging as mIU/ml (milli-international unit per millilitre). In general, pregnancy tests range in sensitivity from 10mIU/ml to 40 mlU/ml. The lower the number, the more sensitive the test, and the earlier it can detect pregnancy.

Every pregnancy is different, though. If you test too soon, even with a sensitive test, the amount of hCG in your urine may not be high enough to detect. Getting a false negative, when a test that says you’re not pregnant and you are, can be upsetting and confusing.

One woman in 10 can have very low levels of hCG levels at the time of a missed period. If you have a negative result, but still don’t get your period, test again in three days’ time. If you are pregnant, by then the levels of hormone may be high enough to be picked up by the test.

A blood test can also detect hCG. Blood tests are more sensitive than urine tests and may detect pregnancy from about six days to eight days after ovulation.

However, your GP won’t suggest a blood test for pregnancy until after your period is due, and only if there is a medical need. In these circumstances, tests are carried out at an early pregnancy assessment unit (EPAU).

Talk to others who are hoping to get pregnant by joining our Actively trying group.

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Last reviewed: December 2016

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Hi, I am 31 years old and have regular periods. Me and my husband have been trying for a baby from couple of period was due on 23.June and have missed the same by 10 days. Tired two home pregnancy test twice and both the time it was negative. I am not having any significant symptoms of pregnancy. But slight dizziness, fatigue, back pain from last few days. does this mean that I am pregnant?
Hi i dnt knw whether am preg but I go to toilet each and every time and i have cravings.
Me and my husband is trying for last 3 mnths.. My period was due on 19th of july.. Luckily i missed my periods this mnth for the first time in my life.. the blood test we took on 23rd of july says negative... And my periods didn't show up till now... I am very confused whats goings on... There is a mild pain in my stomach feels fuller and i always have a mild pain in my abdomen... Today in the morning i was feeling little bit dizzy.. i never had any pimples on my face ever now my entire chin is covered with pimples for the first time in my life and i forgot to mention i am 25 yrs old... Please help me i am very confused... Shall i keep hopes or is it a missed cycle for the first time in my life... Whats happening i just can't figure out..
The best way if you are trying to conceive is use a fertility tracker app. It records your cycle and let's you know the days you are fertile. I use ovia fertility. It's free.
I want to conceive and I have been having sex during my ovulation period yet no way pls I want to know the best time to hav a baby
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