How Early Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

You asked and you shall now receive. It’s only fair for us to share all of this stored up knowledge about having a baby and what is going on with your body during those nine (really ten) months. We will now answer, in a very public forum, all of those burning questions about having a baby. Each month, we will tackle a commonly-asked question from the point of view of an expectant parent. Chiming in to give feedback will be an expert (you know – someone who does this for a living). Earmark, share and add your own input to today’s question – it’s good karma.

How early can a woman take a pregnancy test?

In a world with information at our fingertips, an app for any need, and resources just a keystroke away, it can often be nerve wracking that we do not have a distinct indicator light on our body that blinks green for “pregnancy” and red for “try again” directly after orgasm. Maybe one day… but for now, the typical wait time is just shy of two weeks – so longer than a Google search, but shorter than most furniture deliveries or getting a passport (to look on the bright side!)

There are two tests for determining pregnancy – the urine test and the blood test. Both of these techniques work by measuring the presence of the hormone hCG in your system. Urine tests are suggested to be administered the first day of your missed period and are touted to be 97% accurate as long as it is done correctly. Blood tests can detect pregnancy a bit earlier than urine tests (7-14 days after possible conception), but must be done in your doctor’s office.

Most women opt for the urine test as it is the easier and most cost effective option and can be done in the privacy of your home. To determine pregnancy, it is the classic “pee on the stick” method, which will measure the amount of hCG in your system and will come with clear instructions of what you are looking for to get a positive result – a solid line or symbol are the most common. If you test negative and it is on the earlier side (14 days or less from potential conception), most products recommend retesting in two more weeks to get confirmation.

In the days before we can get definitive results, it’s extremely challenging not to be overwhelmed with a bevy of emotions – from excitement, to worry, to nervousness, and envisioning all the different outcomes! All we can think is, “I want to know now!” But alas, as with parenting, we have to call upon patience to guide us through the unknown, trusting that what is a mystery will soon be known – that the waiting is the hard part. Good luck!

Expert: Renee Sullivan

Renee Sullivan, parent coach and Founding Director of Mommybites support groups, works with moms each week to create their own personal parenting plan that is right for them, while making sure that each mom gets the support, resources, and community they need for their parenting journey. Drawing from her experience as an birth coach and educator, she guides moms – new, seasoned and expectant through the never – ending array of decisions that come with having a child. Weekly sessions that are “nurturing, informative, and fun” and her “calm-laid back personality” has made her a “dynamic resource” to the parenting community since 2006. Renee’s positive, warm and enthusiastic personality relaxes and guides new and expectant moms to enjoy the journey and her personal attention to detail allows all parents that work with her to quickly get the resources they need to feel at ease to make informed and educated decisions. Before joining Mommybites, she narrowly escaped the trenches of Corporate America where she was a Senior Project Manager for The New York Times, Morgan Stanley and Pfizer. She lives in New York City and is the mom of one happy kindergartener.

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