Many women who expect or suspect they may be pregnant may be anxious to have an early pregnancy test to negate or confirm a pregnancy.
Women who are looking to get pregnant may be anticipating the joy of being pregnant whereas women with an unplanned pregnancy may want to know early so that they can consider their options.
How soon can you take an early pregnancy test?
The home pregnancy test kits that are available over the counter at the pharmacy work by detecting the level of the pregnancy hormone, hCG that is present in the urine. These test kits usually work about the time that a woman would have missed her first period.
This would be roughly 4 weeks after her the first day of her last monthly period (LMP) and roughly two weeks after ovulation (or conception). Taking the pregnancy test any earlier will probably result in a negative even if a woman is pregnant.
Is there any early pregnancy test that can be taken before the first missed period?
It is possible to take a pregnancy test before the time that a woman misses her first period. The Quantitative blood (serum beta) tests can give results before the urine based tests can. Whereas the blood tests detect hCG levels as low as 1 mIU/mL and may yield results as soon as 6 or 8 days after ovulation, the home based urine tests are less sensitive.
However the blood test is not available over the counter and nor can it be performed at home. If there is a pressing reason to find out whether or not a pregnancy has occurred, this very early pregnancy test may be conducted by the doctor.
Usually however this test is not offered to women who suspect they may be pregnant unless there is a medical reason for this.
How accurate are home pregnancy test kits?
Studies have shown that when they are used as directed, home pregnancy test kits are highly accurate. An early pregnancy test kit could show up a false negative if the test is done to early or if the woman has lower than normal levels of the hCG hormone in her system.
Inaccurate results can also be produced by from improper use. In some cases a faulty test kit or one that is past its expiration date may also give inaccurate results. In cases the pregnancy test may also show a false positive if she is taking hCG injections as part of a fertility treatment (though not all fertility treatments include hCG). In rare cases a false positive could also be the result of certain medical conditions such as some cancers.
How do you do a home pregnancy test?