Wednesday, 4 October 2017
pregnancy

When Can I take a Pregnancy Test after Sex? Knowing when to Test for Pregnancy

“When can I take a pregnancy test after sex?” is a common question among many women. You may have asked yourself the same question. Well, contrary to popular belief, you should not take this test immediately after having sex. Doing so would yield unreliable results. Instead, you have to wait a while before you take it i.e. if you want reliable results. Here are some insights on when to take a pregnancy test and any factors that might affect the accuracy of the results.

You need to practice patience to avoid taking a test just a few days after having unprotected sex. Taking the test at the right time increases your chances of getting reliable results. These results are reliable regardless of whether you took the test at the doctor’s office or if you bought an over-the-counter home pregnancy test. You are not alone if you have asked yourself the question, “When can I take a pregnancy test after sex?” Women who are eager to become mothers ask themselves the same question. Here are some insights on when to take a pregnancy test and any factors that might affect the accuracy of the results.

When Is The Earliest Time To Take At Home Pregnancy Test?

If you listen to many adverts, they will tell you that taking a test 4-6 days after sex will help you know whether you are pregnant or not. This, however, is just for advertisement purposes and taking a test that soon might not produce accurate results. You see, after engaging in unprotected sex, your body will detect that fertilization took place, in which case, it will produce a hormone known as hCG. It will take at least six days for your body to produce enough of these hormones.

Additionally, if you have a regular cycle, it will be easy for you to know when you are expecting your next period. A missed period might be a sign that you are pregnant. However, some pregnancy test brands promise to give your results before you miss a period. In case you are suspect that you may be pregnant, you can use these early detectors to confirm your suspicions.

Most tests strips are meant for use after a missed period. If you are a day or two late to receiving your periods, it is a sign that you might be pregnant and the body will have produced enough hCG to be detected by the test strip. However, in case you had sex around the time you were ovulating, you might consider waiting 10-14 days before taking a test and getting relatively accurate results.

How Many Weeks after Unprotected Sex Can I Test For Pregnancy

You need to understand that most over-the-counter tests depend on amount hCG in the urine to determine whether you are pregnant or not. The woman’s body usually produces the hormone after detecting that she is pregnant. Although the production might start immediately after fertilization takes place, the hormone is not sufficient to be detected until you are at least a week or two past the ovulation period.

If you are looking for highly accurate results, then you should take the test after you hit the 10th day of your ovulation. Sometimes, even the 10th to 14th date may give false result depending on your cycle and the day you had unprotected sex. The sperm stays viable in your body for five days, which means that if you had sex days before your ovulation date, there are chances that you became pregnant. However, fertilization did not take place on the exact day you had sex but rather, it took place on the day you ovulated. If you get a negative result after the 14th day, but your instincts tells you that you are pregnant, you should consider taking another test a few days to a week later.

Taking a Pregnancy Test If You Have an Irregular Cycle

If you have an irregular cycle, detecting whether you are pregnant or not is as hard as detecting whether you are ovulating. In this case, you should be attentive to your body to learn whether you are pregnant or not. If you experience early pregnancy symptoms such as unusual food cravings, nausea, and breast tenderness, you should consider taking a home pregnancy test. However, it gives you negative results, but you still have the symptoms, you should consider going to a doctor for a blood test. For most women with irregular cycles, blood tests are the only accurate tests that can confirm they are indeed expectant.

Factors That Affect Pregnancy Test Results

Sometimes, it is possible to get either a false negative or a false positive when you are doing a home pregnancy test. Either way, the results give false results depending on different factors.

Causes of False-Negative Pregnancy Results

• Taking the test too early- if you are impatient and take the test before the body can produce enough hCG hormones, you are going to get a false negative. Taking an early test happens if you are eager to conceive, but in this case, patience is a virtue that you need to practice.

• Diluted urine- if you take the test after downing a glass of water, your urine will be diluted, and hormone levels will be down. To avoid this false negative, consider taking the test early in the morning after waking up and before drinking anything.

• Failure of following instructions- each pregnancy test trip comes with instructions that you should follow. If you fail to follow these instructions and urine splashes on the strip, you are likely to get a false negative.

• Testing too late in the pregnancy- home pregnancy tests give results by detecting a certain amount of hCG in the urine. If you test when the pregnancy has advanced, the hormone levels will be too high for the test to pick. This is known as a, “hook effect” and it explains the reason some women do not realize they are pregnant despite taking tests until they give birth.

Causes Of False-Positive Pregnancy Results

• Chemical pregnancy- just because a test showed you are pregnant does not mean it is a viable pregnancy. The body may discover abnormality in the egg and hence cause a miscarriage even before you miss a period.

• Evaporation line- if evaporation lines form on the test strip, you might confuse it for a very faint second line. This reading mostly happens if you read the test after the recommended waiting time.

• Prescription medication- some prescribed drugs contain hCG, which the test can pick up in your urine. To avoid such inconvenience, it is advisable you take the test after you are done with the dose.

• Underlying medical problem- sometimes certain medical conditions such as kidney problem and UTI can alter your urine hence giving false positive after a test.

• Previous miscarriage or abortion- if you were recently pregnant but lost the pregnancy through either abortion or miscarriage, there might still be enough hCG traces that the pregnancy test can pick up.

Conclusion

To get accurate pregnancy test results, you should consider taking a test if you either missed a period. You should also take it if your breasts are hurting, if you have unexplained cramps, or if your contraception method bounces. If you do not trust home based pregnancy test, consider visiting your doctor for a blood test, as it is more accurate and can tell how old the pregnancy is.

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