The Right Time To Take a Pr...

A pregnancy test if not taken at the correct time, can give out inaccurate results. If you are on your journey to experience motherhood, here's everything you need to know about the right time to take a pregnancy test.

Natural Pregnancy

Natural pregnancy is when you have planned and become pregnant without using any artificial methods of pregnancy. In these cases, a lot of mothers-to-be question 'how soon after Intercourse can you test for pregnancy'.
To those asking 'can I take a pregnancy test too early', these can be taken anytime you feel and there's no harm in it. However, to obtain accurate results in case of natural pregnancy, you need to take a pregnancy test at least 2-3 weeks after you have had sex.
Ideally, if the test shows negative, you should wait until the date of your period. Taking a pregnancy test a week after you have missed your period would be the right time to take a pregnancy test.
Note that it is not about how soon after Intercourse can you test for pregnancy, but rather how soon after Intercourse can a pregnancy test detect the pregnancy accurately.

Unplanned Pregnancy

In case you have had unprotected sex and have missed your periods, you should also check with a home pregnancy test 1-2 weeks after you have missed your periods.
Periods can be missed due to many reasons that are not pregnancy related. If you have had lesser physical activity as compared to your regular days this month or if you have had a change in diet, stress levels or medications, it can very well be the factor that's causing a delay in your period.
Around 5 days of delay in a period is considered to be normal. Periods might Arrive on their own. However, a period that is delayed for more than 5-6 days from when it was expected to arrive, might be a cause for concern. This might be a good time to take a pregnancy test and connect immediately to your doctors.

Pregnancy through IVF Embryo Transfer

If you have opted for pregnancy through an IVF Embryo transfer, they would usually tell you about the 2ww which is the 2 weeks waiting period. During this period the inserted fetus would grow and attach itself to the uterus. Every day in these 14 days is a period of growth and development for the fetus.
The period between these 14 days is measured as DPT meaning days past transfer. For example, 3 DPT, 4 DPT, 5 DPT and so on. This means three, four and five days after the embryos have been transferred to the uterus.
If you have opted for an IVF pregnancy then ideally an accurate pregnancy result can only be found after the 2ww, i.e., the two weeks waiting period. However, a lot of women ask can I take a pregnancy test too early. Taking a pregnancy test at 6 DPT can be a start.
When undertaking any pregnancy tests before the 2ww period, it is important to know that these are not the final results. As the days pass by, the fetus can develop more and the most accurate result will only be available after the 2ww period. Hence 14 DPT is the right time to take a pregnancy test.

How to Take a Pregnancy Test

Along with the right time to take a pregnancy test, it is also important to take it in the right way by following all the correct steps to take a pregnancy test to obtain accurate results.
Let's see some dos and don'ts on how to take a pregnancy test:

1. Don't hold the stick under the urine stream
Even though most user manuals say it to be done this way, it increases the chances of errors and a huge mess. If the test has a paper section to showcase the links of pregnancy, there are high chances of urine falling on the test and a false alarm coming up.
To ensure proper testing, take your urine in a small plastic cup and then dip the stick in the cup for the said time. Some pregnancy tests also come with little droppers which can be used to pick and drop some drops of urine from the cup onto the test.

2. Wait for the right time
Don't read the stick too early and also don't let it sit for too long. See the exact amount of time the pack instructs you to keep a stick and keep it exactly for that amount of time. Some here and there in timings may confuse you.
The non-digital tests that use paper to show lines denoting pregnancy might have evaporation lines. This is where one line is already present and the other one can also be seen in a slightly faint pink. These evaporation lines may confuse you into thinking you are pregnant. Similarly reading the result too early might result in you thinking you're pregnant.

3. Mornings are the right time!
Does it matter what time you take a pregnancy test? Yes, it sure does! Mornings are the best time to take a pregnancy test during the day. This is because the HCG levels in your body aggravate and accumulate over time.

4. Avoid drinking a lot of water before taking the test
Drinking lots of water can dilute the urine and cause hormone levels to alter. Taking a test right after drinking lots of water will result in diluted hormone levels in the urine which is not the best time to take a pregnancy test during the day.
Hence, take a test again in such a case and try to get it done first thing in the morning after you wake up without eating or drinking anything.

Final Words 

How soon after Intercourse can you test for pregnancy, you ask? We have answered!

Hope you have found the right time to take a pregnancy test. For women undergoing different types of pregnancies, there are different right timings based on your situation. Consult with your doctors and prepare your plans accordingly!