When Is the Right Time to Take an At-home Pregnancy Test?

If you’re trying to get pregnant or hoping to avoid pregnancy, timing is everything. Even with the most effective forms of birth control, nothing is fool-proof; an egg only needs one sperm to become fertilized. The idea of taking a pregnancy test may feel stressful, and minutes of waiting may feel like hours. That said, an over-the-counter pregnancy test is an easy way to determine your next steps.

An at-home pregnancy test can be found at your local pharmacy, and the results are known to be very accurate. These tests determine if human chorionic gonadotropin is present in your urine; HGC is a hormone that is only present in those who are pregnant. Pregnancy tests are 99% effective if taken at the right time, but when is the right time?

You’ve missed your period

The absolute best time to take a pregnancy test is after you’ve missed your period. This is one of the most common telltale signs of pregnancy. Make sure you’re tracking your ovulation cycle thoroughly, either through marking on a calendar or using a period tracking app on your phone; if you aren’t in tune with your cycle, it can be difficult to determine if you’re late.

A missed period does not necessarily mean you’re pregnant--a missed period can be a symptom of many things. Your diet, weight loss or gain, and stress can contribute to a missed period. That’s why it’s best to take a pregnancy test, in order to rule out or confirm your plan of action.

Your contraceptive failed

Whether you missed an oral contraceptive or the condom broke, there are numerous ways birth control can go awry. If there is a chance you weren’t completely protected during sex, it is imperative you take a pregnancy test. If you are able to use alternative contraception such as Plan B, that may be an avenue to explore as well.

Something feels “off”

No one knows your body better than you. If you are experiencing strange symptoms or engaging in activities you think may result in pregnancy, it won’t hurt to take a test. Pregnancy tests are an inexpensive price to pay for peace of mind, no matter what your plans are.

Pay attention to your body. If you experience symptoms such as nausea, food aversions or cravings, or frequent urination, it may benefit you to take a test. Early pregnancy is different for everyone, and your body will let you know if something is different. If you think you may be pregnant or are trying to conceive, our team is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, or to speak to an expert about contraception and family planning.

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