Her Health Women's Center
How Soon After Sex Can I Take a Pregnancy Test? Free Women’s Services in Sioux City and Le Mars, IA
Updated: Aug 16, 2022
Waiting to take a pregnancy test when you think you may be pregnant can be excruciating. If you’ve recently had unprotected sex or experienced contraception failure, you probably want to know as soon as possible.
Before you begin to worry or make any plans, taking a home pregnancy test is a good first step. Of course, if you want to skip the home test or you need to confirm your pregnancy, make an appointment today.
When Should I Take a Home Pregnancy Test?
Avoid Taking Your Pregnancy Test Too Early
The earlier you take a test, the less accurate it will be. Taking a test before you miss your period or less than two weeks after sex can cause a false negative. Some women take a test too early and assume they are not pregnant. This can be especially confusing if a woman spots or bleeds during her first trimester, making her believe she had her period.
What Is The "Two Weeks" Rule?
Some women test according to the “two weeks” rule, which is the period of time between ovulation and when a pregnancy can be detected on many home tests. This can provide accurate results for women with a predictable 28-day cycle and who ovulate once at a regular interval.
However, some women’s cycles are not as predictable, or medications such as birth control and antibiotics can change their cycle and ovulation date. Stress can also cause interruptions in a regular or typically predictable cycle.
After You Miss Your Period Is Best
The most optimal time to take a pregnancy test is after you realize your period is late. If your results were still unreadable or inconclusive, retake another pregnancy test the next day. For more accurate results, take the test when you first wake up. The hCG hormone is higher and more concentrated in the morning.
If the test is negative, but you still think you may be pregnant, wait a few more days and test again. HCG nearly doubles about every two days in early pregnancy. If the results are inconclusive (or the results are positive, but you’re still unsure), make an appointment with us and know for sure.
Next Step: Confirm Your Pregnancy
Taking a home pregnancy test is often the first step. We’re your second. At your pregnancy confirmation appointment and options consultation, we will evidence-based medical education on all your pregnancy options, including abortion, adoption, and parenting.
A home pregnancy test is an indicator of pregnancy, not a confirmation. That’s why you need an ultrasound to verify an intrauterine pregnancy. Usually 5-7 weeks after the first day of your last period is a good time to have your initial ultrasound.
Whether you are considering an abortion or are looking for pregnancy services, we're your go-to resource for options, answers, and support.
Our pregnancy services are provided at no cost to you and we do not benefit from any decision you make.