You wake up. You’re just not feeling like you. It’s kind of a surprise, ‘cause it’s the 2nd day this week you’ve felt off kilter. As you’re shuffling your tired feet to the bathroom, you have a sudden thought. “Wait a sec…am I? No. I can’t possibly be…” It’s the thought that transcends culture, ethnicity or age group. It’s the life altering possibility of motherhood on the distant (or maybe not-so-distant) horizon.
Searching for your keys, throwing on your flip flops … you’re about to hop on down to your local convenience store (or send your significant other) so you can get the most accurate pregnancy test you can find & then figure out when to take your pregnancy test to *really* tell you if you’re pregnant.
While our “getting pregnant” stories differ between us, they usually end up in the same place. A mad dash to the “feminine isle” at a drug store to buy the most accurate pregnancy test money can buy.
So what’s the best pregnancy test to buy & what about when to take your pregnancy test?
All of these over the counter pregnancy tests look for one single thing … a hormone called hCG. Once you’re pregnant, hCG is the hormone your newly developing placenta sends to your ovaries. The hCG tells your ovaries “Hey ovaries, release more estrogen and progesterone hormones so we can get this party started in here.”
You want more estrogen and progesterone because they prepare your body for pregnancy. They thicken your uterine walls (protecting the embryo so it can grow into a baby), make your boobs grow into a milk factory (exciting news for some of us who have never had cleavage before) and give you that awesome “pregnant laugh” as my own mother remarked to me when I was pregnant the first two times.
In case you’re wondering what the heck a pregnant laugh is, it’s a raspy, breathy laugh which makes sense since I was pretty much constantly out of breath and especially when I laughed. Ha! (If you want more info on how your hormones help you and your baby, check out Dr. Buckley teaching you how pregnancy hormones help you.)
Back to hormones though- here’s the thing, for the hCG hormone to be produced, your fertilized egg has to be implanted onto your uterine wall. (It usually takes about 6 days for your fertilized egg to implant itself on your uterus’s wall.) So for that 6 day window when the fertilized egg is floating through your fallopian tubes (on its way to implant itself), you are pregnant, but will still get a negative pregnancy test. That’s called a false negative (which is more common than false positive- meaning the pregnancy test says you’re pregnant when you’re really not). Maybe you used the most accurate pregnancy test in the world, but guess what … your body didn’t produce any hCG yet, so the pregnancy test didn’t see it. The pregnancy test can’t see what isn’t there. Ya’ll with me?
When To Take Your Pregnancy Test?
Let’s get back to the bathroom for a sec. Remember that thought you had of “there’s no way…it’s not even possible for me to be pregs…right?” You might not think you’re pregnant, but did you know you can get pregnant 4 days after you have sex? Yep. It’s true. Sperm can live up to 5 days. Your eggs live for 24 hours max. So think about that, your egg could be fertilized by Mr. Sperm almost 5 days after sex. Those persistent 5 day old spermies swim around and meet your newly released egg. *Boom* … fertilization station.
So now we have to add on those 6 days before the hCG is produced (remember when the egg has to float down your fallopian tubes & into your uterine wall where it implants) ….you could easily take the test too early. And a lot of us do! It has nothing to do with the accuracy of the pregnancy test.
Knowing when to take your pregnancy test is important. This is why we’re all told to take a pregnancy test after our first missed period. Because that’s usually when the hCG is being pumped to the ovaries telling them to release all that estrogen & progesterone to prepare our bodies for pregnancy (to thicken the uterine wall, etc.). And your period, by definition, is the discarding of that uterine lining that was preparing itself for an embryo. If the fertilization never happened…all that “preparation” goes away via “your period”.
Something to remember … you might still be pregnant with light bleeding nearing your period date. When implantation occurs, often times women see spotting. You might think it’s your period when it’s not.
Assuming you’ve waited long enough for the hCG to be flowing….then the question is “which pregnancy test detects the hCG earliest?” According to scientific reviews (found here)…the most accurate pregnancy test is First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test. It detects the hCG in your body before the other tests do.
So How Do We Use the Most Accurate Pregnancy Test To Tell Us If Our Body Really Is Pregnant?
1. If you had a negative reading & you still think you might be pregnant, take a second pregnancy test 1 week later … give your body time to produce the hCG hormone.
2. Pee on the stick in the morning. Morning urine is more concentrated. It has higher amounts of hCG.
3. RTFI- Read The Freakin’ Instructions … we’re peeing on a stick friends- that’s what we’re doing, but do yourself a BIG favor and make sure you’re doing it right & reading the results the right way, so you get an accurate reading!
*Whenever in doubt and if you get a positive test … spend the time and effort to find the best provider for you (doctor or midwife). You can find out how to find the best doctor or midwife here. Then call them to get an appointment. It’s super important to know the “gestational age” (get a list of ALL the important labor & birth lingo you’ll want to know here) of your baby as early as possible. In fact, Dr. Lucky Jain taught us it’s one of the most important things we can do (learn why, right here).
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