How Soon After Ovulation Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?

by | Aug 10, 2019

If you are trying to conceive, the two-week wait to take a pregnancy test may seem forever. You may have scanned through the drugstore shelf, to find which home pregnancy test promises accurate and early test results. It is hard to resist the attempt to test early. You may wonder: do I really have to wait until the first day of the expected period to test? You may not want to take a pregnancy test earlier than your expected period, or you may get inaccurate readings.

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How early can you take a pregnancy test?

Ideally, wait until the first day of your expected period. And it is recommended to take a pregnancy test no earlier than 12 days past ovulation (DPO). If you test several days before your period, you are likely to get a negative result, although you can be pregnant.

The time to take an early pregnancy test is linked to when ovulation occurs and when implantation occurs.

While it is often believed ovulation occurs 14 days before the onset of your next period, the actual ovulation day varies from woman to woman and cycle to cycle. This is why it is important to track your ovulation using a product like Mira when you are trying to conceive.

Implantation takes place after an egg is released into the fallopian tube, fertilized by sperm, and implanted itself into the uterine wall, where prenatal development starts. Technically, implantation is supposed to happen at 9 days after ovulation. But the actual range is 6 – 12 DPO, and 84% occurs between 8 – 10 DPO.

The fertilized egg doesn’t produce the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG until it is fully implanted in the uterine wall.

Once the implantation is complete, levels of hCG start to double about every 48 hours.

However, the hCG baselines and hCG doubling pattern differ greatly from woman to woman. Pregnancies of the same woman can have different hCG levels too. Together with the timing of ovulation and implantation, these factors affect when you should take a pregnancy test and expect to get a positive result.

Doctors often order a blood test to understand the hCG levels. You can buy a home urine test to measure hCG levels in urine.

If you take a pregnancy test too early, you may end up with a false-negative result, which means, in fact, you are pregnant, but the test returned a negative result.

It is simply because your hCG hormone hasn’t reached the threshold of the pregnancy test yet. Wait until the day of your missed period, or 1-2 days later, as your period could be late. This will prevent a false-negative test result and save you money.

A healthy couple has about 20% of the chance to get pregnant each month. 80% should get pregnant after continuously trying a year.

How may I improve the accuracy of a home pregnancy test?

The accuracy of a home pregnancy test can vary, depending on how you use it and your menstrual cycle. To improve the test accuracy, you will want to pay attention to the following problems.

  • Testing too early. You shouldn’t test earlier than 12 DPO. It is best to wait until your period is due.
  • Urine is diluted. You are not using morning urine or drinking too much fluid before the test. The hCG concentration in your urine is diluted.
  • Not enough waiting time. The US Office of Women’s Health recommends waiting up to 10 minutes after the test to check the results. This time frame will give you the most accurate result.
  • The test is not sensitive enough. Some pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others. If you want to detect pregnancy early, ask the pharmacist for a more sensitive brand.


Should you take a pregnancy test in the morning or night?

If you are testing before your period is due, you should test with morning urine, which has a higher concentration of hCG. You can test any time during the day if you have passed the day of your missed period. Your hCG level should be high enough to be detected if you are pregnant.

Why does a chemical pregnancy cause a positive test result?

It can be heartbroken to learn a positive pregnancy test was from a chemical pregnancy, which is an early pregnancy loss happening shortly after implantation. One week after the ovulation, the fertilized egg implants itself onto the uterine wall. It starts to produce levels of pregnancy hormone hCG. You may receive a positive pregnancy test result at this time. However, for some reason, the implantation never fully developed. Usually, you don’t have any other signs of pregnancy.

A chemical pregnancy is mostly caused by chromosomal abnormalities. They account for 50-60% of the first pregnancies. You may have a positive pregnancy test result, which technically is not a false positive result given you were pregnant, followed by a negative one.

You can avoid the positive test result from a chemical pregnancy by testing later than the first day of your missed period.

✔️ Medically Reviewed by Dr Roohi Jeelani, MD, FACOG and Lauren Grimm, MA

roohi jeelaniDr Roohi Jeelani is Director of Research and Education at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Dr Jeelani earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, where she was awarded a Women’s Reproductive Health NIH K12 Research Grant. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr Jeelani has authored numerous articles and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals, and presented her research at national and international scientific meetings. A Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr Jeelani is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.

Lauren Grimm is Research Coordinator at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Lauren earned her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago, where she also completed her masters in Medical Sciences. Lauren has worked alongside Dr. Jeelani for the last 3 years, authoring a number of abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed journals, and presented her research at national and international scientific conferences. Lauren will be continuing her education this fall at Rush University Medical College in Chicago, IL as an MD candidate.

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Ready to easily, precisely, and automatically track your ovulation cycles? Let Mira take the guesswork out of getting pregnant, so you know exactly when to conceive.

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Ready to easily, precisely, and automatically track your ovulation cycles? Let Mira take the guesswork out of getting pregnant, so you know exactly when to conceive.