Trying to get pregnant can be a frustrating process. I tried for a whole year before I finally conceived, and every month, I went through a torturous waiting game to find out if I was pregnant or not. I would always be quick to take pregnancy tests, and would end up taking one every day to see if the lines turned positive. But I later learned there is a science to the timing. If you are trying to conceive, you also might be wondering, how many days after ovulation should I take a pregnancy test?
Dr. Eva Martin, CEO of Elm Tree Medical, Inc., tells Romper that you should wait to test until the day of your missed period. She says that pregnancy tests are made to detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in urine and blood, which is produced by the placenta after the implantation of the embryo into the uterus, and you won’t have enough hCG in your body until after implantation occurs. So until there is a detectable amount of the pregnancy hormone, the tests can’t catch it.
The American Pregnancy Association explained that it can take up to 11 days after conception for hCG levels to show up on a blood pregnancy test, and 12 to 14 days post-conception for urine tests. After it's fertilized, the egg can take six to 12 days after ovulation to implant itself into the uterine lining, which is when hCG becomes detectable by a pregnancy test.
It also depends on when you ovulate. The Mayo Clinic Health Library noted that because the timing of ovulation is different for every woman and varies each month, and because implantation timing can vary, too, waiting for a missed period is the most reliable time to test.
There are early detection tests that are designed to be a little more sensitive in detecting hCG, so even a tiny amount may be detected. These tests, as noted by ClearBlue, can detect hCG about six days before your missed period, but with only 79 percent accuracy, and the longer you wait, the better the results.
I know firsthand how annoying waiting can be, but for the best, most accurate results, you should wait to test until your missed period. Hopefully soon, the only waiting you’ll be doing is for your due date to arrive.