Narong Jongsirikul/Fotolia

What Time Of Day Should You Take A Pregnancy Test? An Expert Explains

Ad failed to load

In our "just Google it," two-day shipping world, it's hard to wait for results. So when you decide you're ready to get pregnant, nothing is harder than waiting to see if it worked — you want to take the at-home test as soon as possible. If it's negative, you think, "maybe I tested too early" or "perhaps I didn't do it under the best conditions." Hoping to get a positive result the second time around, you're probably curious — what time of day should you take a pregnancy test? Experts say you don't have to rearrange your schedule before peeing.

"There is no 'best time of day' to take a home urine pregnancy test," Adrienne Zertuche, OB-GYN at Atlanta Women's Healthcare Specialists, tells Romper. "Your urine’s level of beta-HCG (the pregnancy hormone) does not fluctuate throughout the day, and the ability of the test to detect beta-HCG is unlikely to be affected by the concentration of your urine." So while you may have heard that first thing in the morning is the best time to test, there is no advantage to testing during your first bathroom break of the day. Whether you take the test on your lunch break, after you get home from work, or in the middle of the night because you're too anxious with anticipation to sleep — the results will be the same and as accurate as possible.

Giphy
Ad failed to load

While time of day isn't important, the date you test on does matter. According to Zertuche, "The most important aspect of 'timing' for a pregnancy test is when you take the test relative to when you expect to get your menses. Whether you are trying to conceive, or whether you are not ready for a child but had a condom mishap and could not access Plan B, I do not recommend taking a home urine pregnancy test until at least one to two days after you expect your menses to start." This can be challenging if your period is irregular, or your body is still adjusting after years of being on the pill. Keeping track of your cycle or charting your fertility can help give you a clue as to when "Aunt Flo" is due to arrive.

If you do end up disappointed by a negative test, it's not crazy to hold out hope. Zertuche explains that "the most common cause of a falsely negative pregnancy test is one that is taken too early. Home urine pregnancy tests are variable in their ability to detect beta-HCG, and this hormone starts off at a very low level and rises over time. If your test results are negative, but you continue to suspect that you might be pregnant, you should repeat the test in one week." Yes, you will spend that week in agonizing suspense, but if you're rewarded with a positive result, you'll soon forget how hard it was to wait.

Giphy
Ad failed to load

Although my oldest is about to turn 4, I still remember some of the anxiety and impatience I felt during the year it took me to get pregnant. I felt like I had waited for the time in my life when I was ready to have a child, so why did I have to wait any longer? I obsessed over all the details of timing, and took more than one test each month, hoping that the first negative was only because I'd tested too early. What I don't remember anymore is the timing of the positive test — was it a few days after my missed period or a week? These details that are once so important lose their vividness as they are replaced by the details of your pregnancy and delivery — the stories you will tell your children for years to come.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}