When Should You Take A Pregnancy Test To Ensure An Accurate Read?

Tests, no matter what kind or how prepared you are, can be totally nerve-wracking, right? It’s the pressure of needing to do well, the anxiety over whether you prepared enough for it, and the fact that the word test basically means “Hey, this is important.” And pregnancy tests? Well they’re no different. There is no tests that can change the course of your life as quickly as a pregnancy test. And with room for user error, women often wonder when to take a pregnancy test for the most accurate results.

You’d think the sooner the better, because with knowledge comes power and with power comes peace of mind. But getting the best, most accurate results make take a little longer than you’d like. I spoke with Dr. Chase Cawyer, chief OB-GYN resident at Baylor Scott and White in Temple, Texas to find out when you should take a pregnancy test and his tips on an accurate reading. After all, this is one test you can’t leave up to CliffsNotes.

“Urine pregnancy tests are so good these days that they can pick up a beta hCG, the pregnancy hormone, about nine days after conception,” Cawyer says. But since many women aren’t sure of when they ovulated, making the date of conception is unsure, Cawyer recommends a different time frame for taking a test. “Best time to take a home urine pregnancy test is when you believe you have missed a period and first thing in the morning. This is when your urine is the most concentrated.” By waiting to miss your period, your body has time to produce enough hCG that a pregnancy test will detect it in your urine.

Once you’ve seen the test’s results, it’s safe to assume that those are accurate. “It is rare to get a false positive pregnancy test,” Cawyer says. “They can happen in rare instances such as tumors or with seizure medication.” Dr. Cawyer also notes that just because you have a positive pregnancy test, it doesn’t mean the pregnancy is viable. “Often, that can be confirmed at six weeks of pregnancy by seeing the fetus in the uterus with a heartbeat,” he says.

A test first thing in the morning? Yeah, that sounds pretty terrible. But it’s the best way to get an accurate read on a pregnancy test. So splash some water on your face and get to peeing. This is one test you don’t want to mess up.