Earliest Pregnancy Tests: Are They Really Reliable?

By Elizabeth Crawford | Pregnancy advice

Oct 16

If you are trying to get pregnant with your partner, you may be anxious to find out right away if you are pregnant. It used to be that women had to wait 2-3 weeks for results but nowadays pregnancy tests are promising earlier detection than ever.

There are many reasons why one would want to know if they're pregnant early on. You could be making life changes around the fact that you're trying to get pregnant. You may have some big social events coming up and want to know if it's safe to drink. Perhaps you're simply anxious to know if you are soon to become a mother.

When someone wants to get pregnant, it can be an exciting time. It can also be a time full of anxiety if a couple has issues with fertility. Either way, there are things you want to know about preparing for it, about pregnancy tests, and when to visit the doctor. To help you better understand more about whether an early detection pregnancy test is for you, we have compiled some pertinent facts and information.

How Soon Can A Pregnancy Be Picked Up?

"How early can pregnancy be detected?" This is a question that has brought up debates in recent years with the arrival of "earliest pregnancy tests" on the market. Most average pregnancy tests promise effective results two weeks after possible conception. Typically, it is suggested that a woman doesn't test until at least a week after their missed period. The earliest pregnancy test is said to be able to pick it up as soon as 5 days or so before your period is supposed to arrive.

One thing to consider about early pregnancy tests is that their promised accuracy is quite lower than a normal pregnancy test. For example, if you take a pregnancy test 4 or 5 days before your period, you could expect around 70-80% accuracy. A regular pregnancy test that is taken on the first day of your missed period or after, promises up to 99% accuracy.

As much as some people wish that they could discover whether they are pregnant the first day after sex, the body doesn't work like that. Implantation takes a few days to a week and the levels of hCG are nearly impossible to pick up during that time. If you want to be sure to take an accurate test, you should consider waiting for a week before taking an early pregnancy test.

How Do Early Pregnancy Tests Work?

How do early pregnancy tests work and why are they able to pick up pregnancy so early when others don't? Many of the early detection tests are created with a higher sensitivity than most. They are believed to be able to pick up the hCG levels much earlier than regular pregnancy tests because of this.

Because of the process and testing that is vigorously done before putting these tests on the market, creators have come to the conclusion that these tests can provide accurate results as early as 5 days before a period. While not common, there are some early pregnancy test strips that can also provide you with results.

With any home pregnancy test, you will want to take it first thing in the morning, before you have had too many liquids that can dilute the level of hCG in your urine. Some tests require you to urinate in a cup while others are designed to be directly urinated on.

Early Signs Of Pregnancy

If you are trying for a baby, you are undoubtedly a bit impatient to find out whether you are pregnant or not. While early detection pregnancy tests are somewhat considered accurate, you still have to wait a bit to be able to get a result.

If you are waiting to test or re-test to see if you're pregnant, the following symptoms are rather reliable and could help give you a clue. While they could be for other reasons that are health-related, the following could be early signs of pregnancy:

  • Check your temperature: If you have an elevated temperature for more than two weeks, this could be a very clear sign that you're pregnant. The women's body temperature goes up during ovulation, up until your period. If you're a woman who has been trying to get pregnant and checking your body for ovulation times, then you have probably been tracking your temperature. If it's been up for a while now, you could be expecting.
  • Your breasts feel swollen and larger: While this may not be the most reliable sign, due to the fact that breasts swell for several reasons, breasts do swell during pregnancy. If you are a woman who doesn't tend to get swollen breasts and all of the sudden you realize they've grown, this could be a sign.
  • Feeling tired for no reason: When trying to get pregnant, it's important to pay more attention to your body than ever before. If you have recently been feeling fatigued and for no apparent reason, this could be your body letting you know that you are indeed pregnant. With all your hormones going crazy, it's no wonder that your body is reacting strangely by wanting to sleep!
  • Are you feeling upset at small things? While this could be because you're tired or have stuff going on in your life, mood swings are a very real sign of pregnancy. Feeling emotional and crying at the smallest things may be your body letting you know you're pregnant!
  • Do you wake up with the desire to vomit? This is a symptom that usually shows up a little later on, but there are some women who start feeling nauseated as early as two weeks after conception. Whether you have or haven't been trying to get pregnant, if you've become nauseous lately, a baby may be on its way.
  • You haven't had your period: A very obvious symptom but one that isn't always fool-proof is a missed period. Some women have irregular periods or monthly gaps between periods due to health issues or other reasons but for the majority of women, when you miss a period, you can rest assured that you are pregnant.
  • Weird spotting: Some women spot for a variety of health reasons but if you aren't that type of woman, spotting may be a big sign that you're pregnant. This happens when your egg has been fertilized. Some women may wonder how they can know if it's their period or spotting. Spotting is quite different than a normal period in that it's very light and doesn't last for more than a couple of days. This symptom tends to happen around 10 days after conception.
  • Food is a turn off for you: You may love food. Perhaps you have your absolute favorite dishes that you can't live without. If pregnancy has come knocking at your door, you may experience an actual disgust for what you once loved. You may also find yourself craving foods that you never liked before.

Reading the above signs is a matter of understanding your body. If you know yourself well, how your hormones react to your period and ovulation, what kinds of foods you like, or whether you ever get nauseated, you can better know when/if you're pregnant.

How To Prepare For Getting Pregnant

If you're younger with a relatively healthy body, you may end up pregnant quite easily if you're trying. If not, you may want to do some things beforehand to ensure that your body is at its best for conceiving. Whether you're fertile or not, healthy or trying to do better, the following tips can help ensure that you achieve a healthy pregnancy:

  • Get off the pill: Birth control is just that. It keeps you from getting pregnant. To ensure that your body is "ripe" for pregnancy, stop taking pills at least a month before you start trying for a baby.
  • Eat a healthy diet: One of the most important factors to a healthy baby is a healthy mommy. Eating healthy can also help your body to function better which is important for when you want to get pregnant.
  • Go to the doctor: You want to make sure that your body is healthy for pregnancy. Not in the sense of whether you're fertile-although that's important-but so that you can know if you are at risk of difficult pregnancies. A doctor can also help you to understand if you need to change things in your lifestyle and diet to avoid high blood sugar or cholesterol and other issues that affect pregnancy. You may also want to make sure that your body is doing well enough for pregnancy. You may need to put off trying if you have health issues that could make a difference in achieving a healthy pregnancy and baby.
  • Get those vitamins: Vitamins are extremely important for your pregnancy. They are important for your overall health while you're pregnant but they also matter for your little one. You want to make sure to stay on top of your nutrition and health during pregnancy, but it's important that you start before pregnancy.
  • Detoxify your body: A body full of toxins is never good for you but even less so if you are trying for a baby. If unhealthy chemicals and substances aren't good for you, just imagine how bad they will be for a developing human. Get rid of products, foods, and household items that may be full of toxins.
  • Get your exercise: If you are someone who is already faithful with your exercise, keep it up. If not, you will want to start some type of routine. Not only is it healthy for your body, but it's important in helping you maintain a low/healthy weight during pregnancy. You need to accustom your body to exercise before pregnancy to avoid problems while doing it during.

Most of all, make sure that you are doing your best to be healthy. Your health is highly important for a successful pregnancy and even for getting pregnant.

When Should You Go To Your Doctor?

There are a few times when you should go to the doctor when it comes to wanting to get pregnant. You should visit your doctor when you are planning to get pregnant to make sure that your body is ready for pregnancy. The other time when you should go to your doctor is after taking one or two pregnancy tests. Whether you have taken the most accurate early pregnancy test or have taken a few with differing results, going to your doctor for a blood test is a good idea.

Your doctor can help to confirm whether or not you're really pregnant. Once you have confirmed that you are pregnant, you will want to start booking visits to ensure that the pregnancy stays healthy and that everything is okay with baby.

In Conclusion

Early pregnancy tests do work most of the time. But if you're a sucker for absolute accuracy, you may want to wait until you can be 100% sure about it. Keep in mind that understanding your body is extremely important to knowing if you're pregnant and preparing for it. This will make all the difference to your success rate.

Live healthy, stay positive, and keep trying. Whether you test early or later on, if you're pregnant, you can be sure it will be a life-changing experience. Good luck!

About the Author

My name is Elizabeth, and I’m the creator and owner of this website. First of all, I want to thank you for visiting my website.

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