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How soon can I take the pregnancy test?
A very frequently asked question by want to be mothers is “How soon after sex can I have a pregnancy test?”
Most of them want an exact day and probably the minutes and seconds too for taking their pregnancy test.
However, nothing goes by a uniform law in our bodies. There are endless what if, maybe and approximations.
A small cell is more complicated than the biggest of machines in industries. Pregnancy in itself is of different kinds.
Some women might get a positive pregnancy test earlier while others might get it a week later. It is essential to time the pregnancy test rightly to avoid getting false pregnancy test results.
There is no point in taking the pregnancy test too early and then rushing to the doctor in vain.
Also, this may be very dangerous if you are on contraceptive pills and a wrongly timed pregnancy test convinces you to take the pill.
It is mandatory for us to caution that this is just a broad overview, things can happen out of blues.
So read along to find out exactly what happens after sex before you can take the pregnancy test:
- Your egg lives for only 24 hours approximately after ovulation. If you have sex at that time so that sperms are in the vicinity of egg in these 24 hours, then fertilization may take place.
- The sperms live for around five days in your vagina after intercourse.
- Fertilization can take place even 2-3 days after sex and anywhere between that. Unless you have an intrauterine contraceptive or some other contraception it is most probable to happen within 2–3 days.
- It will all depend on when you had sex. If you had sex between the period of 3-4 days before ovulation to the day of ovulation, you could conceive.
- After the sperm and egg meet they become a fertilized egg that stays for 3-4 days in your Fallopian tube. But the division of cells starts as soon as fertilization takes place.
- It takes ten days after fertilization on an average for implantation of the egg in the uterus. Only after this does the placenta form.
- It is the placenta that forms after implantation that produces the hormone hCG. The hormone comes in your urine. Pregnancy kit uses this hormone to test pregnancy.
- The body can reach a sufficient level of hCG in the detectable range 6 – 7 days after implantation.
There is no pregnancy test currently that can detect pregnancy within 2-3 days after sex.
You can take a pregnancy test earlier than what we recommend, but the chances of a false result will increase.
The following table shows the time you need to wait for taking the pregnancy test after every event starting from ovulation.
This is the most precise timing of pregnancy test for best results. The header is the time after which you can take a pregnancy test.
The column beneath describes the event for your reference.
This will also be informative for knowing the reason why you have to wait for taking the pregnancy test after sex.
|Around 11 days after ovulation||Around 12 days after having sex||Around 12 - 13 days after fertilisation||Around 6 - 7 days after implantation||Around 8- 9 days after placenta formation||Around 6 - 7 days after implantation||Around 3 - 5 days before missed periods|
|Egg lives for 24 hours approximately after ovulation||Sperms live for around 5 days in your vagina, fertilization can take place even 2 - 3 days after sex||Sperm and egg become a fertilized egg that stays for 3 - 4 days in your fallopian tube||Implantation occurs 10 days after fertilization on an average||Placenta that forms after implantation that produces the hormone hCG that is detected in your urine||Levels of hCG for being detected by the pregnancy test achieved 6 - 7 days after placenta formation||Periods missed
So only after
- Around 10 days from the day of fertilization you can take the pregnancy test
- Around 11 days after ovulation you can take the pregnancy test
- Around 12 days after having sex you can take the pregnancy test
- Around 6 – 7 days after implantation you can take the pregnancy test
- Around 3 – 5 days before missed periods you can take a pregnancy test
This is the minimum time lapse. Generally, it will be a little later than this to get a positive pregnancy test after having sex.
Most women have to wait for two weeks after they ovulate to get a positive pregnancy test.
The most general and well calculated time span for taking the pregnancy test is 10 – 14 days after having sex.
Exceptions to the rule
- There are pregnancy tests that can detect pregnancy six days earlier.
- There are pregnancy tests that can detect pregnancy using hormones other than hCG. For example, First Rapid Response Pregnancy Test uses a combination of pregnancy hormones. They will be even faster.
- Some women have reported getting a positive pregnancy test just after the day of implantation.
How many weeks after sex can you take the pregnancy test?
The same information about how soon can you take the pregnancy test after sex stated in terms of weeks makes it easier for timing.
Another point that we tend to miss out is rarely do people indulge in sex as feast and famine.
Under normal circumstances, a woman will have sex regularly when trying to get pregnant.
How does one decide the reference sex day?
This is the reason why we have mentioned the other events like ovulation and missing periods after sex to take the pregnancy test.
If the sperm fertilizes the egg, it takes at least 2 weeks after sex to take a pregnancy test. All the events overlap. It means that nothing happens in a relay. Simultaneously the next event’s preparatory stage starts.
It is critical to be aware of the kind of menstrual cycle you have. If you have a shorter menstrual cycle, then you may have a faster progression of these events.
Shorter menstrual cycles may be of 24 to 26 days instead of 28.
In this case, you could take the pregnancy test within one week after having sex. A woman having a longer menstrual cycle of 29 to 32 days will take longer as the intermediate stages will last longer.
Such women might have to wait longer for taking the pregnancy test after sex.
However, shorter or longer menstrual cycles are not pace indicators of reproductive machinery.
A shorter menstrual cycle doesn’t mean that the woman has a rapid reproductive phase.
When to take the pregnancy test after irregular periods?
Another significant doubt arises when women do not know when to take the pregnancy test during irregular periods.
This indeed is a complicated issue. After all, most of us take missed periods as a sign of being pregnant. It is the only obvious external symptom seen by us.
When does someone take a pregnancy test after irregular periods?
How does someone even get to know that they are pregnant if they have an irregular period?
An irregular period is a sign of hormonal imbalance and thus may be a sign of some illness and not necessarily pregnancy.
If you have irregular periods and the amount is erratic or very less, then you must take the pregnancy test because some women continue to ovulate even after becoming pregnant. It may continue for the first three months of pregnancy.
Also, the most reliable method of taking a pregnancy test after sex at the right time is to look for signs of early pregnancy.
As soon as you experience unexplained nausea, bloating, a frequent urge for micturition, appetite flings, etc. you must take a pregnancy test.