When is the right time to take a pregnancy test?

Many home pregnancy tests are not sensitive enough to detect you are pregnant until approximately a week after you’ve missed a period. If it shows a negative result, wait a
few days and try again. Looking after your health is vital, even if you don’t have a positive result yet.

There are different pregnancy tests available, depending on the timing of conception and your preference; There is the classic urine test and a blood test. The hormone present in your body during pregnancy is called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG).It is produced by the placenta shortly after the embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus, and can usually be detected in urine six to twelve days after the egg has been fertilized.The hCG produced doubles every two to three days.

It is advisable to wait until the first day of your missed period to take a pregnancy test. This ensures that the level of hCG is high enough to be detected. It is recommended you

take a pregnancy test using the first urine of the day, due to the urine being more concentrated, therefore the hCG level is easier to detect.

A blood test can be taken by your midwife or doctor. It also detects the presence of the hormone, hCG and can be performed six to eight days after ovulation. There are two
types of blood tests: Qualitative and quantitative. A qualitative test gives a simple yes or no answer to whether you are pregnant or not. The quantitative tests, also known as
beta hCG, shows the exact level of hormone found in your blood.

If you think you are pregnant but received a negative  result with your home pregnancy test, don’t worry. Falsenegatives can occur due to a variety of factors: The urine was too dilute to detect hCG; the test was done incorrectly or you tested too soon, or home pregnancy test has passed its use by date. Fertility medication, or other drugs containing hCG can interfere with home pregnancy tests.

However, other medications, such as antibiotics or birth control pills shouldn’t.

It is rare, but false-positives do occur and can be due to blood or protein being present in your urine. Certain drugs, such as anticonvulsants or tranquilisers can also cause false-positive test results.

Whether you have received a positive or negative result with a home pregnancy test, it is always best to seek the advice of a medical professional as soon as possible.