So, you bought a pregnancy test. When should i use? What is the earliest time you can take a test? To answer this question, it is necessary to recall the details of the female reproductive system. Ovum fertilization can occur only after ovulation – the moment it leaves the follicle. This moment occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle, approximately on the 14th day. And the total duration of the standard menstrual cycle is 28 days.
A pregnancy test can now be performed not only in a medical facility, but also at home. Moreover, you can get a result indicating the presence of pregnancy even when the gestation period is only a few days. And many women take this opportunity, because home pregnancy tests are affordable for everyone. However, the question remains: what day is the best time to conduct a test to get a reliable result? Despite the fact that many one-time tests are cheap, doing testing every day hardly makes sense.
Fertilization occurs during the day after ovulation. Then, for another 4-5 days, the egg that started to divide moves through the fallopian tube and uterus, until finally it attaches to the endometrium. The process of attachment (implantation) takes some more time. Total from the moment of fertilization until the end of implantation takes about 6-7 days. Consequently, the embryo attaches to the endometrium on average on the 21st day of the cycle.
Pregnancy testing is tied to this point. As soon as the embryo has attached to the endometrium, a special hormone begins to be produced – human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Its concentration is growing rapidly, and within a few days after the onset of pregnancy, it appears in the urine in a concentration sufficient so that the means for testing could recognize its presence and give the desired result. The concentration of hCG in the blood is much higher than in urine, therefore, an increase in the level of hCG in the blood with a standard menstrual cycle can be noticed already on the 22nd day, that is, the day after the embryo is attached to the endometrium. And in an earlier period, testing does not make sense.
How to determine the time of ovulation with an irregular menstrual cycle?
If the cycle duration is more than 28 days, then ovulation still occurs in its middle. That is, if a woman has a 32-day cycle, then ovulation should occur on the 16th day. And if the 26-day, then on the 13th. Accordingly, in these cases, the time is shifted, starting from which hCG begins to be produced.
But in an even more difficult situation are women who have an irregular cycle. In order to determine the time of ovulation in this case, you can use either ovulation tests or determine ovulation by changing the basal temperature.
How can I test?
On the market there are many test systems for determining pregnancy – from the simplest pieces of paper to devices stuffed with electronics.
The following types of home tests can be distinguished:
- Test strips,
- Tablet tests,
- Ink tests
- Inkjet electronic tests,
- Reusable electronic tests.
Usually, the more expensive and technologically advanced the device, the higher its sensitivity and the reliability of its results.
When to do a pregnancy test – before or after a delay?
Some manufacturers of test devices claim that their tests can determine pregnancy at a very early period – 4 days before the start of a new menstrual cycle, that is, already on the 24th day of the standard cycle. Typically, these tests are classified as inkjet or electronic.
However, most gynecologists believe that you should not rush. Reliable pregnancy can be determined only in the first days of a delay in menstruation. It should also be borne in mind that in some cases, ovulation can be delayed for several days. And if the cycle duration is below the standard, then by the time of testing the embryo may not have time to attach to the uterus at all. In other words, it is possible to test in the early stages, before the delay of menstruation, but no one will guarantee that the result will be correct.
If you can’t wait to do the first pregnancy test, when it’s still far from a delay, then you can do this – buy a few inexpensive tests in the form of strips. If the first test is unsuccessful, then you can do a test every day, until, finally, the test shows two cherished transverse lines.
What time of day should I take a test?
If the test is carried out before the onset of menstruation, then you should use the urine that was received at the earliest time of the day, immediately after waking up. This urine is more concentrated, and it contains the greatest amount of hormone. Some tests are so highly sensitive that they show the same result not only in the early hours of the day, but also in the evening. However, this only applies to testing in the first days of menstruation delay.
If there is an urgent need to conduct testing in the evening or in the afternoon, then before collecting urine, you must not go to the toilet and do not drink liquid for 4-5 hours. These measures will help achieve reliable test results.