Earliest Pregnancy Test

What Is the Earliest Pregnancy Test?

Following implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterine lining, the hormone HCG is released into the bloodstream. It can be detected in the blood within 4 days of implantation, which usually occurs about a week after ovulation. As HCG circulates in the blood, and the blood is filtered by the kidneys, this hormone begins to build up in the urine stream. About 4 days after HCG can be detected in the blood, it can be detected in the urine. This corresponds approximately to the day the menstrual period would be expected. Therefore, the earliest pregnancy test is a sensitive blood test, which can detect HCG even before it reaches detectable concentrations in the urine.

Earliest Pregnancy Test for Urine

However, most women prefer not to spend the time, money, and pain to have blood sampled by a clinician for pregnancy determination. In addition, there are no pregnancy blood tests available to consumers over the counter. Therefore, most women opt for urine pregnancy tests. Of these, the earliest pregnancy test can detect HCG as early as 6 days before the menstrual period would be expected.

Problems with Earliest Pregnancy Tests

Even though tests marketed as the earliest pregnancy tests influence potentially pregnant women to test very early, there are numerous problems with this approach:

  • If you are one of the women for whom implantation occurs late, even the earliest pregnancy test will yield a false negative
  • If you test 6 days before a missed period and receive a negative result, it would still be necessary to test again a few days later to confirm that the original test was accurate; this results in additional costs.
  • If you test very early and obtain a faint positive, you still must consider yourself in the earliest stages of pregnancy when miscarriage rates are approximately 33%. Therefore, it would be important to test again in a week or so, again resulting in additional costs.

For women who have been trying to conceive for many months, it is excruciatingly difficult to wait, and the earliest pregnancy tests seem to be the most tempting to purchase. These can also be the most expensive and are wrought with ambiguity. It is best to wait at least until the missed period to confirm a pregnancy, even if you are using one of the earliest pregnancy tests on the market.

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