Taking a pregnancy test can be vexing, especially if you are new to it. Women want to know if they are pregnant as soon as they suspect it. That’s why you should know how much time you should wait to get an accurate result.
To help you avoid stressing yourself unnecessarily, we have put together all you need to know. Before you rush out and test for pregnancy, take some time to go through this article. You will find the right answer to the most commonly asked question: how soon after unprotected sex can I test for pregnancy?
I had sex without a condom – Am I pregnant?
Either you are trying to get pregnant or had unprotected sex accidentally, you must be wondering about when you can take a pregnancy test. Most women usually start noticing symptoms four to five weeks after their last menstrual period. However, a missed period doesn’t necessarily mean that you are pregnant.
Moreover, you have to consider several factors before deciding whether you are pregnant or not. Increased discharge and spotting that happen right after sex don’t indicate conception. To help you understand better, we have broken it down into a series of questions.
How soon can I take the test to get an accurate result?
As far as testing is concerned, you can take a test whenever you want. However, testing immediately won’t give you an authentic result. Research suggests that the bare minimum for getting an accurate result is eight days after you have ovulated.
Doctors recommend waiting until fourteen days after ovulation for a reliable test outcome. Listed below are the reasons for not taking a test straight away.
· Fertilization isn’t immediate
Pregnancy doesn’t start right away after unprotected. In most cases, it takes about six days for the sperm and egg to fertilize together. So, prompt testing will be of no use.
· Test Sensitivity
Pregnancy tests are designed with different sensitivity levels. Your body can take days to build up higher hCG levels. It means that a test with low sensitivity will give you a potentially false-negative result. Thus, it is better to wait for a week before testing for pregnancy to get a precise result.
· Confusing Physical Symptoms
Experiencing physical symptoms in the period between your ovulation and the next period is fairly common. However, this may mislead you into believing that you are pregnant. The following are some of the changes you may observe.
- Mood Swings
- Increasing Headaches
- Changes in appetite
- Breast Changes
- Feeling bloated
Such symptoms that are uncommon to your cycle can be easily confused with pregnancy. They result from fluctuations in your hormonal levels. However, getting adequate sleep and eating nutritious foods can help you avoid these changes.
· Biochemical Pregnancy
Studies reveal that an initial pregnancy test that turns out positive may be indicating a biochemical pregnancy. A large proportion of women experience this situation where the sperm and egg meet, but the body removes it by miscarriage. In other words, the biochemical pregnancy doesn’t progress into a clinical pregnancy.
Therefore, waiting for a week or more can prove helpful in getting a reliable outcome. Read on to discover more about misconceptions related to the question: how soon after unprotected sex can I test for pregnancy?
Does missing my period mean I am pregnant?
As mentioned earlier, there are several reasons why you might have missed your period. A missed period doesn’t indicate conception at all. Thus, you don’t have to worry and confuse it with pregnancy.
How does a pregnancy test work?
To get a better understanding of the question-how soon after unprotected sex can I test for pregnancy-you should know how a pregnancy test works. Almost all pregnancy tests determine pregnancy by detecting the level of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). It usually starts developing after six days of fertilization.
Furthermore, most pregnancy tests have a stick. All you have to do is pee on it and wait for a few minutes. However, every test is slightly different from the other.
So, please go through the instruction manual first. Apart from that, taking a test is super easy and convenient.
Where can you get a pregnancy test?
Pregnancy tests are available almost at every pharmacy. You can buy them at departmental stores and supermarkets. Also, you can conduct the test in complete privacy.
What’s more, certain sexual health services will provide you a pregnancy test free of cost. Not just that, community contraceptive clinics also conduct tests free of charge. You can get a pregnancy test from your GP too.
Which pregnancy test is the most reliable?
Not all pregnancy tests are created equal. Different tests detect the level of human chorionic gonadotrophin at different strengths.
It means that a test with low sensitivity will not detect the hormone, giving you a false-negative result. Therefore, if you are testing just a few days after you have ovulated, use a high sensitivity pregnancy test. Similarly, when hCG levels are high, a low sensitivity test will be able to pick them up.
What do the test results mean?
In most cases, a positive test result is almost correct. However, if you get a negative result, try testing a few days later. Still, if the test result comes negative and you haven’t menstruated, consult your GP.
How do I know if I get a false-positive test result?
Many factors can lead to a false-positive result. Although false-positive test results are quite rare, they do exist. Here are a few reasons why you might get such an outcome.
- Taking medications that affect hCG levels in your body
- Using an expired test
- A recent abortion or miscarriage
- Error on the user’s end due to unclear indicators
- Experiencing a biochemical pregnancy
To avoid this, try taking a test from a different brand or manufacturer. If you get the same results, speak to your doctor right away.
The Bottom Line
All of the factors listed above have been approved by doctors worldwide. Now that you have gone through the whole article, you would be clear about how soon after unprotected sex can I test for pregnancy. Furthermore, if you turn out to be pregnant but don’t want to continue with the pregnancy, consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible.