≡ Menu

How Long Should You Wait to Take a Pregnancy Test? Here’s the Answer

Many women feel excited at the thought of being pregnant. If you’re one of them, then you’ve certainly asked yourself (and not just once), how long should you wait to take a pregnancy test. You’re not alone – this is one of the most common questions specialists get asked, especially since many women haven’t given birth before. Sure, you want the results to be positive, but you don’t want the result to be a false positive, right?

If you think you’re pregnant and want confirmation, home pregnancy tests are the best option – they’re accurate, quick, and convenient. The question is, how long do you wait to take a pregnancy test? See what our expert has to say about this.

1. Last week I had sex with my fiancé, and I think I may be pregnant. I don’t have any symptoms yet, except for some mild cramping. My period is due to arrive in 2 days. How long to wait to take a pregnancy test? I kind of “feel” I’m pregnant, but I want to get accurate results. Would it be appropriate to take the test while on my period? How many days should I wait before I can take the test?

Many women feel excited at the thought of being pregnant. If you’re one of them, then you’ve certainly asked yourself (and not just once), how long should you wait to take a pregnancy test. You’re not alone – this is one of the most common questions specialists get asked, especially since many women haven’t given birth before. Sure, you want the results to be positive, but you don’t want the result to be a false positive, right?

If you think you’re pregnant and want confirmation, home pregnancy tests are the best option – they’re accurate, quick, and convenient. The question is, how long do you wait to take a pregnancy test? See what our expert has to say about this.

1. Last week I had sex with my fiancé, and I think I may be pregnant. I don’t have any symptoms yet, except for some mild cramping. My period is due to arrive in 2 days. How long to wait to take a pregnancy test? I kind of “feel” I’m pregnant, but I want to get accurate results. Would it be appropriate to take the test while on my period? How many days should I wait before I can take the test?

Expert Answers:

First, congratulations for reaching out to us and sending us your question.

I must tell you that, no matter how badly you want it, pregnancy symptoms take several weeks until they show up. Mild cramping (which you’re already experiencing), constipation, frequent urination, breast tenderness and other such symptoms occur after the second or third week of pregnancy, but it’s too early for you to have them now. The cramping may be caused by your incoming period.

As for your other questions, I always advise my patients to wait 10 days after their missed period to take a pregnancy test. Your body starts producing hCG (the pregnancy hormone) after implantation, which happens on the sixth day after fertilization. If there’s not enough hCG in your urine at the time when you take the test, you’ll get a false negative result.

If your period doesn’t arrive, wait 10 days to take the test. If it does arrive, take the test once it stops. It’s unlikely that you’re pregnant since you haven’t had sex around the time of your ovulation (which is the most fertile period of the menstrual cycle), but you should still take the test to be sure.

2. I’ve been on birth control for two years already. I am the proud mother of a 13-year-old girl, and I’m not ready to have another baby very soon. However, I’ve been experiencing some pregnancy symptoms over the past week, such as breast tenderness, frequent urination, and spotting. I think it might have been implantation bleeding, but I’m not sure. My period is due to come in about 6 days, and it’s always regular. How long should you wait to use a pregnancy test? Is it OK to take the test on the same day as the period is due to arrive if it doesn’t arrive?

Expert Answers:

Congratulations for your beautiful daughter!

No contraceptive method is 100% accurate, meaning that, even if you’re on birth control, you may still get pregnant. You can confidently take a pregnancy test regardless, as it measures the amounts of hCG in the urine and doesn’t deal with estrogen or progesterone, which birth control pills (and other hormonal contraceptives) use. This won’t interfere with the accuracy of the results you get.

Since you are already experiencing some pregnancy symptoms, you may take a test within 1-2 days and see how it turns out. If it’s positive, wait another 4-5 days before retaking it. If it’s still positive, consider taking blood tests, as they are more accurate and will tell you for sure if you’re pregnant or not. However, keep in mind that many premenstrual symptoms are quite similar to pregnancy symptoms, such as frequent urination and breast tenderness. It’s a good idea to take a pregnancy test even if your period comes, as many women keep getting their AF during the first 1-3 months of pregnancy.

If you’re not pregnant, make sure to investigate the cause of the spotting, as it may indicate the presence of a more serious underlying condition.

3. I’ll be taking a pregnancy test in a few days, but I’m really new to the whole pregnancy thing, and I’m not sure how long to wait for pregnancy test results. I’ve bought 2 tests: one with a dropper, and one without a dropper. I’ve read the instructions on the package, and both advise to wait around 5 minutes to get accurate results. If I wait longer, is it possible to get invalid results? Also, how do I use the test without the dropper?

Expert Answers:

Great to know that you’ve purchased different tests! Many women buy just one the first time they test for pregnancy. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use both on the same day. Wait around 2-3 days before retaking the test, otherwise you’ll get pretty similar results, whether they’re positive or negative.

If the package instructs you to wait 5 minutes to get accurate results, then simply follow them. For the test with a dropper, the results take about 2-3 minutes to show up – if you’re not pregnant, it may take as little as 1 minute to get your urine tested. For the other test, you should hold the stick under the urine stream, and then lay it flat on the table. On average, the results take around 4-5 minutes to show up. Make sure not to touch with lift the test from the flat-lying position in the mean time, otherwise you may end up getting invalid results.

Also, waiting too long may result in the test becoming invalid. It happens frequently, so make sure to follow carefully the instructions on the package to ensure that you’re getting only accurate, not false, results.

Prev1 of 5