When Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?

Is there a chance you might be pregnant? If so, you’re likely filled with questions—and one of them is probably wondering when to take a pregnancy test. The answer is that most at-home pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate if you take them on the first day of your missed menstrual period. 

Read on to learn more about how a pregnancy test works and what to do if you receive a positive result. Or, if you’re looking for free pregnancy testing, contact Dove Medical. We offer free, medical-grade pregnancy testing and follow-up limited obstetrical ultrasound because we care about your health. 

How Does Pregnancy Testing Work?

When you become pregnant, a particular hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is present in your body. Pregnancy tests work by detecting hCG in your urine or blood (depending on the type of test you take). 

The timing of a pregnancy test is important, as hCG levels start low but increase rapidly. If you take a pregnancy test too soon, you run the risk of receiving a false negative—this is when hCG levels are too low for a pregnancy test to predict, but you are actually pregnant. This is why most at-home pregnancy tests recommend waiting until the first day of your missed menstrual period to test. 

At Dove Medical, we provide free lab-quality pregnancy testing, and a nurse will review your results with you.

What If I Receive a Positive Pregnancy Test Result? 

Whether you received a positive pregnancy test result at home or in our center, the next step will be to get an ultrasound. This simple scan will confirm your pregnancy and give you critical details you need to know to protect your health. These details include:

  • Pregnancy age: This will tell you what options are available to you. For example, medical abortion is only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is up to 10 weeks gestation. 
  • Pregnancy location: On rare occasions, a pregnancy will develop outside the uterus. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical intervention. 
  • Pregnancy viability. It’s estimated that roughly 26% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage, and often, a miscarriage doesn’t present with immediate symptoms. So, it’s possible to experience a miscarriage and not know right away. An ultrasound will look for heartbeat activity, to determine if you’re still actively pregnant. If not, you will require follow-up care and possible treatment. 

Next Steps

Facing an unintended pregnancy can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. At Dove Medical, we’re here for you. We provide free services, like pregnancy testing,  limited obstetrical ultrasound, and decision coaching, to give you the information you need to take the next steps. Contact us today to be connected with one of our caring team members. All appointments and resources are free and confidential. 

This post is for education and information purposes only and does not substitute the advice of a Healthcare Professional.

Dove Medical offers pregnancy diagnosis, decision coaching, and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, we do not refer for or perform abortion services including the abortion pill.