Let’s face it. You either landed on this page because you’re crossing your fingers for a little bundle of joy, or you’re praying for anything but that. Nonetheless, you’re here, and we want to say it’ll all be okay.
But who better to talk about all things pregnancy than a doctor? Enter Dr. Kenosha Gleaton, board certified doctor in gynecology and obstetrics and medical director of Natalist — a women’s health startup that provides products and resources for fertility and pregnancy.
We spoke with Dr. Kenosha about the best pregnancy tests out there, when to take a test, how soon you can take one and more.
While we gathered expert insight, we still recommend reaching out to your doctor for full assurance.
FAQs with Dr. Kenosha
How do pregnancy tests work?
“Pregnancy tests detect a hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), which can be detected in urine or blood after an embryo implants itself into your uterine wall,” Dr. Kenosha told The New York Post. “hCG is the first detectable sign of pregnancy, and home tests (like the Natalist Pregnancy Test and Natalist Early Pregnancy Test Strips) are an easy and reliable way to determine if you’re pregnant.”
When should you take a pregnancy test?
Dr. Kenosha explained that testing first thing in the morning before your expected period is usually your best bet, as your urine “has a higher concentration of hCG” at that time Though, you can test at any time of the day.
Dr. Kenosha also notes that “drinking lots of liquids in the few hours before testing can dilute your urine and cause a false negative result.” This meaning you could be pregnant, but the test will show you’re not.
Furthermore, “14% to 25% of women have irregular menstrual cycles, which can make it harder to predict when to test,” said Dr. Kenosha. “If this is you, try counting at least 14 days from when you had sex. If your test says you’re not pregnant and you think you might be, test again the next day or in a few days.”
All of this to say, it can be tricky to know exactly when to test, but there are a few methods that can help out.
How soon can you take a pregnancy test?
Taking a pregnancy test too soon is a thing, though, “it varies based on a test’s sensitivity rate so be sure to read the directions thoroughly,” explained Dr. Kenosha.
“You can use most pregnancy tests starting five days before you expect your period to start,” she continued. “If you get a negative result and are testing more than three days before your expected period, you could still be pregnant and should take another test in a few days.”
The reason for this is that you could be early in your pregnancy, meaning “you may not have enough hCG for the test to detect yet,” Dr. Kenosha told The Post. Though, in just two days, your hCG levels will usually double, meaning the more likely it is to get a positive result.
How accurate are pregnancy tests?
“Pregnancy tests are more than 99% accurate in clinical studies when used on the day of your expected period,” shared Dr. Kenosha. Still, false negatives are a thing. This means hCG was not detected in your urine, though you actually are pregnant.
Dr. Kenosha says false negatives happen for two reasons. First, “your urine was too diluted” or “it’s too early to detect a pregnancy.”
Truth be told, false positives are a thing too, though they’re more unlikely.
To avoid false test results, Dr. Kenosha recommends seeing your doctor to confirm your outcome.
Best pregnancy tests
1. Best pregnancy test strips: Natalist Early Pregnancy Test Strips, $16
Both reliable and affordable, these early pregnancy test strips give you peace of mind ASAP. Proven to be over 99% accurate and ringing in as low as 85 cents per test, these Natalist test strips are a fan favorite. Not to mention, Natalist doesn’t produce electronic waste from batteries or other components found in many digital pregnancy tests.
2. Best early response pregnancy test: First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test, 3 Count, $13, original price: $20
In just three minutes, you will have an answer as to whether you are pregnant or not — even if it’s six days sooner than your missed period. Pair these tests with the EasyRead App which is over 99% accurate for full assurance.
3. Best digital pregnancy test: Clearblue Pregnancy Test Combo Pack, $10
Say goodbye to confusing lines and markings with this digital pregnancy test. It will clearly display your results by either reading “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant.” In the pack is also a Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test that will offer you positive (+) or negative (-) results.
4. Best pregnancy test subscription: Stix Pregnancy Tests, $12 every four weeks
Always have a test on hand with this Stix pregnancy test subscription service. You will be able to know whether you’re pregnant up to three days before your missed period.
5. Best First Response Triple Check Pregnancy Test Kit, $15
Tripple-check your results with this pack of three First Response tests. This pack provides you with three different ways to test.
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