image bio

For a limited time, get an extra 10% off your first order of supplement subscriptions with code START10. Shop Now ➔

Home > Learn > Getting Pregnant > >How Early Can You Test for Pregnancy?

How Early Can You Test for Pregnancy?

May 12, 20 4 min
How Early Can You Test for Pregnancy? - Natalist
That two week wait can feel like forever, but as difficult as it can be, you don’t want to test too early. We’re here to break down when you can test for pregnancy, and why it’s worth the wait.

 

By Halle Tecco

The dreaded two week wait

Are you anxiously awaiting those double lines? That two week wait (2WW) can feel like forever, but it’s important you don’t test too early because you risk getting a false negative or a barely-there positive.
The 2WW refers to the time between ovulation and your period, AKA the time period when sperm can meet an egg and implantation occurs. This can feel like an eternity—filled with stress and anxiety—so we’ve compiled a list of things to do to help you get through it.

Why you have to wait (sorry!)

Taking a pregnancy test prematurely means there hasn’t been enough time for implantation to occur. When this process hasn’t been completed, there is no pregnancy hormone (hCG) to test for, and you’ll get a negative result when you could very well be in the process of getting pregnant. It takes time for sperm and egg to meet and for a fertilized egg to make its way to the uterine lining to produce hCG. So, be patient (which is easier said than done) and wait until the appropriate time to test to ensure you’ll get an accurate result.

Shop Pregnancy Tests ⟶

How pregnancy tests work

Pregnancy tests are designed to detect a hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). HcG is released into the body when an embryo has been implanted in the uterine wall. So with pregnancy tests like ours, you just have to pee on the absorbent tip for about five seconds, wait five minutes, and then read your results! More detailed instructions can be found here. We also offer early-result pregnancy test strips for a more eco-friendly testing option, which use 81% less plastic than midstream tests.

How early you can take a pregnancy test

Most early-result pregnancy tests will be up to 99% effective when taken three days before your expected period, but with our test, you can even test up to five days before. If you do get a negative test result, don’t let it get you down! HcG levels typically double in a matter of days, and it’s still possible that you may be pregnant. We recommend waiting a few more days and testing again to be sure, especially if you’ve missed your period.

What day to test and positive-result likelihood

For the best results you should test on the day of your expected period. The likelihood of an accurate positive result increases as you get closer to the day of your expected period (see the below chart). If you’re too anxious to wait, you can take a test up to five days before, but make sure you’re testing early in the morning and that your urine isn’t too diluted.

False-negative results

A negative result means the test did not detect hCG in your urine. A false-negative result (when the pregnancy test is negative, but you’re actually pregnant) can happen for two reasons.
  1. Your urine was too diluted (don’t drink a lot of liquid for a few hours before testing)
  2. It’s too early to detect a pregnancy. If you tested before your expected period, this could be the case (see What day should I test?). If you feel you’re pregnant, test again in a few days. hCG levels soar in early pregnancy—doubling every 48 hours. If you miss your period and still get a negative result, see your doctor.

It’s really rare, but if after five minutes you see no lines or only a test line (T), the test either wasn’t saturated with enough urine—or it’s defective or expired (check the wrapper). Throw it out and try again with a new one.

 

Conclusion

Waiting to see those double lines can be stress-inducing, and it’s important that when you do take a pregnancy test, you know you’re going to get an accurate result. To ensure the test can detect the necessary hormones, you’ll need to wait until about one to five days before your expected period. If you’ve taken a test early in your cycle and get a negative result, but still think you may be pregnant, you should try again a few days later. It’s possible you really could be pregnant, and your body simply hasn’t produced enough hCG yet. In the meantime, read our quick guide to getting pregnant or order Parent Prep to get started on your journey to parenthood!
Shop Products From This Article
sticker bestseller
hcg test strips

Early Pregnancy Test Strips

As low as $0.85 per test strip

$74 $16

Subscribe & Save $4.00 sticker save
mid stream ovulation and pregnancy test bundle

The Test Pack

Pregnancy & ovulation tests

$40 $36

Shop Products

sticker new
healthcare provider on virtual consult

Ovulation Support Care Plan

Ovulation support program with a licensed healthcare provider

$249

Subscribe & Save $5.00 sticker bestseller
Prenatal Daily Packets

Prenatal Daily Packets

Vegan prenatal daily packets

$60 $55

Subscribe & Save $3.00 sticker bestseller
Magnesium Plus

Magnesium Plus

Pregnancy-safe drink mix to support relaxation‡

$35 $32

Subscribe & Save $2.00 sticker bestseller
Prenatal gummy vitamins

Prenatal Gummies

Doctor-formulated & delicious prenatal gummies

$35 $33

Subscribe & Save $5.00 sticker bestseller
Prenatal Daily Packets

Prenatal Daily Packets

Vegan prenatal daily packets

$60 $55

Subscribe & Save $3.00 sticker bestseller
Magnesium Plus

Magnesium Plus

Pregnancy-safe drink mix to support relaxation‡

$35 $32

Subscribe & Save $2.00 sticker bestseller
Prenatal gummy vitamins

Prenatal Gummies

Doctor-formulated & delicious prenatal gummies

$35 $33

Subscribe & Save $3.00 sticker bestseller
CoQ10 Liquid Capsules

CoQ10 Liquid Capsules

Antioxidant fertility supplement

$35 $32

sticker bestseller
Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy Tests

As low as $3.20 per test

$16

sticker favorite
Pregnancy Tests (2-Count)

Pregnancy Tests (2-Count)

Easy to read pregnancy tests

$9

sticker bestseller
Ovulation Tests

Ovulation Tests

As low as $1.67 per test

$30

Subscribe & Save $4.00 sticker save
mid stream ovulation and pregnancy test bundle

The Test Pack

Pregnancy & ovulation tests

$40 $36

Reach Out, We're Here

Have questions about your order or products? For the speediest answer, check out our FAQ section. Need something else? Come find us below.

Customer Support
support@natalist.com

Press Inquiries
media@everlyhealth.com

Business & Partnerships
team@natalist.com

Affiliates + Influencers
team@natalist.com

Job Openings
Careers Page