You’ve been dutifully tracking your fertility and just have to know: Am I pregnant? Or maybe you’re experiencing sore breasts, constipation, and other common early signs of pregnancy. Either way, there’s only one way to find out for sure: It’s time to take a pregnancy test. But for such a simple thing, you may have a lot of unanswered questions, including when to take a pregnancy test.

In this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about when to take a pregnancy test. Read on to find out:

  • When to take a pregnancy test for the most accurate result
  • The earliest you can take a pregnancy test
  • Plus, the best time of day to take a pregnancy test

When to Take a Pregnancy Test

When you think you might be pregnant, there’s only one thing on your mind: Taking a pregnancy test to confirm your suspicions. But it’s important to know that there are some guidelines around when to take a pregnancy test. Read on for the details:

When should you take a pregnancy test?

First thing’s first: Before you even think about when to take a pregnancy test, you’ll need to buy a pack of at-home pregnancy tests. Check out this post to learn about the most accurate at-home pregnancy tests.

Now, you know that old saying patience is a virtue? Never is this more true than when it comes to taking a pregnancy test.

At-home pregnancy tests provide the most accurate results 7-10 days after your missed period.

Why so long? At-home pregnancy tests check for the presence of hcG, a hormone our bodies secrete from the placenta during pregnancy. Pregnant women produce hcG at different rates, but most pregnant women will have enough hcG in their bodies to get a positive pregnancy test about a week after their missed period.

When is the earliest you can take a pregnancy test?

Now, you might be pacing around the house, because you just can’t wait that long?! And I don’t blame you, and I have a bit of good news:

You can get a positive pregnancy test as early as 10 days past ovulation.

Just know that the earlier you test, the higher the likelihood you’ll see a faint line that’s hard to decipher or get a false negative. (False positives are much less common—read more about what causes a positive pregnancy test when you’re not pregnant here.)

If you do decide to test early, see this post to get the scoop on what a faint line on a pregnancy test means.

When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?

So now you know when to take a pregnancy test, but you may still be wondering if a certain time of day is more likely to provide an accurate result.

When used according to package directions (i.e. after your missed period), you can test at any time of day and get an accurate result.

If you’re testing early, take your pregnancy test first thing in the morning. Why? In general, first morning urine (FMU) contains the highest concentration of hcG. If your body hasn’t yet built up a larger concentration of hcG, you’re more likely to get an accurate result early in the day.

Now What?

Still Have Questions About Taking a Pregnancy Test?

I don’t blame you! There’s so much to know about pregnancy tests. Check out this post for answers to just about any question you could ever have about pregnancy tests.