How Soon After Sex Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?
Updated: Feb 10
If you think you may be pregnant, waiting to take a pregnancy test can feel excruciating. If you’ve recently had unprotected sex or experienced contraception failure, you probably want to know as soon as possible. Before you begin to worry or make any plans, taking a home pregnancy test is a good first step. Of course, if you want to, skip the home test and come see us first. We can provide lab-grade pregnancy testing for you – free of charge.
When Should You Take a Pregnancy Test (For Best Results)?
Before You Miss Your Period
The earlier you take a test, the less accurate it will be. Taking a test before you miss your period or less than two weeks after sex can cause a false negative.
Some women take a test too early and assume they are not pregnant. This can be especially confusing if they spot or bleed during their first-trimester, making them believe they had their period.
We see women already in their second trimester before they notice more obvious pregnancy symptoms. They are often shocked to find out how far along they are.
Two Weeks Later
Many women test according to the “two weeks” rule. This means waiting to take a test until two weeks after unprotected sex. It can provide accurate results for women who are on a predictable 28-day cycle and who ovulating once and at a regular interval.
However, some women’s cycles are not as predictable, or medications such as birth control and antibiotics can change their cycle and date of ovulation. Even stress can cause interruptions.
After You Miss Your Period
The best time to take a pregnancy test is the day your period is supposed to start or after you realize your period is late. If your results are still unreadable or inconclusive, retake one the next day. For more accurate results, take a test when you first wake up. The hCG hormone is higher and more concentrated in the morning.
If the test is negative, but you still think you may be pregnant, wait a few more days and test again. HCG nearly doubles about every two days in early pregnancy.
Taking a pregnancy test is the first step. We’re your second. At your pregnancy confirmation appointment and options consultation, you can find out if the pregnancy is viable and how far along you are. We will also share evidence-based medical information on your pregnancy options: abortion, adoption, and parenting.
A home pregnancy test is an indicator of pregnancy, not a confirmation. That’s why you need an ultrasound to verify an intrauterine pregnancy.
Whether you are considering an abortion or are wanting to continue your pregnancy, we are here with options, answers, and support.
All our services are free of charge and we do not benefit from any decision you make.