Waiting to take a pregnancy test can be a nerve wracking time, especially if you are feeling symptoms. Everybody is different, some would like to test as soon as possible while others prefer to wait until they can fully rely on the result. Most are somewhere in between! So when is the best time to take a pregnancy test?

How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?

Most home pregnancy tests work by using antibodies which detect the pregnancy hormone hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) in your urine. These antibodies bind to the hCG and, as they are attached to dye will form a second coloured line in the display window of the test, giving you a positive result.

How Soon Can I Test?

The day after you expect to get your period is officially the day of your missed period. This will vary according to your cycle length. If you don’t know when you are expecting your period or your cycle length or you can’t remember when the first day of your last period was, you could try testing from 21 days after you had unprotected intercourse. If you know when your missed period is, most pregnancy tests will give you an accurate positive or negative result on this day or afterwards. Some more sensitive tests can be used up to 6 days before your missed period but a negative result at this early stage is less accurate, so if you get a negative at this stage, repeat the test after 48hrs if your period doesn’t arrive.

When is the best time of day to test?

Depends on if you are a serial early tester or if you wait until your missed period! If you are testing on or after your missed period you can test at any time of day. If you are testing before your missed period, using the first urine of the day and avoiding drinking too much water beforehand will keep your urine concentrated and give you the best chance of your test detecting the hCG in your urine. If you don’t have a pregnancy test at home and you need to pee- you can save the first morning urine in a clean container and use that to test with your sensitive test when you get it.


Getting ready to take a pregnancy test for any reason is a nerve wracking time, even if you get the result you were hoping for. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself at this time and to have someone with you for support if you feel it would be helpful.

When in your cycle did you first get a positive test? Tell us in the comments below!

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