When to Take a Pregnancy Test for Accurate Results 103

When can you take a pregnancy test? How early will a pregnancy test be accurate? Do you need to wait for a missed period? These are all common questions relating to when to take a pregnancy test and for good reason. It’s not like knowing if you are or aren’t pregnant is some trivial detail—a baby is a big deal, a life-changing, forever deal.

when to take a pregnancy test for accurate results

So, how do you know when to take a pregnancy test?

While many urine pregnancy tests boast they can predict pregnancy 6 days before a missed period, this is arguably inaccurate.

At best, you can get a positive pregnancy test, albeit often faint and with an early result test, 3 days after implantation. A study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in 2008 found that hCG levels don’t reach the minimum sensitivity of home pregnancy tests until roughly 3 days after implantation with levels as follows:

Day of implantation: 0.65 – 0.78 mIU/mL
Day 2: 1.95 to 2.6
Day 3: 4.55 to 6.13
Day 4: 10.1 to 13.91
Day 5: 21.19 to 30.03
Day 6: 44.2 to 60.97
Day 7: 73.58 to 104.91

The most sensitive over-the-counter test (First Response Early Result) has been shown to pick up levels of 5.5 mIU/mL. Other tests, such as Clearblue, had a much higher treshold of closer to 22 mIU/mL. This would make day 3 to 5 when a positive test would be possible.

Now, implantation can occur 6 to 12 days after ovulation, but in most cases, it’s 8 to 10 days.

So, let’s assume a few scenarios with a 28-day cycle placing ovulation and sex at mid-cycle or cycle day (CD) 14.

Fastest timeline: (DPO 9) (which is quite rare) implantation occurs on CD 20, you might be able to get a faint positive on CD 23 or 5 days before a missed period.

More likely timeline (DPO 12): implantation occurs on CD 23, a test might show faintly positive on CD 26, or 2 days before a missed period.

But at the slow end of the spectrum (DPO 14), implantation occurs on CD 26, a positive is possible the day after a missed period.

Remember, these examples would change with cycle length. For instance, on a 26-day cycle with ovulation at mid-cycle (CD 13) and a slower 12-day implantation lands on CD 25, so a test wouldn’t likely be positive until 2 days after a missed period.

You can use this formula to determine when to take a pregnancy test at the earliest, add about 2 more days for a safer bet:

# Cycle Days/2 + 12
Ovulation Date+12

Keep in mind that the sensitivity of the test you use and the time it takes for implantation can vary greatly, and pregnancy tests can be expensive. Early testing can also lead to concerns over false positives (or negatives).

Looking at pregnancy test data:

To support this, over at Fertility Friend, they did a survey of 93,184 charts where women were tracking their periods, ovulation, and/or temperatures and found the following statistics:

pregnancy test statistics when to take a pregnancy test

17 percent of women received a false negative as a result of testing too early, but an impressive 40.7 percent test too early overall with most testing 10 days past ovulation (DPO) or roughly 4 days before a missed period. The average DPO for a positive pregnancy test is 13.6 days, a whooping half a day before a missed period for most ladies. As you can see from the chart above, even a few days make a huge difference.

This data also correlates with a 2014 retroactive look at pregnancy test accuracy studies published in the National Library of Medicine from 1960 to 2013. hCG levels were found not to exceed 10 mIU/ml (the commonly suggested sensitivity of many home tests) until 10 to 12 days after ovulation or 2 to 4 days before a missed period. Further, the study also found that the majority of home tests were not actually able to detect levels this low, and when they were, home-users often misread the tests (squinters). 25 mIU/ml was a more common sensitivity level. A level not reached until 12 to 14 days after ovulation (around the time of a missed period.) The suggestion based on this data was that a test should not be taken earlier than 4 days before a missed period.

This likewise confirms the data shown above for hCG levels by days after implantation that suggested day 3 to 5 would be the earliest time frame for a positive test depending on brand. By ovulation, using the 8 to 10 day average, this would be day 11 to 15, again around the time of a missed period.

Given all of this, the day of your missed period is a fairly safe bet, but about 4 days after is more ideal, as 100 percent of women who were indeed pregnant got a positive test at that point over at Fertility Friend and data on hCG rises in pregnancy against test sensitivity would support a highly accurate result as well.

All that being said, when to take a pregnancy test, what’s the answer?

For the most accurate results, aim for 4 days after a missed period or 16 to 19 days after ovulation. Avoid testing any earlier than 4 days before a missed period or 10 DPO.

If you enjoyed our guide on when to take a pregnancy test you may also find helpful:
Calculating Your Chances of Pregnancy
False Pregnancy Test Results: How Common Are They?
Missed Period, Negative Test: What Gives?
Early Signs of Pregnancy Quiz
Period While Pregnant

In an effort to slay the spam monster and ensure no comment is left unread, your comments are moderated and won't appear until approved. Sorry about that, and thanks for reading!

103 thoughts on “When to Take a Pregnancy Test for Accurate Results

  • Taylor

    What if I tested the day after my missed period, got a negative, but my luteal phase is only 11 days long. And I probably ovulated on the 14th. What are the chances the negative at this point in my cycle, roughly about 12 days past ovulation, is correct?

    • unwirklich admin

      If your luteal is usually 11 days, then you tested one day late technically, which hypothetically leaves about a 25% chance of a false negative. If you consider it timing wise, even if fertilization took place on your day of ovulation, you’d have 6-12 days for implantation so DPO 6-12 + 2 days for hormone build up, a positive test would be possible DPO 8 to 14 making 12 a fairly safe bet for accuracy, but not a sure thing. :)

  • desperate

    Sex on day April 11th (pull out method)
    Last period days were april 5-11
    Next period due May 8th, “started” May 20th

    Could this be implantation bleeding and is it too early for anything

    • unwirklich admin

      If you had sex on the last day of your period with the pullout method it is very, very unlikely you are pregnant, but the April 11th to May 20th is also a long time, a lot longer than implantation takes. This sounds like just a late period.

  • Tay

    Hello, I have a question. My period is due Tuesday June 7 and I took a pregnancy test on Wednesday June 1 and it came up a faint postive. So today which is Friday June 3, I took another one and its still faint. So my question is could I still be pregnant or no? And if so when should I start seeing my pregnancy line get darker or does that not mean anything? Also I have taken all of the tests with first morning urine

    • unwirklich admin

      hCG should double about every 48 hours in early pregnancy, so hypothetically your lines should darken within 48 hours, but some tests are more sensitive than others and 4 days before a missed period is very early. I have to wonder if you aren’t seeing evap lines rather than faint positives. I’d wait until the 7th and retest, by then your lines would certainly be darker if June 1st was your first positive.

  • Natalie Shoesmith

    Hi all. I had my last period on the 15.05.16. My cycles are very irregular as i’ve got fibroids and more recently, ive got a haemorrhagic cyst. Anyways, my hubby and i bd’d all through my ovulation window. Fast forward to june 10th and my period came again. This time, it very light, darker in colour and i had no cramping whatsoever. My concern is ive been experiencing nausea, back pain, swollen breasts and mood swings ever since and today ive had light cramping on and off for an hour or so. Ive taken a urine test which was negative so im waiting to see what happens. I just wanted an idea of whether there is a very slim chance that i could be pg? Your advice, please.

    • unwirklich admin

      Fibroids can make conceiving really hard, particularly if they are bad enough to cause consistent irregularity. They can also cause spotting that may resemble a period, which makes things even harder. I recommend basal body temping, as that can help confirm ovulation and at least try to find an average ovulation point in your cycles. I’m not saying you can’t be pregnant, but honestly, with a negative test, bleeding, and a history of fibroids, it’s unlikely. You might even consider speaking with a specialist. Fibroids can be treated.

  • JC mo

    Enter your comment here…I had a sex with my bf a day my period stop without condom but I saw my period this month , is there any chance of me being pregnant?

  • Ivy

    Hello. I’m 31 no kids. My last period was June 18. Right now I’m late,my stomach cramped and felt like my period had came,I wiped yesterday and there was literally a needle tip of red. So this am I woke up cramp again,no cycle just a brownish discharge . What could this be?

    • unwirklich admin

      It could be the beginning of a period (in which case the bleeding will likely pick up) or it could be implantation bleeding. I would give it about a week. If the bleeding picks up, it was a period, if it doesn’t, take a pregnancy test.

  • Kaydee

    As I posted a couple of weeks ago, my period came a week early. But I’m still cramping and my back and hips are a little sore. Plus when I wipe sometimes, there’s a very tiny speck of blood. My boobs still feel a lil heavy. I bought a pregnancy test from the dollop tree Friday and the test came back negative. Should I wait a little longer to a the 2nd test?

  • Timothy Nicole De jesus

    Hi I had sec with my boyfriend on the day may period is already 1 week late. its already been 2 weeks. Am i Pregnant? We used a condom but my period still isnt here

    • unwirklich admin

      Unless you had sex prior to that act, the delay in your period couldn’t be from pregnancy. It is possible that you didn’t get a period because you hadn’t ovulated yet though, in which case if you ovulated within 5 days of the sex, you could become pregnant. I would suggest waiting 2 weeks from the date of intercourse. If you haven’t had a period, take a pregnancy test.

  • Tara wells

    Hi, my cycle is on average 26 days, my period lasts on average 6 days. I’m normally regular. I was with my Boyfriend both 7/24-7/25, ovulation was (according to my period app) on 7/28. 3 days after unprotected sex, (normally we use withdrawal method, but didn’t this time. We have been together nearly 14 years and thus far have never conceived) My period was expected 8/11-16 today is 8-17 and no period. On 8/7 I had cramping and irrability but no normal pms symptoms tender breasts, which I always have about a week prior to my period. I’ve been moody and have slight cramping in abdomen but not normal period cramps, or bowl cramps. Althought I have had gas since 8/11 and On 08/13 I felt nauseous then it passed then shortly later I felt so ill I nearly threw up in my parked car. Any way fast forward to today 8/17 which would be my 7th CD but it is actually now my 33CD (normally 26). I used a first response test this morning first thing. Followed instructions to the P. Came up with a negative. So I went about my day and now I’m scantly spotting a brownish red only when I wipe. Sorry about the TMI but I’m just a bit confused about what’s going on. I have one test left I plan on waiting to test in week or when my app shows my next ovulation day 8/23 now I wish I bought the 8 pack not the 2 pack of tests…… This is just making me a big stress ball! With these dates and time frame could I be pregnant and the test just isn’t showing yet? Thanks so much.

    • unwirklich admin

      You should have been in accurate range for a test. My bet here is that you ovulated late or didn’t ovulate at all, and that’s what delayed your period (unless there was sex beyond the dates given). If there were other acts, it’s still possible you’re pregnant and just tested to early. I think you have the right idea with giving it a week, then retesting.

  • Casandra

    My cycle is every 26days and I had brown spotting with mucous on cd 16, cd19, and the day of my expected period only when I wipe. I was due for Af on 11/24/16 and it never showed. I had unprotected sex on cd13 only. Took a hpt on 11/23 and 11/25 bth was negative. Not sure what’s going on; however, my period is always on time and I don’t have any indication that it’s coming… Period for the last past months (9/7/16, 10/3/16, 10/29/16 and 11/24/16)…

    • unwirklich admin

      I would give it a few more days, a week if you want to be certain, and re-test if your period hasn’t showed. If it’s negative and you don’t get your next cycle either, see your care provider.

  • Anonymous

    I got period like bleeding two days before the due date. I have a regular 30 day cycle. Bleeding is red, heavier than spotting but much lighter than my usual periods, lasted for only three days. Can it be implantation bleeding. My LMP is 5 Nov 2016

    • unwirklich admin

      This sounds too heavy to be implantation, but could still be break through bleeding (a result of low early pregnancy hormone levels). Of course, it could also just be a light period. If you still suspect pregnancy, I would test about 4 days after your period was due.

  • cythia

    Hi,my circle is 26 and I had unprotected sex on the 6day after my period I had symptoms for 4weeks and vanished, and tested positive and another time negative .am confused Pls help me

  • Ais

    Here’s my case…
    It is my third pack of BC pills already and I consistently take it. I might miss but only for a few hours. Hence, perhaps my cycle’s 28 now.

    I had contact on CD12 with no back up or emergency contraception aside from the BC pills. Yesterday and today I experienced light spotting and bearable cramps. I am starting to worry because I aced the preggy symptoms. Next week, I am expecting my period.

    My question is: Is it possible to get pregnant as in my case?
    Thanks a lot!

    • unwirklich admin

      With proper pill use your chances are about 1%, day 12 is possibly a fertile time for you, or within range of one as far as sperm survival.

  • Erin Bragg

    We are trying to conceive our second child (we have a 23 month old). My cycles have been 28 days apart since I stopped my birth control 6-7 months ago. We had a pretty stressful time in September due to a job loss, so November and December my cycles went to 25 days, then 27 and this month was back at 28. I started 1/1/17 and bled for my normal 5 days. I started the Clearblue OPK on CD8 (fmu) and got a negative, CD9 (fmu) was another negative. On CD10 OPK went right to peak, along with light cramping that is normal for me during ovulation. We had sex on CD9, CD10 and CD11. On CD17 I felt mild cramping but no spotting which I am guessing could have been implantation cramping. This lasted 2-2.5 days. It wasn’t painful like my normal cramps, just uncomfortable. I have had no spotting or bleeding at all. My period should be due 1/28/17 unless I start early because of early ovulation. Does this sound normal to you or is it unlikely with early ovulation on CD10 that I could be pregnant? I know I just need to wait until this weekend and see if I start but the suspense is getting me! Lol.

    • unwirklich admin

      10 is on the early side, but can be normal for some (it’s more common in folks with short cycles 25-28 days, and it sound like lately you’ve ranged from 25-28). You absolutely can become pregnant with early ovulation. Are you also temping? That can be an easy way to confirm your dates.

      • Bolkem

        Good day sir, please I had my period for 3 days from Dec 31 to Janu 2 and my CD was 28, I notice sore and swollen breast with temperature but I did not see any white egg mucus during my ovulation, on my CD 17 sore nipple stopped and remain swollen and temperature till now, with loud noisy stomach, I carry out HPT this morning which was CD 25 and was negative, can I still be pregnant

  • Vicky

    Just wondering if anyone could advise when I would have conceived . I got a positive pregnancy test on 1st August 2016 said 2-3 weeks on a clear blue. I hadnt had a period since 13th may 2016 so defo couldn’t go by last period date. My due date isn’t 8th April 2017. I did a test on 25th July and it was negative would it have been too early
    To test then ? Thanks in advance

    • unwirklich admin

      If you count back 38 weeks from your due date (pregnancy is 40 weeks but starts 2 weeks before ovulation/conception) you get July 23, which would have made the test on the 25th too early, my guess would be sometime in the second half of July.

  • Alesha

    Hi, i have a question…my son is 7 months old and teething and also on solid foods…i breastfeed him twice a day, sometimes once a day. I feed him in the morning and night and solids the rest of the day. I got my periods back 2 months pp and has a period every month until nov. 16 when it was a weird 4 day bleed, spotting almost instead of a normal 7 day bleed..i haven’t had a period since and my last test was jan.4 and it was negative. I feel as though im not ovulating and i havent been ttc or really worried about it cuz i was driving myself crazy..i wanna test but i dont know if i should..i went on a diet and cleaned up what i eat and i thought i lost weignt but i actually gained weight..i get nauseous and dizzy from time to time but nothing severe. I get abdominal cramps and it feels like pinching sometimes but i feel it and dont think anything of it so im not breaking my own heart with another negative test..what do you think could be the problem ??

    • unwirklich admin

      Changes in diet and activity levels can change your cycles, so there’s a chance that’s what’s to blame here. The breastfeeding shouldn’t have much effect unless you changed the feeding frequency or duration. I’d say just go ahead and take that test to be sure, if it’s negative and your symptoms don’t begin to dissipate after another few weeks, talk with your care provider.

  • Piscesgirl

    My periods had been a little off due to taking my mirena out,(9/10/2016), (10/6/2016),(10/30/2016), (11/11/2016), (11/30/2016). Due to my fertility app I was supposed to ovulate sometime between the 5th of December and the 12th. We did the deed on the 7th and everyday in between until the 18th. We took a break and also did it on the 22 of December. The 25th of December ( Christmas) I took a fainted positive pregnancy test. I tested again on the 29th and it was a solid bold line. They are saying that my due date is September 12 according to the ultrasound I had at 6 weeks ( what they determined was 6 weeks). These calculators online say I could have conceived during the 17-25? The sex I had on the 22nd would not make sense being that I tested positive on the 25 right? Help!

    • unwirklich admin

      No, with a positive test the 25, conception could have been no later than the 17th (6 day implantation+2 day hormone build). The average time for implantation is actually 8-10 days though, so I would say between 13-15th is actually more likely. Implantation beyond 14 days is rare if even possible though and ovulation can’t take place before day 9, so you can guarantee your conception was sometime between Dec 9-17th. I’m not sure why the calculators would be giving you about a week later than that. Is that based on the due date your ultrasound gave? There is some room for variance with those as all babies develop at different rates.

  • Anonymous

    my last period is dec13 and contact by 27 then i take a test result positive after jan31 blood is coming for almost a week itry to test even if blood is still it is positive .. it is posible that still pregnant???

    • unwirklich admin

      Many women have early pregnancy bleeding, especially in that first month. If the test is still positive after the bleeding has stopped, you should see a care provider to confirm the pregnancy.

  • Mich

    I hope you can help- feel like I’m going out of my mind thinking about every eventuality! I’m on round 3 of clomid. All three rounds ovulation (if cramps and opks to be believed) has been at day 16. First round I got pregnant but had had what I thought was a five day period before testing (sore boobs remained). This was heavy bleeding like a period not spotting and started at 8 dpo. In all cycles (natural and ovulated or clomid) since then I seem to have started period 8 dpo! In latest cycle, ovulated at CD16, v light, brown spotting 6-9 dpo no cramps at all which I usually suffer from quite badly. I’m urinating frequently and have had a bad headache for the week but all pregnancy tests have come back as negative. I’m at 11dpo now and 6 days after spotting started (none now for 2 days), so was the spotting my period? V v v light no tampons etc vs. Usual heavy flow for a few days. Or am i still in my cycle and waiting to see if period or bfp will arrive? With first pregnancy I had sore boobs which is how I knew to test. I usually get these pre period too but I’ve felt nothing so far. Really confused! Please help.

  • Lola brown

    I had a positive result for a LH surge on 02/06 we had intercourse 02/06,02/07, and 02/10. My period was supposed to be here on 02/18 it has not came yet I went to my Dr office and had a pregnancy urine test done on 02/22 and the result was negative but still I have no period. Could I have tested to early? Thank you .

    • unwirklich admin

      4 days late should have put you in accurate range going by your projected period and your ovulation estimate (2/06+14 is 2/20) but then if you maybe read an almost positive OPK as positive and actually got pregnant from the intercourse on the 10th, then yes, it’s possible that you tested just a smidge too early. A positive OPK usually means ovulation will occur in 24-48 hours and an egg can only survive around 24, so if it was actually positive the 6th pregnancy from intercourse the 10th would be unlikely as O+3 is the likely range for pregnancy. But particularly with the line style OPKs it’s easy to read an almost-positive as positive which would give you another day or two bringing the 10th in to likely range. I know, that was probably kind of confusing and a long answer, but hopefully it helps. The short of it, I would retest in a day or two.

  • Maia

    Hello! I reay need some help.
    My last period was on Feb 7 2017. I had protected sex on Feb 23. I was expecting my period to come on march 7, on Feb 25 I again had protected sex, before intercourse I saw in my liner a drop of brown but that’s it.

    Now March 26 2017 and I still haven’t gotten my period. I took tests on March 17, 20, 22 and 23 and were all negative. If it helps, I had a gummy like discharge on March 13 and a white wattery didcharge on thr 23rd. What is happening. I never missed a period and it came usually 28-30 days from the last. Not experiencinf any sign of pregnancy to be honest, just mild cramping but nothing like my usual period cramps where I can’t stand. I get headaches too but not sure if it’s because of stress as I usually have only 4-5 hours of sleep or the heat.

    Period history was 30 days last time. And a 16 and 17 day before but I think that was because of ECP.

    • unwirklich admin

      Did you take ECP once, or two months in a row? If twice, there’s a good chance you caused a wee bit of hormonal imbalance, maybe even a small ovarian cyst that prevented ovulation this month (lack of ovulation is the most common cause of a missed period without pregnancy). Chances are your cycle will return to normal after a month or two, but if it doesn’t, see your care provider to help get things back on track.

  • Amon

    Hi, I’ve been searching through the internet for days and I can’t find anything to help me. My cycles are pretty long averaging from about 40-45 days. My last period started March 15th, two days after I had sex. I know it’s unlikely to be pregnant but just to be sure I took a test on April 21st (after my fertile window) and it was negative. Also in April I had sex twice during my “fertile window” (the 14th and the 16th) and as of today (May 8th) I’ve completely missed my period. I took a pregnancy test and it was negative, my periods are never more than 2-4 days late. Is there a chance I could be pregnant from The weekend in April?

    • unwirklich admin

      It’s not impossible, but with long cycles like this, it’s very unlikely. If you’re TTC, I recommend first basal body temping to see what your cycle actually looks like as far as the length of time before and after ovulation, as well as to confirm you’re ovulating. That can help pinpoint what hormone may be causing your long cycles so that you can work towards getting it balanced out.

  • Ammy

    Hi I lost my twin boys at 26 weeks. Both died in uterus. Now I want to concieve again. But I am worried, is it too early .Should I wait for another few months. Been having unprotected s** but still seems like I m unable to concieve. What should I do. My periods started on 1st march n quite regular. 30 to 31 cycle. It was my first pregnancy but ended like this. I delivered both twins normally on 20 january 2017. Any advice would b appreciated

    • unwirklich admin

      I’m sorry for your loss. Twin pregnancy is always high risk. As for how long to wait, that depends on you more than anything. Most doctors recommend waiting at least one month, but after that it’s more of a mental state than physical issue. Are you ready? Is the real question. If your cycles have returned to a normal pattern, that’s also a good sign fertility wise, but you might look into basal body temping to time intercourse. Fingers crossed you find your rainbow baby.

      • Ammy

        I dont keep a track of bbt .But we do try every third day. Still seems like nothing is happening. I am so worried about it now. What should I do other than tracking basal body temprature??

        • unwirklich admin

          There isn’t much more you can do. If your cycle is consistent, your fertility is probably fine, though the advantage of BBT tracking is that it can help spot cycle irregularities such as luteal phase defects that can sometimes hurt fertility. You can also test those levels through your doctor, but you’d only get a one-time snap shot rather than a view over time.

          Because your loss was a twin pregnancy, in my opinion, it’s unlikely there was anything “wrong” so to speak that can behind some losses, twin pregnancies just naturally have a higher loss rate. Make sure you’re taking a good multivitamin with folic acid, maintain a healthy diet, exercise a few times a week if you can, and just try not to stress, hang in there.

          • Ammy

            I have been taking folic acid. I have just started taking cac 1000. Do you think vit c in cac can prevent pregnancy?

          • unwirklich admin

            Personally, I don’t believe so, no. Though a bit aggressive in tone, this page gives a good overview of what I feel is a myth surrounding vitamin C and miscarriage/abortion. If you personally review the data on this subject and feel it’s a risk, do what makes you feel most comfortable, because that matters more than what any study says.

  • Cece

    Hi I have a cycle between 26-27 days my my period in June was the 16th my period in July was on the 12 my next period was due on August 7th my tracker says. And normally it’s pretty accurate or a day earlier. Today is the 10th. No change in anything such as medication or exercise no bc. My breast are enlarged and having slight food cravings nothing outrageous. Normally I see spotting light pink if I am pregnant but nothing this month. WHATS GOING ON???

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Normal period variance is +/-3 days, so you aren’t really “late” yet. I would give it a day or two more, if you no show, take a test.

  • Jana

    Iv been charting for over a year and have a cycle of 28 days with a 5 day period. This month I had ovulation paid on day 25 and didn’t think much about it. I am now on cycle day 36 and no period yet. Iv taking pregnancy tests and nothing. I’m not sure what’s going on but I feel tired, hormonal, and sore boobs. Iv never been late or missed a period. Iv. Been charting for a month and just want to either start or get a ostitice test. Any ideas?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Did you have a clear temp shift? how are your post-ovulation temps? My first thought here is you failed to ovulate for some reason, but if you had a temp shift that’s far less likely. You’d likely be seeing sort of erratic temps. If your temps went up and stayed up, I’d try a blood test (though it’s possible to have high temps and not be pregnant if you have high progesterone).

  • Tamara

    Hi me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex yesterday (18th of September) and my period ended roughly the (14th of September). He didn’t ejaculate inside of me but he later told me he came that morning (roughly 4 hours before we had sex) and doesn’t remember peeing since. He went to classes and wore clothes for the four hours before we had sex. My periods almost always start the 8th of every month. What are the chances I’m pregnant?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Possibility of precum aside, it’s very unlikely you were fertile 4 days after your period unless you have an irregular cycle. This is because ovulation takes time, a very early estimate for folks with a short cycle is day 10-11, typical for those on 28-30 day cycles is closer to day 14. Sperm can only survive up to about 5 days, so at cycle day 4, you were more than 5 days before ovulation no matter how you time it (as long as your cycles are regular).

  • Renee

    Based on my period tracker my cycle is 30days. My last period was September 3rd. Predicted date of ovulation was the 18th. My partner and I used Stork otc on 9/14 and then again on 9/17 each time we left the cc (cervical cap) in for 6 hours before removing. On 9/19 I had a strong metallic taste in my mouth that morning. On 9/20 I had such a bad headache I had to leave work. I also had minimal cramps. On 9/21 I just felt so tired,were it usually takes me a while to go to sleep, i just kept falling asleep. On 9/23 I felt so bloated kind of like if you ate too much yet this was allll day I felt extremely full before I’d eat or drink anything all day. I also was up and down all night peeing. My breasts aren’t sore or changing colors. Even during or before cycles my bbs never hurt. Yesterday when I wiped there was a light yellowish cm on tissue. I woke up this am on CD 23 and took a pt and it was a BFN. My expected start date is 10/3. I’ve never done bbt but the last 4 days I have. First time was 97.5, 97.7, 97.8 and today’s 98.1. I don’t want to get my hopes up. Should I take this BFN as truth and plan to try the Stork otc again in October?
    Thank you for taking the time to read this any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      It sounds like you’re new to TTC, it can be a confusing time. First, to save you lots of grief. Pregnancy symptoms won’t occur until after implantation. After intercourse, that takes a minimum of 6 days with 8-10 being the average. Any time before that, there’s no reason to track symptoms. Personally, I usually tell ladies not to worry about it until after a missed period, because though hormone build starts at implantation, it takes awhile for levels to get high enough to really change anything body wise. Lots of ladies start to notice symptoms they didn’t have before while TTC, but it’s usually because either they just are paying closer attention or they started supplements/made lifestyle changes to conceive and that caused a little hormonal flux (which can cause odd symptoms).

      BBT tracking won’t actually help you unless you have an entire cycle to look at (or at least a good midcycle chunk). I do have a full guide on how to do that here, but there are others online too.

      Finally, it’s also possible you tested too early. A pregnancy test can be positive no earlier than 8 days past ovulation (6 day implantation+2 day hormone build), on a 30-day cycle, that’s likely CD 23 (the day you tested) so you were on the very earliest date possible which has a pretty high false negative rate. I know lots of women who start testing at day 23 and keep going daily until they see AF, but I think it’s easier on tests to wait until 12 days after ovulation at minimum, preferably 14+.

      So basically, no, you’re not necessarily out for the month, but you could be. The average couple tries for about 6 months to conceive, sometimes it takes time. Hope that helps.

  • Natasha Brown

    I have always had a 28 day cycle, now I am on CD 32, my expected cycle date was 10/3.of course by 10/4 I took a rest and it was negative, tested again 10/5, negative. I’m kind of confused since this has never occurred with me before. I feel like it’s a safe bet that there is no need to test further as most likely I’m not. By the chart it still seems I could be in the 5% who won’t know until I’m 4 days late.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Normal period variance is +/-3 days, so the occasional 4-5 days late cycle is not really cause for concern. If your period does show in a few days though, yes, I’d go ahead and test again. If it’s still negative, you may have had an anovulatory cycle.

  • Jade

    Hi, so I have a 26 day cycle. I ovulated on 30th October. AF is due today, no show (yet) and no signs AF is coming. No cramps ETC, I really need to stop trolling sites and getting my hopes up I’ll get a positive at 12dpo. Anyway. I tested yesterday which was accidentally an OPK. Which came positive? And tested with a HPT (not morning wee) today and got a BFN. My cycle is very regular. I track OV with OPK. Today would place me at 15dpo. And from what I’ve read I would most definitely get a BFP 15dpo? We’ve been TTC for a year next month. I can’t remember how many days I’d missed AF with my DD. Does it sound like I’m definitely out this month and I’m just ridiculously hoping everything is on the late side of the scale?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Unfortunately, a positive OPK so early is actually not a sign of pregnancy. We have a full page on the topic here, but a pregnancy test will show positive for hCG before an OPK (which can pick up hCG, but it takes a lot higher levels). If your pregnancy test was negative, it’s probably a progesterone drop related LH rise. I’m sorry, I know that’s not what you wanted to hear after trying so long. Which, being it’s been a year, you are to the point a fertility specialist would see you. Wishing baby dust your way.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If you don’t know for sure when you ovulated, you can either take your average cycle length and cut it in half, assume that date for ovulation (rough estimate) or just wait 14+ days from the sexual act you suspect may have resulted in pregnancy.

  • Sazza

    Been trying to conceive since sept (not log I know) but I have endometriosis. Doctor said getting pregnant could help. So we took his advice. Yesterday 23rd Nov, I took HPT and got a very faint second line, my period due 24th Nov (I average 23 day cycles) got another faint line this morning little clearer than yesterday. When would we get a clearer fuller line? And when would I have ovulated?
    Thanks in advance

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      I wouldn’t recommend a baby just for endometriosis, but yes, a pregnancy can help (if you likewise want a baby, hah). hCG levels (the hormone pregnancy tests detect) generally double every 48 hours or so in a healthy pregnancy, so your line should progressively darken each day, but you’ll definitely see a darker line within 48 hours. If you had your first positive on the 23rd, you conceived no later than the 15th, probably between the 11-13th sometime. Congrats! Many ladies with endo. have trouble conceiving, you got very lucky with a first month success.

  • Anna Ardis

    I had me last period on 11/7. My cycles are on average 26 day. I should have start on 12/3.i am very regular. I did have very light bleeding 11/21-11/23.it wasnt enough to fill a pad in a day.I havent start yet but ive been achey and i was a little quiesy off and on yesterday. I took a hpt this morning but it was negative. Was wondering if it was implantaion bleeding and i just tested too early. Or if it was my period just early but it was def lighter than normal.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      It only takes about 48 hours to get a positive test after implantation, so my guess here is either a bit of hormonal spotting or early, light period.


    My boyfriend and i had sex the night of December 30. We got too heated and he ejaculated inside me, as well as some cum outside my vagina. I wiped off the outside but either way, he ejaculated inside. This happened one day before my expected period with the use of the Pink Daily app. We went to a CVS Pharmacy after it happened to purchase the Plan B pill right away. Do you think I can be pregnant?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Sex just before a period has the lowest chance of pregnancy all cycle. With plan B use too, you’re likely in the clear.

  • Lawrencia

    My last period was on 26th-27th of January 2018. I always have period for 3 days. Had sex on my ovulation says that’s on the 4th feb and 8th Feb 2018. Have done 3 test first one was negative but second faint line and the third a little darker faint line again. Am I probably pregnant

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Any line on a pregnancy test is considered positive, if your line is darkening that’s a good sign it’s also not a false positive. It does indeed sound like you’re pregnant.

  • Aswathy

    Hi… my last period was on 31 Jan 2018 and my cycle usually varies from 28 days to 32 days. No idea when I ovulated and my hubby and I have been ttc and had regular sex whole through the cycle. I am on CD 33 today and no AF till now. I have all the pretty menstrual symptoms like mild cramping . When is the safe time to check for pregnancy?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If your longest cycle range is 32, I would wait until cycle day 36 if you’re patient enough :) A test now would be fairly accurate, but there’s still a very small chance you’d get a false negative.

  • Ashwini

    Hi…3.5 yrs for trying a baby . 1 cyst removed .also cleared pcos ovary . over weight .- 75 kg my last period was on 12 MAR 2018 and my cycle usually varies from 26 days to 28 days. ovulation kit shown positive at 23rd MARCH I have all the menstrual symptoms like mild cramping, tiredness, stomach upset , headache . . 31 mar 2018 – negative beta hcg <.01 miu and HPT also negative..when is the safe test

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If your test was positive March 23rd, you ovulated 24-48 hours after that and should wait at least 14 days from ovulation to test, so around April 8th. The 31st was likely way too early. While on occasion someone manages a positive test 8 days after ovulation, 8 days after a positive OPK isn’t really possible.

  • Aarti

    I had my period on 9th March and my cycle is of 25 days.
    Did a urine pregnancy test last evening, came out negative. Still see no sign of periods (cramps, breakouts, bloated feeling) that I usually do.
    How long should I wait before taking another test?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      I assume you were due the 3rd? So the test was the day after your period was due? I would wait until about 4 days late or the 7th. A good general rule though is to never take a second test within 48 hours of the first as hCG should double every 48 hours.

  • morgan

    hi my period was due the 23rd of april 2018 its the 26th and I’ve had a positive first response and negative clear blue. my breasts are really sore and I feel nauseous with upset stomach and extra tired

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Since you have two tests with different results, I’d retest in a few days. A digital may eliminate the chance of misreading a result. :)

  • Tie

    Ok so I’m confused i had sex on 4/13 took a test on 4/23 it was negative i had sex again (with a different partner) on then 26th i took a test today and it’s positive i last had my period around 4/4 it trying figure out when i conceived

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      How long is your cycle average? Cut it in half, start counting days from 4/4, that’s your likely conception date. For example, if you run a 28-day cycle, 14 days from 4/4 is 4/20, partner one is the likely dad in that case as you can’t get pregnant from sex more than 48 hours after ovulation. If you have an irregular cycle or don’t track it, I’m afraid you might not get any insight until you have a dating ultrasound (you can ask for one, the earlier it’s done the more accurate it will be). Either way I would still have a paternity test done (start with the more likely father), that’s not the sort of thing you want to guess at, it’s going to change one of these fellows lives forever. Congrats!

  • Star

    Hi .. so I had unprotected sex on April 30th I think a week before or 2 I had my period.. I don’t really keep track of them but i don’t know if my bf was really inside me … after everything was done I asked him if he was inside. he said yea I think so my …. is wet but i don’t know. I didn’t really feel him inside but I felt a little pressure but i don’t know so can I be pregnant? And when is it good to take a test ?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Anytime there’s sex there’s a chance of pregnancy. Since you aren’t tracking your cycles, it’s hard to say how high of a chance though. A pregnancy test would be accurate 14+ days from the intercourse.

  • Juan

    Hey so my girlfriend took the first Response pregnancy test. And it was negative but I’m still worried.
    Her last period was on may 2nd and her ovualion was on the 18th her cycle is 30days. We had unprocected Sex on the 20th and I pulled out. After 7hours she took the plan b pill . Then we were messing around and I sorta penetrated her vagina but no Sex This occurred at may 26. Her period is due tomrrow June 2nd but she feels like she’s having ppregnacy symptoms. She took the test yesterday and it was negative but I feel like it was to soon. The First response test kit saids it can be used before 5 days before period. So should she take another test a week from now ? Need advice thank you

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      You won’t have pregnancy symptoms before a missed period, and the intercourse timing here sounds unlikely for pregnancy, but yes, sometimes a test taken before a missed period gives a false negative.

  • sarah

    i had unprotected sex (for a few moments before a condom was put on) on may 27th (the last day of my last period) and two times (no condom, only withdrawal) on june 3rd and took an aftera e.c. pill twelve hours later. i have a 24 day cycle and estimate that i ovulated around the 10th, the 3rd of june being day 15 in my cycle. my breasts have been tender and swollen for the last week and i’ve had slight cramping, but these could be possible side effects of the pill. i’m due for my period on the 13th and took a pregnancy test this morning that came back negative. was that test taken too soon? or is the “21st day progesterone” concept a myth entirely, even with my cycle length and ovulation date?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      For pregnancy to occur the intercourse has to be within 5 days of ovulation. It sounds like that’s unlikely here with all acts if the latest was on the 3rd and you likely ovulated on the 10th, and yes, EC will cause pregnancy-like symptoms and often causes irregular bleeding. I have not heard or the “21st day progesterone” so I can’t speak to it’s accuracy, but if you test was taken 10 days after the intercourse and 3 after ovulation, yes, it’s possible that it was too early. Based on ovulation it definitely would be, based on intercourse, possibly, waiting 14+ days is best.

  • AMY

    HI I had my period on the 16th of May (31 day cycle) experience some mild cramping and pinkish spotting on the 25th of May which I thought was ovulation spotting that I never had b4 lasted like 4 days and thEn I started experienceing pregnancy symptoms took a test today and it was negative can I still b pregnant from having sex on the 30th

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Possibly, but you’re close enough to accurate range for a pregnancy test it’s less likely. If the symptoms were pregnancy related, the test would also be accurate (though you can have PMS before a pregnancy). If you want to test again, wait at least 48 hours.

  • How

    Hi my husband and I have sex on 1st July and supposed to have my period on 19 July (irregular but ard 28 days cycle) I’m feeling very tired last week and nausea on friday. I did a test on 21st which is last sat but it negative. My period is still not here. When should I do the test again?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Generally if symptoms are pregnancy related, a test will reflect that, especially already being a few days late. If you wanted to retest, you’d want to wait a minimum of 48 hours, but it sounds more likely this is either some form of hormonal imbalance or an anovulatory cycle.

  • Anonymous


    I’ve a seemingly complicated one ( it’s blowing my mind, anyway)

    I’m currently on day 41 of my cycle, no period. (last period was June 16-21). I had protected ( with a condominium as my husband recently had a vasectomy and were in “limbo” ) on day 28 (July 13th). I have NO idea what a regular period looks like right now because I am still nursing my 14 month old, but much last period was 33 days.
    I took three pregnancy tests, the last one was yesterday morning-first thing. All negative. Did I early? Is there any chance of pregnancy?

    I’ve felt like my period was going to start on and off for nearly two weeks and it’s driving me crazy. I told my husband it’s like having to sneeze.. but not being able to.

    No major “pregnancy” symptoms except those that could also be pms.. I’ve felt a little nauseous on and off but I did some traveling this weekend and flying throes me off ( as does anxiety and that’s super high) also I have a weird taste in my mouth?? No soreness in the breasts at all..

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Unfortunately with the breastfeeding, if you ovulate there’s a fair chance it’s irregular (otherwise your cycle would also be regular) and that makes ensuring you’ve waiting long enough for a pregnancy test harder. In general though, 14+ days from the last sexual act is a safe bet. If that was July 13th and your test was July 25th, it’s entirely possible it was too early, yes. Oh course you have quite a few factors working to slide the probability to not pregnant here, so you might give it a little while to see if your cycle starts and saves you a test.