Why It’s not Recommended to do Pregnancy Test at Night?
How Pregnancy Test Works
If you are trying to get pregnant or have been pregnant in the past, then you probably know how a pregnancy test works. However, if you are new to pregnancy and at the same time have some pregnancy test questions like that other day where one of my friends ask me if taking a pregnancy test at night is alright, then you have come to the right place.
Before you learn what is the best time to take a pregnancy test, first is to understand how a pregnancy test works. Or you can use the quick navigation panel below and jump to your desire topic.
It’s this hCG that actually turns the pregnancy test stick into a positive sign if this hormone is present. Keep in mind that all pregnancy tests are different, so be sure to read the instructions enclosed in the box.
Watch this short and funny animated video on how a pregnancy test actually works…
This is a very funny video on how a pregnancy tests work: https://youtu.be/aOfWTscU8YM #PregnancyTestFacts
Positive Tests Are Highly Accurate
You can bet your life on the fact that when you get a positive pregnancy test, you are definitely pregnant. A test can be a false-positive, but statistically, tests are seldom false as the hCG hormone is ONLY produced when pregnancy occurs.
Negative Tests Aren’t Always Accurate
While it's highly unlikely to get a false positive, a false negative pregnancy test is more likely. If you are testing really early on, either the day that your period is due or even earlier, the pregnancy test might show a negative result even though you are pregnant and this is very common if you tested too early.
The reason a false negative commonly happens to women that do a pregnancy test too early is because the hCG hormone is not high enough to be detected by the pregnancy test stick yet.
However, if you are too anxious and absolutely must know whether you are pregnant or not, then you should buy those pregnancy test that is very sensitive at testing the presence of hCG but keep in mind that this kind of pregnancy test can be expensive and can easily cost you a fortune if all your tests turn out to be negative.
Can I Take A Pregnancy Test At Night?
While there is no predefined time when a woman can take a pregnancy test but taking a pregnancy test at night has a higher chance of giving you an inaccurate result. The reason is because the presence of the pregnancy hormone (hCG) is not as strong and will not be picked up as easily by the pregnancy test (There’s a workaround to that however, which will be discussed later)
This will be an issue for you especially if you are still early on in your pregnancy. Taking a pregnancy test at night might result in a super faint second line, which is hard for you to determine if you are indeed pregnant.
Furthermore, dilution of urine also occurs throughout the day when you drink all kind of fluids and it will dilute the hCG, which is another reason why the test might not work properly when done in the evening.
When Is It Best To Take A Pregnancy Test?
The best time to take a pregnancy test is when you first wake up in the morning and be sure to do it using fresh morning urine. When you sleep your bladder fills up with urine, this urine will be concentrated and will contain a higher amount of the hCG hormone (if you are indeed pregnant).
Think of all the liquids that you drink on a daily basis, all these combined "wash out" the HCG hormone, so it will not be as detectable. The hCG in your urine will increase over time, so the later on you test in your pregnancy - the more likely you are to have an accurate result.
It's understandable however as a woman that you want to find out as soon as possible, which is why you should always test first thing in the morning after you have been sleeping for at least 6 hours. You are also more likely to get an accurate pregnancy test result if you leave testing until the first day of your missed period.
Where You Can Get A Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests are widely available everywhere, so you should have many places to choose from when you decide to test. You can get them in health stores, pharmacies and even supermarkets! You can also get free pregnancy tests in sexual health clinics near you. Your doctor might also be able to give you a pregnancy test if you request for one.
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Tips For Taking An Accurate Home Pregnancy Test
- Testing too early is something that is so easy to do but you should really try to hold off if you want to get that accurate result right away. You should wait until at least 14 days past ovulation although women have been known to get positives at around 10 days past ovulation, for your own emotional wellbeing you should wait.
- When taking a pregnancy test, many people choose to urinate directly onto the stick but it's much better to do your business in a cup and then hold the pregnancy stick inside it. This is because coordinating the stick with the urine can be surprisingly difficult and could result in a wasted test.
- If you are testing really early, try and choose a test that is more sensitive in detecting levels of hCG. Check the packaging on the test and it will tell you how sensitive it is, try and choose one that detects 25 mIU or less. This might give you a positive earlier than other tests.
- If you get a negative test, it does NOT mean that it is all over. Give it 24 hours (remembering to test with (first morning urine (FMU)) and do another test. Try not to let it get you down too much if you are not pregnant, there's always next month!
- Do the pregnancy test using sticks of different brands.
- Do not compare your line with the control line. If you see a pink line at all, then it is a positive. You just want to be doubly sure? Repeat the test using the second stick ☺
- Take the test by dipping the first stick in the cup as directed, set it aside and leave the room instead of staring at it waiting for the results to appear. Wait until the allotted time is up (not any longer) and then look at the stick again for the result.
What If I Can’t Do First Morning Urine?
Test with a concentrated urine sample. Although it is usually recommended that you test with your urine first thing in the morning that is simply based on the assumption that your first urine for the day would be most concentrated.
However, that is not necessarily applied to all women. Chances are you would often get up in the night to pee. Hence, to get accurate results, alternatively here’s what you can do:
Drink only water throughout the morning when you intend to perform the test, avoid caffeine and other beverages.
Don’t drink too much water and don’t consume any salt in that morning either (to avoid getting thirsty)
Drink your last bit of water at noon and then try to wait six hours without peeing and take the test at 6pm.
Another advantage in taking the test in the late afternoon rather than first thing in the morning is that it allows you appropriate time and privacy to deal with the results, be it a positive or negative one.
Continuing with the Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and intend to carry on with the pregnancy, now will be a good time for you to start arranging for antenatal care. You can work out when your baby is due using the pregnancy due date calculator.
If You’re Not Sure You Want to Be Pregnant
If you are uncertain about continuing with the pregnancy, and would like some guidance or advice, you can choose to discuss it confidentially with a healthcare professional. Your options include:
- Continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the baby
- Continuing with the pregnancy and putting baby up for adoption. For more information on adoption, you can refer to the Child Welfare.
- Having an abortion
Other than a doctor or nurse, you can refer to the following for additional help or information. It will all be kept confidential. If you are below 16 years old, the staff will not inform your parents, even though you will be encouraged to talk to them.
If you are below 25 years old and seek advice specifically for young people, the Brook website (UK) contains additional information on pregnancy choices, or you can use their Ask Brook text and web chat service. Other places that you can get more help if you’re in the UK…
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