This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for the support!
Jump Ahead To:
How Long After Implantation Can You Test?
A home urine pregnancy test can detect the HCG hormone (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)–which is known as the pregnancy hormone–5 days after implantation when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus. However, if you want to get the most accurate results, you should wait to test until the first day of a missed period.
What Is Implantation?
Implantation is when the embryo–which is technically called the blastocyst–attaches to the lining of the uterus.
When you ovulate, your body releases an egg in the fallopian tube.
The egg travels through the fallopian tube and, if sperm is present, could be fertilized.
The egg continues to travel through the fallopian tube into the uterus.
The fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining. This process is called implantation.
Some women will experience light bleeding during this phase. This is called implantation bleeding.
If it is successful, the embryo will start to rapidly-produce HCG and the pregnancy continues. If implantation doesn’t happen, your uterus sheds the lining to start the menstrual cycle over again. The shedding of the lining is your period.
Some common signs of implantation are:
- Light bleeding
- Tender breasts
- Irritability or mood swings
Implantation bleeding is the most obvious sign of implantation to detect. Implantation bleeding will be light pink or brown, where the vaginal bleeding you have during your period is bright red.
These are also the same symptoms that you might experience with PMS (premenstrual syndrome), further complicating when implantation occurs.
Implantation is different from ovulation.
Implantation vs Ovulation?
Implantation is when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall, ovulation happens 6-12 days before that and is when the egg is released into the fallopian tubes.
Ovulation is a more accurate predictor of when you will get the earliest positive pregnancy test.
This is because implantation often happens without any symptoms. So, it is really hard to know when you are 5 days past implantation to take a pregnancy test.
To get the earliest possible positive pregnancy test result, it is a good idea to track ovulation.
If you are tracking ovulation, it is easier to know when to start testing. The earliest you can start testing is 7 DPO (days past ovulation) and most women will get an accurate reading at 11-14 DPO.
I got my positive test result at 9 DPO.
I was tracking my ovulation with OPK tests, basal body temperature, and cervical fluid.
You can track ovulation using an app like Premom or monitor your cervical fluid, but these methods do not tell you exactly when you ovulate.
You can accurately track your ovulation in two ways: with an ovulation predictor kit (OPK test), or by tracking your basal body temperature (BBT).
- OPK tests detect the luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine.
They work just like pregnancy tests, by collecting your urine or peeing right on the stick.
You will get a positive test during your LH surge. Ovulation happens between 12 and 36 hours after the LH surge.
With OPK tests you have to test at least twice a day in your fertile window (3-5 days before ovulation). This can be time-consuming and expensive. Luckily you can buy tests in bulk from Amazon that are reasonably priced, but some women find them hard to read. Personally, I didn’t find them hard to read, but these Pregmante OPK tests came with really good instructions. Some kits do not have instructions.
Want to know more about ovulation testing? Read my full article here.
Here is the Pregmate OPK Test Kit that I bought on Amazon:
Another option is Clear Blue… It is a digital test that gives you an easy-to-read result on a digital screen to tell you exactly when your LH surge is happening before ovulations.
- Tracking your basal body temperature tells you most accurately when you ovulated.
The problem with tracking your BBT is that you can’t detect ovulation until AFTER it happens.
So if you are tracking ovulation to get pregnant, you will definitely want to use an ovulation app like Premom, track your cervical mucus, and use OPK tests.
To track ovulation with your BBT, take your temperature every morning BEFORE you get up (yes even before you roll over or get up to pee).
Use an app like Premom or Fertility Friends to keep track of your BBT. Once you see a spike in temperature for 3 consecutive days, you will know that you ovulated. Ovulation occurred on the day before your temperature spike.
You will want a special BBT thermometer that can read your temperature to the hundredth’s place like this one:
There are many types of basal body thermometers. Shop all basal body thermometers on Amazon.
Some women will feel cramping or pulling sensation in their ovaries during ovulation. Other women do not have any symptoms during ovulation.
How And When To Take An At-Home Pregnancy Test
A home test requires you to collect a urine sample in a cup and dip a stick in it, drop a few drops of urine onto a test strip, or pee right on the stick.
A home urine test is 99% accurate when taken after your missed period.
The reason why pregnancy tests suggest waiting to test until after your missed period is because implantation can happen anywhere from 6-12 days after conception.
Although HCG is produced before implantation, it begins to increase rapidly (doubling each day) after implantation. Usually by 5 days after implantation there is enough HCG in the body to be detected by a home pregnancy test.
The tricky part is, most women have little to no signs or symptoms of implantation, making it difficult to use the implantation to decide on when to test.
Again, if you track ovulation, this can help you decide when to start testing.
Early pregnancy tests can detect hormone levels of HCG (pregnancy hormone) as early as 7 DPO.
Although you can start testing at 7 DPO, most women will not get positive results until 11-14 DPO. First Result Pregnancy Tests are 99% accurate 3 days before your missed period, or 11 DPO.
If you are really anxious to start testing, you can definitely test at 7 DPO, but do not get discouraged if you get a negative result as it is still probably too early to detect the amount of HCG in your urine. If you get a negative test result, continue testing every couple of days.
Pro Tip: HCG can get diluted in your urine. If you want to get an early positive pregnancy test, the best time to test your urine when it is more concentrated first thing in the morning and you will have the highest concentration of HCG.
How Soon Can A Doctor Tell If You’re Pregnant: The Early In-Office Blood And Urine Pregnancy Tests You Can Take
How Soon Can You Use An Early Pregnancy Test?
Some tests, like these First Response Early Pregnancy Tests, can detect pregnancy up to 6 days before your missed period.
They can detect your pregnancy sooner because their tests are more sensitive pregnancy tests. Typical pregnancy tests need to detect 40-50 mlU/mL of HCG in your urine to get a positive result. Some tests require high hcg levels of 100 mIU/mL. Early pregnancy tests like these only need 25 mIU/mL.
If you are anxious to start testing early (like 7-9 DPO) you should have a highly sensitive test like First Response.
The OPK kit that I bought on Amazon also came with some early pregnancy tests. Using the Pregmate tests I got my positive pregnancy test 9 DPO (albeit, it was VERY LIGHT).
How Long After IVF Can You Take A Pregnancy Test?
If you are taking fertility drugs or undergoing a fertility treatment like IVF, your doctor will likely do a lab test (a blood pregnancy test) 7-10 days after the embryo transfer.
Explaining An Inaccurate Result On A Pregnancy Test
Can You Get F false-Positive Result Pregnancy Test?
No, you can’t get false positive pregnancy tests. A pregnancy test will only be positive if it detects the hormone HCG and your body only produces HCG when you are pregnant.
If you took a pregnancy test and got a positive result, but suddenly your pregnancy tests are negative, or you get a period there are a few explanations for this that aren’t false results:
- User Error: Follow the directions on your pregnancy test exactly.
Most tests need to be read within 1-5 minutes. Set the timer and read the test exactly when it tells you to.
If you read the test later, you could get what is known as an evaporation line which looks like a positive test result, but isn’t.
- Chemical Pregnancy: A chemical pregnancy is an early miscarriage.
You have a fertilized embryo that fails to implant on the uterine wall or fails to stay attached. Because the embryo produces HCG before implantation, it would be possible to get a positive pregnancy test at that point. Then, because the embryo doesn’t attach to the wall, the pregnancy is no longer viable.
Similarly, the embryo could attach to the uterus, but then spontaneously detach and trigger your period. Chemical pregnancies are extremely common and 30-50% of women have had a chemical pregnancy.
The majority of these chemical pregnancies go undetected because the woman’s period occurs like normal.
While common, this early pregnancy loss still emotionally draining. Make sure you have a good support system in place to talk to.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancies are a medical emergency.
This is when the embryo implants somewhere other than the uterus.
For example, the embryo could implant in the fallopian tube.
Ectopic pregnancies are not viable because there is no room for the embryo to grow. Ectopic pregnancies need to be treated by a health care provider right away.
- Recent Miscarriage: If you’ve recently had a miscarriage, there might still be HCG in your urine if you test too soon.
Can You Get A False Negative Pregnancy Test?
Yes, you can get a false negative result pregnancy test. False-negative pregnancy tests are common and happen because there isn’t enough HCG in the urine to be detected on a pregnancy test.
At-home urine tests are 99% accurate when taken on the day after your missed period.
If you get a negative pregnancy test but do not get your period, there are a few explanations for this:
- Your Cycle Is Irregular: If your cycle is irregular, you might get your period earlier or later than the average 28-day cycle.
- The Embryo Stopped Developing Or Isn’t Developing Quickly Enough: Sometimes an embryo implants, but for whatever reason does not grow at a normal rate.
Most of these pregnancies aren’t going to be viable.
If you have missed your period and suspect you are pregnant but haven’t gotten a positive pregnancy test, check with your healthcare provider who can do a blood pregnancy test that can detect HCG as low as 1mlU/ml.
If HCG is detected in a blood test, your doctor will likely check the level of HCG every few days to see if the embryo is growing or not.