A lot of women feel fatigued, sick, sleepy, moody, or have sore breasts early in pregnancy, before they experience the most obvious sign of pregnancy: a missed period.
However, many of these signs and symptoms aren't unique to pregnancy. So, women who want to know whether or not they are pregnant will use an early pregnancy test. A positive result on a pregnancy test is the most reliable sign to confirm a pregnancy as early as possible.
How Early Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?
You can take a pregnancy test as early as 5 days before your missed period. However, you need to know how the testing works so you can know of the pregnancy at the earliest, without compromising accuracy.
Generally speaking, we would recommend waiting until about 14 days, as known as the two week wait, past your predicted ovulation day for the best result. As an alternative, you can test on the first day of your missed period though some people may see a positive result days earlier!
A pregnant woman’s hCG level rises after getting pregnant and doubles every 2-3 days to reach the detection level of 25 mIU/mL. A pregnancy test show a faint test line when you test very early, and gets darker as hCG builds up in the urine.
Many pregnancy tests today in the market are designed to be sensitive enough to detect hCG level increases at the very early stage of pregnancy. Take an Easy@Home pregnancy test for an example, it could show a positive as early as 5 days before a missed period. However, it is recommended you should always check your pregnancy test spec before deciding when you want to start the test.
Is a Faint Line On a Pregnancy Test Considered Positive?
The short answer is yes. Even a very faint line on your pregnancy test could be regarded as a sign of a positive test.
To better confirm your pregnancy, you need to do another test after a couple of days to see whether the test line continues to darken. However, with a chemical pregnancy you will see a faint test line, but it will not get darker. A truly pregnant women sees the test line getting darker until it is fat and bold. See how the test line gets darker for a pregnant women in the Premom app example picture below.
There are also many different methods for you to confirm your pregnancy besides pregnancy tests such as a blood test to examine your hormone level.
How To Take a Pregnancy Test
Dip the white absorbent tip of the test into the urine up to the black “MAX” line and keep the tip in the urine until the dye rises into the results window. (Est. time for Easy@Home brand: 5-10 seconds)
Follow steps 1, 2, and 3, as above.
If you upload your hCG test result to the Premom pregnancy test gallery, you can track your hCG progression in your urine from a faint test line -- from approximately 6 days before your missed period day -- until a fat and bold test line shows up.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Patti Haebe, Senior Medical Advisor