If you think you might be pregnant, there’s no better way to find out than taking a pregnancy test. While this may seem a bit obvious, there’s a lot more that goes into taking a reliable pregnancy test than you might think.

How long after sex should I wait to take a pregnancy test?

Regardless of whether your pregnancy is planned or unplanned, waiting to take a pregnancy test can feel agonizing. However, if you’re looking for the most accurate result, it’s important to know when exactly to take the test.

Some pregnancy test brands advertise early detection, however, we still recommend waiting at least one week after your missed period for the most accurate results. While it’s possible you could get an early positive test, it’s also possible you could get a false negative. Your body needs time to develop detectable amounts of the pregnancy hormone hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), which is what pregnancy tests use to identify pregnancy.

It’s also best to take the test when you first wake up in the morning before you’ve had anything to drink, as water could dilute your urine and affect your results.

Because the accuracy of at-home pregnancy tests relies on the user following instructions perfectly, you might also consider scheduling an appointment for free clinical pregnancy testing at your local pregnancy clinic.

Signs you might be pregnant

If you’re sexually active, there’s always a chance you could become pregnant — even if you use birth control.

Aside from missing your period, there are few common symptoms to keep an eye out for that might indicate pregnancy.

These symptoms might include:

  • Breast tenderness or changes in the appearance of your nipples
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • New food cravings
  • Sensitivity to smells
  • Irritability and mood swings

My pregnancy test was positive!  What should I do?

Receiving a positive pregnancy test can be accompanied by a wide range of emotions. If you’re experiencing feelings of fear, worry, or anxiety, you’re not alone.  In an unplanned pregnancy, you have choices and it’s okay to take the time you need to make the decision that’s right for you.

Wondering where to start? Scheduling an appointment at your local pregnancy clinic is the perfect first step as you begin to explore the many options and resources available to you during this time.  If you’re close to Northridge, we invite you to contact the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic for your free pregnancy confirmation and options counseling.  We are here to help.