Many women have the common question of “How Soon After Sex Can You Take A Pregnancy Test?”
Pregnancy scares are quite often, even when using an effective birth control method. Fortunately, there are home pregnancy test kits that you can buy over the counter (OTC) to confirm before getting a confirmation from the doctor.
If you recently had unprotected sex and are wondering how soon after sex can you take a pregnancy test, here is everything you need to know:
How Pregnancy Tests Work
OTC pregnancy kits are quite accessible and affordable for home testing purposes. You can easily use it at your home for privacy. All you have to do is follow the instructions on the testing kit.
These kits work by testing the presence of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in the urine. The hCG is only produced by the placenta when one is pregnant. The OTC tests work differently, and depending on which test you take, you might have to:
- Peeing directly on the pregnancy testing stick
- Collecting your urine in a cup and directly dipping the testing stick
- Collecting your urine in a cup and using a clean eyedropper to move droplets of the urine into a special testing container
After using the recommended procedure, the testing kit will produce results using either of the below:
- A line
- Change in the color of the testing kit
- A plus or minus symbol
- Words, like pregnant or not pregnant
Related article: Can You Use Biofreeze When Pregnant?
How soon after sex can you take a pregnancy test?
The most effective pregnancy test results happen a few weeks after having unprotected sex. Usually, it takes about a week for the sperm to fertilize the egg. It takes another one week or so for the fertilized egg to implant on the uterus.
After this, your body will take a few more days to start releasing hCG hormones, which confirm pregnancy.
In that breathe, these are the times to consider taking a pregnancy test if you are worried:
1. After missing your periods
This is the first sign and the most reliable one of pregnancy. Anyone who has regular periods and tracks their cycle will be easy to tell when you miss your periods. If your periods are irregular and you never track them, it might be a little challenging to tell when your periods are late. That’s because one assumes that the periods are late, as usual.
Sometimes, even regular periods can delay due to stress, change of environment, medical conditions, diet, or exercise.
Other times, some women will experience “periods” but still be pregnant. You can confirm this by checking the flow, which can be light or some spotting, the blood’s texture, and the color. If your pregnancy test comes back positive and you’re still bleeding, it is best to seek immediate medical attention.
2. Breast pain
Are your breasts a little bit painful, tender, and bigger? Your nipples might also be a bit sore with darker veins running through the breast skin.
As the pregnancy progresses and your body produces more progesterone and estrogen hormones to help support the baby, your body will start experiencing some of these changes.
Because some of these changes, like breast discomfort, are present a few days before periods for some women, this might not be a proper test of pregnancy.
3. Experiencing cramps
When the fertilized egg is implanting itself, you might experience some cramp-like pain. If this pain is followed by missed periods, take the pregnancy test for confirmation.
4. Other Signs
Apart from missed periods, cramps, or breast pain and soreness, you might also start experiencing other symptoms like:
- Frequent urination
- Food aversions
Pregnancy is not the end of life. Although there are several ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies, these methods do not always work. After unprotected sex, you must take an after pill or emergency contraception within 120 hours of having unprotected sex if you are not ready to have a baby.
If you had protected sex but are not having doubts about whether the method backfired, knowing how soon after sex can you take a pregnancy test gives you time to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally if the test comes back positive.