How Soon After Sex Can I Take A Pregnancy Test?

How Soon After Sex Can I Take A Pregnancy Test?

If you have just had sex and are worried that you could be pregnant here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. You can have sex and not get pregnant.

For a woman to become pregnant, a few things must take place. About halfway through her cycle, a woman’s body releases an egg into her uterus – something called ovulation. That egg has up to 24 hours to be fertilized by sperm before it dies.

Sperm can survive for around five days. This means a woman can conceive (become pregnant) from sex that took place five days before her body released an egg. Sex that takes place in the 24 hours after the egg is released can also lead to pregnancy.

According to yourfertility.com, if a woman “has sex five days before she ovulates, her probability of pregnancy is about 10 percent. If she has sex on the day of ovulation, or the two days before, the chance of getting pregnant is around 30 percent.” This means that even if all the stars align there is still only a 30 percent chance that a woman will get pregnant.

2. A pregnancy test measures your HCG levels.

HCG (the easy way of saying human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone that appears in your body after the fertilization of an egg. According to the American Pregnancy Association, HCG is “made by cells formed in the placenta, which nourishes the egg after it has been fertilized and becomes attached to the uterine wall.” The earliest signs of HCG can be detected through a blood test. For a woman taking a urinary pregnancy test, it is best to take the test 12-14 days after sex.

3. Have you missed your period?

If you are unsure of when you ovulated, or are concerned you conceived during that time, check to see if you’ve missed your period. Missing a period is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. When checking to see if you’ve missed your period, count 28 days out from the first day of your last period. If you’ve passed the 28-day mark, you may want to take a pregnancy test. As Health Line states “Keep in mind that your period can sometimes be delayed or skipped due to stressdietexercise, or certain medical conditions.” Missing your period is not a guarantee that you are pregnant but for your peace of mind, it may be worth taking a test.

4. When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?

a. If you believe you could be pregnant and have missed your period

b. If you believe you could be pregnant and have not yet missed your period, you can take a test 12-14 days after sex.

If you think you may be pregnant, consult a women’s clinic, like White Oak Women’s Center, or a medical facility, like your local hospital or gynecologist. Your most important resource is information.

Call (815) 408-0793 to schedule your free and confidential appointment. Our staff is here to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about your options for the future.

What you need to know about the big “O”: Ovulation

Have you ever wondered how your cycle works? What’s going on in your body from one period to the next? Most of us may have learned a little bit about this in our junior high sex ed class but let’s review.

 

Mr. Monthly Visitor. Aunt Flo. Your period.

A typical menstrual cycle lasts from 21 to 35 days with the average being anywhere from 28 to 31 days. 1 The day your period starts is counted as Day 1; in a doctor’s office this day is also known as your LMP (last monthly period). Normal menstruation can last anywhere from one to eight days with an average of three to five days. 2 There are several factors that affect the length of a period – weight, activity level, and oral contraceptive use are some of the more common.

 

The big “O”: Ovulation

Ovulation is the release of the egg from the ovary. The day a woman ovulates can vary woman to woman and month to month – anywhere from 13 to 20 days after your LMP.1

A few lucky women know exactly when they ovulate by experiencing a feeling called “mittelschmerz”, a twinge, pinch, or cramp felt in the lower abdomen or back on the side that the ovary releasing the egg is on.4 Other signs and symptoms of ovulation may include headaches, stomach pains, or sluggishness; increased sexual feelings; mid-cycle spotting; bloating and/or water retention; increased energy; a greater sense of vision, smell, and taste; and breast sensitivity.4,6 One of the most easily noticed signs is increased cervical mucus discharge.

Ovulation is huge since it is the time that a woman can become pregnant. This is where it gets somewhat confusing. Most women are fertile (can become pregnant) only a few days in their cycle but there are other factors at play. The egg only lives about 24 hours (anywhere from 6 – 24 hours); but if two or more eggs are released, the chance of becoming pregnant is increased. Also, and perhaps the one we don’t usually think of, is that sperm can live up to 5 days (3 days in non-fertile quality cervical fluid, up to 5 days in fertile quality cervical fluid) inside a woman. So… all this to say that a couple’s combined fertile period is about a week.6

After ovulation, if fertilization/conception does not occur, your period will typically start within 14 – 16 days. Some women have PMS symptoms to give them a heads-up, others do not. If fertilization/conception does occur, the game changes; you may still experience signs and symptoms associated with ovulation and/or PMS, including mild cramping, bloating, spotting, breast tenderness, or others.

 

If you have any questions or think you might be pregnant, contact us at 815-408-0793 to schedule an appointment with the White Oak Women’s Center patient care team or request an appointment online.

References

  1. www.womenshealth.gov, accessed January 24, 2015
  2. www.pms.about.com, accessed January 24, 2015
  3. www.womenshealth.gov, accessed January 24, 2015
  4. “Our Bodies, Ourselves: The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective” Simon and Schuster New York October 2011
  5. “Our Bodies, Ourselves: The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective” Simon and Schuster New York October 2011
  6. Weschler, Toni “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” Harper Collins 2006
  7. Weschler, Toni “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” Harper Collins 2006

Can I find out the exact day I got pregnant?

When I Got PregnantCan I find out the exact day I got pregnant?

The short answer to the question, “Can I find out the exact day I got pregnant?” is, probably not. Determining the exact date of conception is difficult for several reasons.

First of all, you need to know that pregnancy occurs when an ovulated female egg and and male sperm meet and fertilization occurs. This usually takes place in a fallopian tube.

The time of ovulation, when an egg is released from the ovaries and into the fallopian tube, determines a woman’s fertility window and varies from woman to woman. Most women ovulate 14 days after the first day of their last menstrual cycle but some women release an egg anywhere from 11 to 21 days after the first day of their last period. An egg is viable, able to be fertilized, up to 24 hours after it has been released from the ovary.

Also, sperm can live in a woman’s body and fertilize an egg for up to seven days. This means there is a window of a week or so in which a woman can conceive after a sexual encounter.

An ultrasound can more accurately determine the date of conception and the gestational age. In an ultrasound measurements are taken of the gestational sack and the crown to rump length of the fetus. These measurements are used to estimate the gestational age of the pregnancy.

The only way a woman can be fairly certain of the exact day she became pregnant is if she only had one sexual encounter during her fertility window, anywhere from 11-21 days after the first day of her last period, and she knows the exact day that encounter took place.