Pregnancy testing is all about timing. Between the time of day and the time within your cycle, it can be pretty confusing to know when to take a pregnancy test for the most accurate results. It may seem even more overwhelming when you throw in ovulation testing, but knowing more about your hormonal cycle is always helpful. So how long should you wait to test for pregnancy after getting a positive ovulation test result?
When can I get pregnant?
If you’re actively trying to get pregnant, it’s all about planning intercourse on days that you’re ovulating and most fertile. This is known as your “fertile window,” and while it varies depending on your cycle, it is typically the day an egg is released from the ovary (ovulation) and the five days before it. It is possible to get pregnant 12-48 hours after ovulation, but chances of conception are significantly lower.
Assuming you had sex in your fertile window, pregnancy can be detected 12-15 days after conception. This is because pregnancy tests detect a hormone called hCG in your urine, which is produced by your placenta when you’re pregnant. If you have a regular, 28 day cycle, hCG can be picked up in a pregnancy test 12-15 days after ovulation and conception.
While a pregnancy test can detect pregnancy before you miss your period, your body might show signs of pregnancy even before a pregnancy test will. You won’t miss your period until 15 days passed ovulation (DPO), but some women notice symptoms as early as 5 DPO such as bleeding, cramps, and breast tenderness. However, experiencing symptoms of pregnancy this quickly after ovulation is highly unlikely.
Can birth control, other medical procedures, or an irregular period make me less fertile or affect my chances of getting pregnant?
First and foremost, birth control does not affect your long term fertility or your likeliness to get pregnant. This being said, it will take your body some time to get used to the change in hormone levels when you stop birth control and regulate your cycle, just like it took some time to get used to it when you started.
After an IUD removal, it takes on 4-6 months to become pregnant. It can take 1-3 months for your cycle to regulate after stopping taking birth control pills, though you should be able to get pregnant your next cycle after stopping. If you used the Deop-Provera shot as a form of birth control, it usually takes 6-12 months for fertility to return to normal after the last injection. This form of birth control is not recommended if you are trying to conceive soon.
A medical abortion shouldn’t affect your fertility and, depending on how far along you were before the abortion, you can get pregnant just a few weeks afterwards even if you haven’t gotten your period yet. A tubal ligation is one of the most permanent forms of birth control and works by blocking both fallopian tubes and is a permanent form of birth control. But just like all birth control, it is never 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Although very unlikely, one in every 200 women who had a tubal ligation are estimated to become pregnant. This procedure can also increase the chances of ectopic pregnancy due to lasting scar tissue.
Getting pregnant without ever getting your period is possible but unlikely. Missing or having irregular periods is very common, but if you’re not getting your periods many months in a row, see your primary care provider. This could mean that you’re not ovulating regularly, as menstruation marks the end of your cycle and is indicated by your period.
How soon after ovulation can I test?
Figuring out when to take a pregnancy test after ovulation can be tricky. This is because hCG levels increase throughout early pregnancy, so testing too early might result in a false negative result. If you are pregnant, traces of hCG can be detected in your urine eight days after ovulation. So, if you receive a positive ovulation test result and have sex that day, you should take a pregnancy test eight days later. However, because cycles vary, it may take more than eight days to see a positive pregnancy test result.
What do I do after a positive pregnancy test result?
Your pregnancy test result is positive. Now what? At Stix, we always recommend taking two tests to be 100% sure of your results, as false positive results and false negative results can happen. Additionally, testing as early as 4 DPO can lead to false results, so wait to take a pregnancy test until at least 8 DPO, though positive pregnancy test results 10 DPO will be more accurate. Once you have confirmed your positive result, call your primary care provider to set up an appointment to discuss your options and next steps of your pregnancy journey. If you are using IVF to get pregnant, it’s important to keep your doctor up to date when you get a positive result.
More questions about pregnancy, ovulation, or anything else? Leave us a comment and we will get back to you. No matter what your pregnancy journey looks like, Stix is here every step of the way.