Pregnancy tests check your pee or blood for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Picture: JuliaFiedler/Pixabay
Pregnancy tests check your pee or blood for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Picture: JuliaFiedler/Pixabay

Had unprotected sex? Here’s how soon after you can take a pregnancy test

By Marchelle Abrahams Time of article published Aug 31, 2021

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You’re in the throws of passion and suddenly you realise you have no protection – or even worse – the condom breaks.

It’s an experience most are too familiar with, but did you know that if you take a pregnancy test too early, it can produce a false negative?

And we’ve all seen enough episodes of I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant to know how that turns out.

According to Healthline, if you track your period, and it’s regular, most doctors recommend waiting until your period is late before taking a pregnancy test.

But here’s the thing, some of us are not as vigilant at tracking our menstrual cycle.

If that’s the case then experts suggest you should probably wait nine to 12 days after unprotected sex to take a test.

How pregnancy tests work

Pregnancy tests check your pee or blood for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), says WebMD.

The hormone is created after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus. This usually happens about six days after fertilisation with levels of hCG rising quickly – every two to three days.

Home pregnancy tests are normally 99% accurate but if you want to be completely sure, a blood test done by your doctor should leave no room for doubt.

WebMD also recommends to do the home test first thing in the morning when your urine is more concentrated.

The test could also produce a false negative if:

  • It’s past its expiration date
  • You took it the wrong way
  • You tested too soon
  • Your pee is too diluted because you drank a lot of fluids right before the test
  • You’re taking certain medications, such as diuretics or antihistamines

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