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When Should I Test For Pregnancy?
If you want to avoid unnecessary heartbreak, don't test too early!
It’s understandable that when you’re trying to conceive, you’re just about desperate to see those double lines! But it’s nearly always better to take a big dose of Vitamin P - PATIENCE - instead!!
Testing for pregnancy prematurely leads many people down the road of false hope and false despair. False despair, because people often get negatives only because they’ve tested too soon. They put themselves through the wringer only to end up getting a BFP (a Big Fat Positive pregnancy test) in another day or two. And false hope is even more of a roller coaster. Chemical pregnancies, where the fertilized egg just barely touches the side of the uterus and doesn’t successfully implant, yet can cause enough hormone to cause a very faint line on a pregnancy test, are extremely common.
On Gender Dreaming, where I’m available to answer all your questions, not only about pregnancy tests, but also Natural Gender Selection (aka “swaying”) and other fertility-related topics, I often see people testing as soon as 7 days past ovulation. Some people even test crazy early - 3-5 days past ovulation because they’ve had what they think are pregnancy symptoms. I strongly recommend waiting longer than that. You will NEVER get a positive pregnancy test 3 days after ovulation, even if you are having symptoms. Tests 7-8 days after O are wrong more often than not. I advise waiting 10 days after ovulation at the earliest and I prefer more like 12. That way you don't make yourself upset for no reason if you get a BFN from testing too soon. And if you do have a chemical, you will spare yourself the emotional turmoil of thinking you’ve conceived only to have it all ripped away the very next moment.
Some people believe that because they’ve had an early positive in the past, they will have them in the future as well. This simply isn’t the case. What happened (or what you BELIEVE happened) in the past doesn't mean that will happen in the future.
Firstly, this is because you get a positive pregnancy test based on how much HCG just happened to be in your system at the time you conceived - anywhere from 0-5 for a non-pregnant reading. HCG doubles over time, so if you start out with 0 HCG in your system, your pregnancy tests will stay negative far longer than someone who started out with an HCG level of 5. Your HCG levels change with every conception, meaning that the day you got a positive test in one pregnancy won't hold true with your other pregnancies. And secondly, unless you had an ultrasound or blood tests to pinpoint ovulation, it is always possible you ovulated sooner or later than you thought you did. That pregnancy test you were SO SURE you had gotten on CD 7 was actually on CD 8, 9, 10 or even beyond. Getting your dates wrong can happen in a new conception even if it didn't happen the last time - so it's possible to ovulate later than you think, end up upset with a BFN, only to find out you had actually conceived and it just hadn't registered yet.
Occasionally, some people have informed me that they like to test early “because they want to see if they’re having chemicals so they can DO SOMETHING to prevent them.” This is not a good idea, because in most cases, chemicals aren’t caused by antyhing you’re doing or not doing, but because of chromosomal abnormalities with egg, sperm, or the way they’ve combined very early on. There is nothing you can do to prevent the vast majority of chemical pregnancies, and indeed, many of the things the “geniuses” of the Internet advise taking to “prevent chemicals” are more likely to CAUSE chemicals. Here’s why:
One potential cause of chemical pregnancy is the mother’s blood being too thick, so a fertilized egg can’t burrow in. A small minority of people have blood clotting disorders (and if you’ve had numerous chemicals and very early losses, you should have genetic tests done to rule these things out) that make their blood too thick, and they can sometimes benefit from medication such as baby aspirin, that thins the blood. But just because a minority of people have these types of disorders, that doesn’t therefore mean that EVERYONE, even people whose blood clots normally or is even on the thin side, would then benefit from the same medication/supplements! Your blood being too thin is theoretically just as bad, if not even worse, for a fertilized egg trying to burrow into your uterine lining. It is entirely feasible that you create what you fear by taking OTC medications and supplements (particularly when you’re taking more than one) and making your blood so thin that you actually cause chemicals to occur.
What supplements, you ask? The answer is MOST of them, especially things said to “aid implantation”. All they do is thin the blood and if you take several of them, your blood can easily become too thin - beyond implantation, this carries with it a host of risks and side effects. Your body knows how to implant a baby without you taking 20 different supplements. You don’t need those things and in many cases, they’re actively harmful. I am always happy to answer any questions you have regarding what supplements are safe and even necessary (few of them) and which should be avoided like the plague (most of them!) when trying to conceive on Gender Dreaming! Come find me and bring all your questions, I’m happy to help!
And for those who think they’re having pregnancy symptoms 5, 3, even 1 day past ovulation, and think they’ll get a positive pregnancy test early, you won’t. You aren’t having pregnancy symptoms at that point because the baby is not attached to you and thus it can’t be triggering any symptoms. Do not be sad if you test 3 days after ovulation and get a negative - pregnancies simply cannot show up on urine tests or even blood tests that soon. They cannot cause symptoms either, because the baby is not attached and isn’t yet causing the chemical cascade that both triggers symptoms and causes a positive pregnancy test. 7 DPO is the earliest you can possibly get symptoms or a positive pregnancy test - and even that is pushing it (which is why I recommend testing at 10 DPO instead). If you’re experiencing what you believe are pregnancy symptoms and you think you just ovulated a couple days ago, you are either mistaking post-O symptoms for pregnancy symptoms, or you ovulated sooner than you realized.
IMPORTANT! Getting what you think is an early pregnancy test does not mean you’re pregnant with a girl. If this is your motive in early testing - to see if you’re having a boy or a girl, please don’t. Neither darkness of pregnancy tests, nor the day you first see a positive pregnancy test, predict your baby’s gender. Even if you think this worked for you in the past, it is the equivalent of the flip of a coin and is not reliable. Again, your HCG level at the time of conception is what determines when you will get your earliest positive. You can have anywhere from 0-5 HCG in your system that doubles every 48-72 hours. Thus some women can have five times more HCG than another woman, on the same gestational day, simply because they had more HCG in their system to start with. The day you get your first positive pregnancy test has absolutely nothing to do with your baby’s gender.
Make it easy on yourself! Avoid both false hope and false despair by waiting to test for pregnancy till 12 days past ovulation - or even until you miss your period. It’s only a couple extra days, and it really does help prevent a lot of unhappiness. If you really, truly can’t wait that long, 10 DPO at the absolute earliest, and keep in mind that you may get a negative test that becomes positive later on. Do not test any sooner than 10 DPO, it has caused so much unhappiness for people.
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