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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Accuracy of very early pregnancy tests

Dear Dr. Amy,

How accurate are pregnancy test that you buy off the Internet? I bought some because they were so much cheaper. This brand claims that it can detect hcg 6 days past ovulation. Is this possible? I am 6 days past ovulation and took one this morning and it was negative. I have been charting my BBT and did ovulation predictor kits so I know about when I ovulated. So should I wait and test again when my period is due?

Thanks so much!
I also love you new pregnancy quiz!

Dear Beth,

Theoretically, HCG can be detected in the bloodstream as early as 6 days after ovulation, if the fertilized egg implants at that time. However, most fertilized eggs will implant sometime between 6-8 days after ovulation.

I don't recommend testing before the day you expect your period for two reasons, even if you have a test that claims to test very low levels of HCG. First, the false negative rate is extremely high, so if you get a negative result, you still need to test again. Second, even if you get a positive result, the rate of miscarriage before your period (chemical pregnancy) is quite high and you will just be disappointed. There's no harm in testing before you expect your period, but you just have to keep these factors in mind.

I'm glad that you like the pregnancy quiz.



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