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How Long After Intercourse Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

by Anne Sommers, Licensed Midwife

I am just starting to try and get pregnant-how soon after intercourse will home pregnancy tests work?

Approximately four days after fertilization, the egg will start to produce a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hGC). A pregnancy test will detect this hormone about one week after fertilization.

Most women tend to wait to take a pregnancy test until after they have missed one menstrual period. If you take a pregnancy test one week after you were supposed to get your period, the result will be about 95% accurate. If you take it too soon after fertilization, it may show up negative when in fact you really are pregnant

Pregnancy test are meant to be considered screening tests. If your test comes up negative, but you are experiencing symptoms of pregnancy you should call your doctor. If it does come up positive you should call your doctor and set up an appointment for your first prenatal visit.

Anne Sommers, LM is a Licensed Midwife in Southern California and founder of Agape Perinatal Consultation & Birthing Services. Anne has attended and personally delivered hundreds of beautiful bouncing babies in some very wonderful and natural settings -- like in the water! She has appeared on various Southern California radio and cable television shows, talked to birth organizations, was editor for several child birth publications and was the owner, editor and publisher of "Mom" Magazine, a quarterly publication in circulation for over seven years. She completed Seattle Midwifery School's Challenge Process and the NARM exam (supervised by the California Medical Board) qualifying her for midwifery licensure. Anne actually made history as noted in the Orange County Register for being one of Southern California's first Licensed Midwives. She is also the mother of two children, born at home, with the attendance of midwives.

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Showing 1 - 10 out of 37 Comments
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Charn Oct 16, 2014 03:47:59 PM ET

I had intercourse with my boyfriend three days ago, and since then i've been feeling sick and lightheaded. i'm not due on until the end of month, but started getting a few cramps. how long before a test will show a positive result? i took a test today but it's saying negative. i know it's to soon. i wanted to know, when is best time to take another test?

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kristie Sep 30, 2014 01:49:01 AM ET

I spotted at the beginning of the month on september 6th, and i still haven't started my period. it's already september the 30th and nothing. i've taken a pregnancy test and the result was negative. me and my boyfriend have been trying for 3 months and still nothing. we haven't been sexually active that much lately. once every week or two. my stomach feels very heavy and i'm moody. i've been getting migraines to. i don't know if its pms because i'm starting super late, or if it's because i'm pregnant.

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Rosa Sep 7, 2014 02:09:40 AM ET

I haven't missed a period yet, but i feel i may be pregnant. i had unprotected intercourse a week ago i took two tests and both were negative. i am not sure what i should do now.

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me Aug 12, 2014 04:34:09 PM ET

My period was abnormal in june 2014. it lasted 4 days when i'm usually 7 days. in july i didn't get a period, but i tested positive for pregnancy the day of my missed period. i had sex june 30th and july 2nd. could i have been pregnant before july 2nd?

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Dani Jul 25, 2014 11:24:05 PM ET

Is it possible to become pregnant in a few days if i was ovulating when i had sex? i feel bloating, light headed, i lost weight, i'm tired all the time, and i have cramping.

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Alice Jul 11, 2014 08:21:07 AM ET

I'm almost 2 months behind my period, but i had sex with my boyfriend earlier. i was planning to take the pregnancy test tomorrow morning. i am wondering if it's okay to take the pregnancy test tomorrow despite that i had sex with my boyfriend earlier? will it affect the result?

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anupama Jun 12, 2014 04:23:50 AM ET

I had sex on the second day of my period. will i get pregnant?

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Al May 26, 2014 07:48:52 AM ET

I realized on friday 5/23, that i skipped the entire first week of my pills, which meant i was currently on the second to last sugar pill. i have no idea how i did that, i guess life has been really hectic. i had sex wednesday 5/21, which would have been when i was ovulating, since when on birth control you usually get you're period between tuesday and thursday. i still don't have it, and it's sunday 5/25. on friday when i realized this, i took a test. it was negative, and i guess i panicked and didn't realize you needed to wait longer than that. most of the information websites give you about this kind of stuff does not relate to those on birth control, they relate to women who ovulate naturally, so when they said day after missed period, i said "that's me!" but... it's not! anyway, that test was obviously negative. now, yesterday, saturday 5/26, i thought i was getting my period, but now i'm reading it's 99% possible that it's implantation bleeding. it's definitely pinkish, and not my period. so, i took another test yesterday. then i realized morning was best as is after implantation. so, i think tomorrow morning, might be ok? that will be 2 full days after "implantation bleeding" began, 5 days after both ovulation, my missed period, and having sex. should i wait longer, or what should i do?!

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Kuldeep May 22, 2014 02:34:04 AM ET

After my period i had intercourse with my partner daily for 10 days. i'm sure this will result in pregnancy.

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Guest May 13, 2014 11:07:29 PM ET

I have regular periods, so how will i know if i'm pregnant?

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