If you’re Googling this, it’s quite likely that you’re counting down to your big fat positive (BFP)!
The short answer is that you can take a pregnancy test as early as you want! Free will and all that jazz 🙂 However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. If you take a pregnancy test before 8 days past ovulation (DPO), then you’ll probably get a big fat negative (BFN), even if conception has occurred. Why? Home pregnancy tests detect hCG, the hormone produced by the placenta after implantation to the uterine lining. Implantation of the fertilized egg occurs between 8 and 10 DPO 85% of the time, and at 6 DPO just 0.5% of the time. Even though the wait can be torturous, try to hold out until at least 8 DPO, and keep retesting until Aunt Flo makes her presence known.
Some women don’t realize they’re pregnant until month 3, 4 and I’ve even heard 6. That was NOT my case. My period is pretty regular and I track it using Glow, so I knew extremely early with my first pregnancy (around 5 weeks) and as soon as it was humanly possible with my second (also around 5 weeks).
During my second pregnancy, I started obsessively testing at 7 DPO. I continually tested like a crazy person on an almost daily basis, despite identifying the fact that it didn’t make logical or financial sense, until I got my very very very faint line (vvvfl) on December 14th, or 17 DPO.
When I started to test and receive the negatives, I felt VERY disappointed. Every time I saw the big fat negative (BFN) I became frustrated and wanted to throw the test across the room! I thought, “If I were pregnant, shouldn’t a little something show up?” No! Not necessarily. Implantation must occur so that the placenta can start pumping out hCG.
It’s possible that I didn’t get a BFP until 23 DPO due to low baseline hCG levels. Baseline hCG levels, early pregnancy hCG levels, and hCG doubling time vary from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy. Along with the date of implantation, these factors will influence how early you can get a positive pregnancy test.
If you’re an obsessive tester, know that you’re not alone! I took at least 10 – 15, and countless after getting the first positive. 🙂
If you get a real squinter, try using the Pregnancy Test Checker app from iTunes. I have a Samsung, so I’ve never used it (and I’m sure something similar exists on Google Play), but every other post on the Glow Faint Lines /No BPFs group uses this. The app allows you to see the pregnancy test in invert mode, grayscale mode, and to adjust the brightness.
What causes a false negative pregnancy test?
- Testing too early. If you’re less than 8 DPO, then it’s possible that the fertilized egg hasn’t yet implanted, and therefore the placenta is not producing hCG.
- Test sensitivity. The earlier you test, the more sensitive the test needs to be. The First Response Early Result pregnancy test, often referred to as FRER, has a sensitivity of 6.3 mIU/mL, whereas Clearblue Easy Earliest Results has a sensitivity of 25 mIU/mL.
- Diluted urine. Test with your first-morning urine, which contains the highest concentration of hCG.
How early did you get your vfl or BFP?!