When you’re trying to get pregnant, the first month of waiting for the results can feel so long.

Ever wonder why you can’t take the at-home urine test sooner than indicated? Here is why you shouldn’t feel discouraged if the test says ‘negative’ if you have tested sooner than indicated…

To better understand why you can only test when indicated, we’ve outlined the process of what is happening inside your body from fertilization of the egg to a ‘positive’ pregnancy test.

Ovulation – Understanding when your ovulation window is, is an essential factor to becoming pregnant. Using a tracking application is super helpful, and tells you when you are ovulating automatically when you track your menstruation dates. Consistency in logging your menstrual dates will help the accuracy of the predicted ovulation date. Women with irregular periods can have a harder time knowing when they’re ovulating, as their schedule is not consistent. But generally speaking, the ovulation window is the week after your period.

Some women who are in tune with the workings of their body can even feel when they are ovulating. Which can be a feeling of light cramping on one side of the lower abdomen. One egg is released per month by one of the two ovaries into the fallopian tubes, it is here that the egg waits for a sperm to fertilize it.

Intercourse – this seems obvious. But lining up your intercourse dates with your ovulation window is imperative to getting pregnant.

During ovulation, picture the egg just waiting around for the sperm to arrive. The egg will only be ready to be fertilized for 12-24 hours. Whereas, most sperm will die, but the viable and strong sperm can live up to 5 days. Having intercourse several times during the 5 days leading up to your ovulation date will increase your chances of pregnancy since the sperm can live longer, and if your predicted ovulation date is slightly off. Allow for a minimum one day between intercourse to give time for the sperm to be regenerated.

*Only have unprotected sex with trusted partners. STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) should be ruled out prior to engaging in unprotected sex and maintaining the same sexual partner between testing. Contact RN Privée for an STI screening test.

Tip: It is recommended for the woman to lay flat for a minimum of 10 minutes after intercourse, with a pillow underneath their buttocks.

Fertilization & Implantation – The sperm has reached the egg to fertilize it. The fertilized egg begins to divide into 2 cells, then 4, then multiple, until about one week after fertilization they are now a cluster of about 100 cells.

The fertilized egg moves down to the uterus where it implants into the lining of the wall. Some early symptoms of implantation can occur 5-12 days after fertilization, such as:

  • Light cramping
  • Mild bleeding (pink discharge)
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Sore or tender breasts and/or nipples
  • Basal body temperature changes
  • Headache
  • Increased urination

It’s important to note that not everyone experiences symptoms of implantation, some women can experience no symptoms or a variety of the list above.

Implantation – The implantation of the egg in the uterine wall releases hormones that thicken the uterine wall to nourish it. The release of these hormones is what can cause the symptoms of fatigue, sore breasts or nipples, and mood changes. The physical implantation of the fertilized egg is what can cause the light cramping and light bleeding. These hormones that are released also send a signal to the brain to not shed the lining of the uterine wall (menstruation).

Testing – The easiest way to test if you are pregnant is by an at-home pregnancy urine test. The cells that were dividing within the fertilized and implanted egg have started to form a placenta. The placenta releases the hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) hormone after implantation. This increased hormone is what is detected in your urine and blood test for a positive pregnancy. The earliest testing can be done when enough of this hormone is detected in the urine which is at 5-6 days prior to your missed period. Select an early pregnancy test at the pharmacy which detects the smallest amount of hCG. If the test is negative, it could be too early to detect or it could be negative. Test again in a day or two and repeat until you either receive your period or a positive test. Contact your doctor if your pregnancy test is negative and you still have not received your period after two weeks.

Contact your doctor when you have a confirmed pregnancy test. A blood test can be done to confirm your pregnancy, which also detects the level of hCG hormone in your blood. A prenatal screening blood test will be ordered by your doctor to do between 8-12 weeks of pregnancy. Included in these initial blood tests, your doctor may recommend the Harmony™ (link) or Panorama™ (link) test to screen for genetic abnormalities. Contact RN Privée for any of these blood tests, in the convenience and comfort of your home.