Hey, Lovelies. It’s FAQ time!

To test or not to test, that is the question! Ahhhhh, the infamous dilemma- When can I test for pregnancy? If you are TTC you’ve likely dealt with this on the reg., if not monthly.  The box says you can test 6 DAYS before your expected period!! But then someone on a forum said to test no earlier than 9DPO. And your Dr. says that nothing is certain unless you wait until you are a WHOLE WEEK LATE! What gives?

Let me break it down for you.

  • First things first, know your tests.

All pregnancy tests are not created equal. Really, the best thing you can do for yourself is to invest in some FRER-First Response Early Result tests. Yes they are pricey. But if you really need to know, and who doesn’t, these are your test. FRER can tell you up to 6 days before you are supposed to bleed and have the most sensitive HcG threshold. Not every woman’s hormone level increases at the same rate though, so even if you test negative at 6 days to your period you might still be pregnant. At any rate, FRER will tell you fastest and most reliably. Off brands are close to as defective, though not exactly, and vary by brand.

The blue dye kind of test, Clear Blue and knock offs, can be close to as effective as FRER, allowing you to test5 days before your period. However, the blue dye tests have a higher rate of dye run, leading to evaporation lines, making them look faintly positive when you aren’t pregnant, so be aware of that.

The yes/no digital kind of test, which make it SEEM easier to tell if you’re knocked up, no tricky line reading, are actually less sensitive than FRER and blue line tests. Which means you cannot test as early. Or you can but the results will be less reliable and you’ll probably end up retesting later. If you REALLY cannot abide the line tests wait until your actually late to use a yes/no test.

And, finally, the digital weeks indicator test from Clear Blue. Which is, I have to admit, really cool. It does work, but isn’t as sensitive as FRER at picking up HcG. So, if you really want to use this one wait until your period is late and then pee at will.

Lets say you’re really into these tests and want to use them all (don’t laugh, I did) here’s the best order for that… A week before you expect your period take the FRER, if positive (YAY!) test with that for the next 3-4 days to watch the line get darker (fx). On the day you expected your period go ahead and take the yes/no test. Thrilling to see the proof in english! Then the next day test with the weeks indicator and get stoked when it says 1/2 weeks. Go ahead and test with that once a week to watch it tick forward to 3+ weeks. There you have it!

But really, all you need is a good FRER.

  • Second things second, know when you’re late.

Having a test to pee on is all well and good, as long as you know when your period is due. If only that were easy! But, “I’m regular like clockwork” you say? Not good enough because you CAN still ovulate on different days each month. In order to know when exactly to start testing you need to know when you ovulated. When it says 6 days before a missed period on the FRER box it is actually telling you to test at 9dpo (days past ovulation). I know you’ve probably heard some fairy tale of someone you know testing positive at 5 dpo or something but its super unlikely and if you want to save your sanity you shouldn’t EVER test earlier than 9dpo.

So you are patient and wait until 9dpo to test… but that can be a fast or a slow month depending on when you actually ovulated. If you have a perfect 28 day cycle, you ovulate on day 14, then 9 dpo is day 23 of your cycle… you can test near the end of a calendar month. What if you popped early at day 10? Then 9dpo is cycle day 19… and you get off easy testing the middle of the calendar month. What if you popped super late on day 25? Then 9dpo is cycle day 34… and agonizing wait of OVER a calendar month.

You see, knowing when you actually ovulated is key to perfect testing. Most people don’t know exactly when they ovulated, this is the reason your doctor tells you not to find a negative result reliable before you’re a week or more late. That gives you time to know for sure that you ovulated before freaking out. To minimize freak outs and maximize your ability to test you can track your ovulation. Either through OPK or BBT or mucus or a combination of any of those.

As long as you know when you hit 9dpo, happy testing!

  • Third things third, a note about IVF.

Just a quick note about testing after IVF. Here you need to include the embryo development in  your calculation. So if you put back in a fresh day 3 embryo then you have to wait 6 days before you can start testing at home. Transferred a fresh day 5 blastocyst? Then wait 4 days before peeing at will. If you are doing a frozen transfer it’s best to err on the side of caution and add one extra day onto your count as they can take a little longer to get going, even if everything is fine. Both of those seem terrifyingly early to me, but im a nervous tester haha.

There you have it, these are the facts of testing. I hope you found it helpful.

Baby dust, bitches! Good luck!!

The Chicken

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