There Is a Best Time of Day to Take a Pregnancy Test – Here's Why

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It can be hard enough to wait the requisite amount of time after a missed period to take a home pregnancy test. Because either you are trying to conceive, and perhaps monitored ovulation to time it just right, or maybe you suspect you could be pregnant and you seriously need to know, like now – even if it wasn’t exactly planned. So, you have finally reached the time of the month when you can take a pregnancy test, which is 12 to 15 days post-ovulation based on a 28-day cycle, according to the FDA. But it’s important to take the test at the right time of day to get the most accurate result, according to doctors interviewed by POPSUGAR.

If you guessed first thing in the morning is the best time of day to pee on that stick, you’d be right, and the reason is pretty compelling. Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, explains that the HCG urine levels are usually more concentrated when you wake up. As you may know, HCG is short for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced by the body during pregnancy, according to UCSF Health.

Related: Am I Pregnant? The Earliest Signs and Symptoms That You Could Be Expecting (and What to Do Next!)

“When your urine is diluted, the HCG concentration may not be the most accurate,” Dr. Greves notes, with Ahmet A. Baschat, M.D., professor of gynecology and obstetrics and director of the Center for Fetal Therapy at Johns Hopkins adding, “If you are within the day or so of your expected period, taking the test after a lot of fluid intake can dilute the urine and make the test falsely negative.” In other words, if you sip water all day, then test, you may not get an accurate result. But Dr. Baschat tells POPSUGAR, “If the test is positive even at the ‘bad time of the day’ – it is definitely positive.”

Of course, a negative test can leave you with more uncertainty if you still think you might be pregnant. Dr. Greves recommends repeating the test a week after your missed period. We know – more waiting! “If it’s still not what you think it should be, then contact your doctor,” she advises. Your doctor will most likely order a blood pregnancy test to confirm your suspicions, or at least, put them to rest.

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