Can you take a pregnancy test at night?

Can you take a pregnancy test at night?

You may have lots of emotions as you take a pregnancy test — excitement, fear, hope, nervousness! While all of these are normal, one emotion we don’t want you to feel is uncertainty about how to get accurate results! 

We know a lot is riding on this home pregnancy test, so we’re here to help make sure have the details you need to get an accurate result. Knowing how pregnancy tests work, when the best time to take one is, and how to know if your result is positive or negative can help you feel more confident as you begin testing — and that’s what we’re here for! 

How does a pregnancy test work? 

When a fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus, it produces a hormone specific to pregnancy known as hCG. This hormone then shows up in urine and blood samples. Home pregnancy tests are designed to test a urine sample for the presence of hCG! 

Each pregnancy test is different, so be sure to read the instructions carefully before beginning the test. Many have dipsticks that can be put under a stream of urine or dipped into a collected urine sample. Others may have droppers that require urine collection. 

Once you’ve collected your urine sample and followed testing instructions, the test will begin measuring the presence of hCG in your urine. This process takes time! Each test will include a window of time when results should be read. Looking at the test before or after this time may give you inaccurate results. 

Reading the results will depend on what type of pregnancy test you’re using. Some display the word “pregnant” or “not pregnant” and are very straightforward, while others require you to look for the presence of a test line. For these tests, there will always be a control line that pops up to show the test is not faulty. If another line is visible in the test area, it’s considered a positive pregnancy test — even if it’s a faint line!

When should you take a pregnancy test? 

When to take a pregnancy test in your cycle

When in your cycle

The decision to take a pregnancy test may be different for each person, since some are trying to conceive while others are not. Regardless, the timing matters! If you take a pregnancy test too early in your cycle, you may receive a false positive. On average, it takes about 6 to 9 days for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus and begin producing hCG. If the pregnancy test is taken during that window, it will not measure any hCG because the embryo hasn’t yet attached. 

Instead, it’s best to wait until you’ve missed your period before testing — ideally, a week or two afterward. During that time, you may notice symptoms that could be related to early pregnancy like tender breasts, fatigue, light spotting, or nausea. There are some tests available, like Proov Check, that allow you to test 5 days sooner than the average pregnant test with 99% accuracy!

If you get a negative result one or two weeks after you expect your period, it may not be because of pregnancy. Things like long menstrual cycles, anovulation (not ovulating), irregular bleeding related to birth control use, or PCOS can cause what feel like missed periods. 

One way to identify the best window of time in your cycle to test is through monitoring the rise of progesterone, the reproductive hormone present after ovulation. Proov Confirm PdG tests are the first and only FDA cleared tests to confirm successful ovulation at home. Once you receive this confirmation, you can know exactly when would be the best time to take a pregnancy test!

What time of day

Not only is the time of your cycle important, but so is the time of day in which you test! When you test during the day may affect the results. 

Since at home pregnancy tests are measuring the level of hCG found in urine, it’s best to use the most concentrated sample possible. This is typically the easiest to gather first thing in the morning, since you haven’t urinated or consumed liquids in several hours. Morning urine is ideal, especially if you are testing right around the time of a missed period. We realize that it’s not always possible to do this, though. 

Will you still get accurate results if you take the test at night?

If you can’t wait until the morning to take a pregnancy test, we’ve got you covered! Thankfully, it’s still possible to get accurate pregnancy test results, even when you take the test at night.

Depending on how far you are into early pregnancy, the level of hCG may already be high enough to register without a concentrated sample. The level of hCG typically doubles every few days in the first several weeks of pregnancy, so hCG levels that are too low one day may be significantly higher just days later. This means that whether you collect a sample in the morning, or twelve hours later in the evening, it will be high enough to register on a pregnancy test. 

How to Increase accuracy of your pregnancy test

If you’re testing at the time of your missed period, thought, the level of hCG may not be as high. There are still ways to increase the concentration of your urine — which will help provide more accurate pregnancy test results!

  • Do not urinate or use the bathroom for 3-5 hours that evening
  • Do not consume liquids during this time
  • Collect a urine sample at the end of this 3-5 hour window

    Remember that if you get a negative test result, but your period does not begin when you expect it, you can continue to test every 2-3 days for more updated results. 

    If you get a positive pregnancy result, be sure to contact your doctor or midwife to talk about next steps. If you get a negative result, but have concerns about possible pregnancy or cycle health issues, it may also be helpful to speak with your doctor or midwife. 

    Taking a pregnancy test can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re hoping for a positive result or a negative one, we realize that it’s a big deal! Having accurate information that helps you to get the most accurate result possible can help relieve the uncertainty around taking a pregnancy test, and help you feel more confident in your test results.