Obstetrics and Gynaecology

How Long After Sex Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?

Gynecologists and other medical practitioners often heard this question, “how long after sex can you take a pregnancy test?”

Up to ten days after intercourse, a pregnancy test can provide an accurate result. The accuracy of the test is reduced if it is performed too soon. Following sexual intercourse, the standard time frame is 10 to 14 days. Because HCG is produced two weeks after conception or ovulation, a false result may be obtained if the test is performed too soon.

In some cases, even 10 to 14 days after intercourse is too soon for testing. This is because your body may take longer to implant after conception and ovulation. Because sperm can endure in the human body for up to five days, a woman may conceive several days after having sex.

As a result, if you receive a negative impact one week later, you should repeat the test. This increases the probability of getting the correct result.

The pregnancy test can be taken at any time after a missed period. It is best to take the test as quickly as possible for a missed period or suspect pregnancy. Some pregnancy tests claim to provide results before the missed period, but these tests are more likely to be inaccurate.

Some claim to just provide results as soon as ten days after sex, but these tests may produce a false positive or false-negative result.

In the case of women who do not have a regular period, the tests should be done several weeks after intercourse.

The process of Menstruation and Fertility

The pregnancy hormone is human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). The first day of a woman’s menstrual period marks the beginning of her cycle. The menstrual cycle usually lasts 3-7 days. The hormones begin to prepare the egg for ovulation as soon as the period ends.

In most cases, ovulation occurs on day 14 of the cycle. The ovaries release the ovum during this time. If the ovum is not fertilized, it will remain in the female genital tract for about 5-8 days.

It may take two days for sperm to fertilize the fertilization site and unite with the ovum. The ampulla is the location of fertilization. It may take 6-7 days for the fertilized ovum to reach the uterus.

This means that implantation occurs approximately 8 days after unsafe sex. The placenta tends to grow as the implantation process progresses.

The placenta secretes HCG. The HCG keeps the corpus luteum, a structure in the ovary, active. The corpus luteum secretes progesterone to retain the inner lining of the uterus and pregnancy.

If implantation does not proceed, the corpus luteum drops back because there is no HCG to keep it going. Progesterone levels fall, and the inner lining of the uterus begins to separate from the uterine wall. The menstrual cycle starts again around day 28.

Certain brands claim that their pregnancy tests will detect pregnancy four days before the missed period; however, the success rate of these tests is only 69 percent.

If you are pregnant, a pregnancy test will usually show a positive result 8 days after the unprotected sex. If it detects 3 days before, it has an 83 percent success rate. Tends to increase to 93 percent two days back.

Negative False Test

If you take a pregnancy test on the first day of your missed menstrual period, you may get a false negative result. Early testing is a common cause of this.

Even individuals with extremely high levels of pregnancy hormone can occasionally receive a false negative effect. If the test results in a false negative, another test can be performed the following week.

A blood test, which is much more accurate than standard pregnancy tests, is another method of testing.

Various Medical Tests and Their Reliability

The testing methods and their accuracy are given below.

Examination of the Blood

A blood test has a success rate of 99 percent. A blood test can determine even trace amounts of pregnancy hormones. The test should be quantitative in nature.

Blood Tests: Quantitative vs Qualitative

The quantitative blood test determines the amount of HCG in the blood. The HCG hormone is at its peak during the first four weeks of pregnancy. After that, its level begins to fall.

The doctor can use a quantitative blood test to determine the amount of HCG present and whether or not the pregnancy is progressing normally. The qualitative test will only assist in determining whether or not you are pregnant.

A blood test can be performed before a urine test. Urine tests are only accurate the first day after a missed period or two weeks after conception. Within 7-12 days of conception, blood tests can determine if you are pregnant.

Blood tests can only be performed at a doctor’s clinic, making them more expensive and inconvenient than home tests.

Blood tests must also be sent to a lab for analysis, resulting in not being instantly accessible. It could take hours or even days to receive your test results.

Home Pregnancy Tests and Urine Tests

If this question that “how long after sex can you take a pregnancy test? If irritating you and you are lacking patience, then you should take a home pregnancy test.

A urine test or pregnancy test performed at home has a 6% failure rate. The following factors can have an impact on the accuracy of a home pregnancy test:

  • Initial testing
  • Fertility medication, as well as any other medicines that affect HCG levels
  • Whether or not the urine cup is clean
  • The presence of blood or protein in one’s urine.
  • Incorrect test kit
  • The test kit’s sensitivity
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Miscarriage recently

Women taking fertility medication should consult with their doctor about when to take the test.

Also Check: Homemade Pregnancy Test

Home Pregnancy Test Accuracy

Home pregnancy tests, when used correctly, can provide accurate results. The results are as precise as those of a urine test performed in a doctor’s office. This test detects HCG, a hormone produced by the body only during pregnancy.

These tests are only reliable if they are performed after the missed period. However, if the kit has expired or was misused, the results will be incorrect. Before taking the test, always check the expiration date on the package and carefully read the instructions.

Method of Stick and Dip

Typically, the stick and dip method of pregnancy testing is available over-the-counter. The sticks have been dipped in urine.

The minimum amount of pregnancy hormones required to produce a result varies by brand.

Ultrasound Imaging

Ultrasound scanning can detect pregnancy only 3-5 weeks after intercourse. The scan initially reveals only a small sac. Later, the heartbeat can be seen.

After an Irregular Period, Take a Pregnancy Test

An irregular period is a sign of hormonal imbalance and may indicate illness rather than pregnancy.

Suppose your periods are irregular and the amount is erratic or very low. In that case, you should get a pregnancy test after some early symptoms because some women continue to ovulate even after becoming pregnant. It could last for the first three months of pregnancy.

Women who have irregular periods have a more difficult time detecting pregnancy. In such cases, you cannot tell if you are pregnant based on your monthly cycle. If you have irregular periods, the best way to know if you should get a pregnancy test is to look for early signs of pregnancy.

If you have the following symptoms 2-3 weeks after having unprotected sex, use a home pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant.

  • Nausea
  • Breast sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Urination occurs frequently.
  • Unusual food cravings

Pregnancy Tests availability

How long after sex can you take a pregnancy test is highly dependent upon the availability of particular tests. Testing kits are available for purchase at any local pharmacy, grocery store, or drug store.

These are less costly. They are provided free of charge at some health care facilities. You can also get one from your doctor or nurse.

The Exceptions

  • There are pregnancy tests that can detect pregnancy as early as six days.
  • There are pregnancy tests that use hormones other than hCG to detect pregnancy. First Rapid Response Pregnancy Test, for example, employs a combination of pregnancy hormones. They’ll be even quicker.
  • Some women have reported receiving a positive pregnancy test shortly after implantation.


After sex, primarily women are confused about whether they should take a pregnancy test after sex or not and the correct time for this test. The human body goes through various reproductive phases.

There is a particular time for ovulation and fertilization. There are multiple tests for the confirmation of pregnancy. You can take it at home. I hope you are now clear about when you should take a pregnancy test.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Happens If the Early Pregnancy Test Comes Back Negative?

Even if you receive a negative result, test again three days later if you suspect you are pregnant. Some women may have low HCG levels during a missed period. It can range from 1 to 10.
If you continue to get negative results but believe you are pregnant, contact a blood test to get the most accurate results.

Can a Pregnancy Test Give You a False Positive?

Although some argue that getting a false positive on a test is impossible, it does happen. Pregnancy tests are now susceptible. These tests can detect chemical pregnancy shortly after implantation. Previously, these chemical pregnancies went undetected because they were terminated before the actual test could be performed.
However, the likelihood of obtaining a false positive result is extremely low. It is always good to repeat the test at home or confirm it with a blood test if you get a positive impact.

How is the reference sex day determined?

If the sperm fertilizes the egg, a pregnancy test must be taken at least two weeks after sex. All of the events are converging. It means that in a relay, nothing happens. Simultaneously, the preparatory stage for the next event begins.
It is critical to be aware of your menstrual cycle type. If you have a shorter menstrual cycle, these events may progress more quickly.
Menstrual cycles that are 24 to 26 days long instead of 28 days long are possible. Such women may have to wait longer after sex to take a pregnancy test.
Shorter or longer menstrual cycles, on the other hand, are not indicators of the reproductive machinery’s pace.

Rashmi Shrestha

Namastey!! I am Rashmi Shrestha. I am an enthusiast writer and reader. I have completed my degree Bsc. Human biology from Kathmandu University. I love to read poetry and write some too. I am looking forward to working with WOMS

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