Finding yourself anxiously going back and forth late at night, not being able to sleep, while all that’s on your mind is taking that pregnancy test and getting it over with so you can know what’s what and move on with your life already?
Whether you’ve been actively trying to conceive as of late and are beginning to feel some early signs of pregnancy, or you think it might have happened unplanned, the stress is real and it can easily eat you up if you feel you need to get an instant answer on the spot.
Some of us can wait things out and deal with the stress just fine, while others are absolutely horrible at it.
Unfortunately, though, taking a pregnancy test at night is not exactly the best of ideas – and we’ll be explaining why in the following article.
Can You Take A Pregnancy Test At Night? How Accurate Is It?
A good rule of thumb you should know about is that you’ll always get the most accurate results from taking a pregnancy test during the early morning time as opposed to taking the test during night time.
Now, if you absolutely must take a pregnancy test at night and have no other choice, then by all means go ahead and do that. There’s not much else you can do.
If you end up testing negative, just know that this is not nearly an accurate result as it could be if you re-take the test during early morning and when you urinate for the first time in any given day.
So, take the test again during early morning time for reassurance purposes when hCG levels in your urine are high enough to be detected.
If you end up testing positive, then chances are fairly high that you are indeed pregnant. If you test positive when taking a pregnancy test at night and when hCG levels in your body are at their lowest, you’re very unlikely to test negative when you take it during early morning time and when hCG levels in your body are at their highest.
Chances of getting false positives are much less than chances of getting false negatives.
However, it is possible that you could test negative when you take the test again during early morning time, for one of many possible reasons not related to the hCG hormone, though.
If it’s in your hands and you’re able to wait until early morning the next day before taking the test, then doing that is ideal and will ensure a much more accurate result.
Why Does It Matter What Time You Take A Pregnancy Test?
To answer this question best, let’s first quickly cover how exactly home pregnancy tests work.
These tests are able to give you back an accurate answer based on the levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that they detect in your urine at the time of testing.
The placenta greatly increases production of this hormone in the body only a few days after implantation occurs and a pregnancy has become reality.
Now, a good percentage of women testing for pregnancy know that as far as timing is concerned, waiting until one week after a missed period and then taking the pregnancy test is extremely important in order to get back an accurate result – regardless of whether it’s a negative or a positive.
This is because not enough levels of the hormone hCG will be present in your urine for the pregnancy test kit to detect if you take the test anytime sooner than one week after your missed period.
So, now that we’ve quickly covered the vital role that the hormone hCG plays in pregnancy tests and how accurate they end up being, did you know that this hormone is more detectable during certain times in one 24 hour period than others?
Yup, you’ve guessed where we’re going with this – pregnancy tests can detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) much more accurately during early morning time vs night time.
Why is this exactly, you ask?
Well, your first-morning urine will always be the most concentrated urine you’ll ever pass during the entire day, and will contain the highest levels of hCG. (This is true on condition that you haven’t gotten up in the middle of the night to urinate and get back to sleep).
On the other hand, each and every urine you pass after that will gradually be less and less concentrated, and will contain less and less levels of hCG.
As you get to the evening and night times, any urine you pass then will contain the least levels of hCG, making it very difficult for a pregnancy test to pick up on this hormone and thus increasing your chances of getting back a false-negative result.
A false negative pregnancy test result means that while you are indeed pregnant, the test you took could not detect enough levels of hCG in your urine to confirm a pregnancy.
What You Drink During The Day
Experts also advise against taking a pregnancy test at night, as opposed to taking one during early morning time, because of the fact that a lot of what you drink throughout the day might cause a false-negative.
If you enjoy drinking beverages such as coffee and tea during the day, this often contributes to urine dilution which – in turn – increases your chances of testing negative while you actually might be pregnant.
Uncomfortably Holding Urine In
It’s often suggested to women that want to take a pregnancy test at night that they need to “hold their urine in” for a few hours before taking the test, as this will (as they claim) increase the concentration of the hormone hCG in the urine sample that’s tested.
Now, I don’t know about you, but just the idea of holding my urine in for 3 to 4 hours makes me feel uncomfortable, let alone actually doing it!
Because of the fact that your urine becomes more and more diluted the more frequently you urinate during the day, and that a concentrated urine sample gives back the most accurate result, many people consider cutting down on their water (and overall fluid) intake throughout the day just so they can get to night time without having urinated much.
The notion behind doing this is that they’ll have maintained hCG levels in their urine come night time.
Obviously, this is a terrible idea because it will lead to dehydration. If you’re indeed pregnant, not only will dehydration harm your health and well being, it’s also very harmful to your pregnancy as well.
Wrapping It Up
In conclusion, you technically can take a pregnancy test at night and nothing bad or harmful will come out of it.
It’s just that the accuracy levels of pregnancy tests taken at night are significantly lower than the accuracy levels of pregnancy tests taken during the early morning.
If it’s in your hands and you’re able to control your anxiousness without letting the stress and agony take over your body and mind, then definitely wait until the next morning to take the test.
Even though pregnancy tests nowadays are indeed advanced enough to be able to tell whether you’re pregnant or not even if you test with slightly diluted urine that has less hCG levels in it, it’s just not worth doing unless there’s a really valid reason as to why you specifically want to take the test test at night.
However, if you’ve already taken a pregnancy test at night, then all is not lost – for tomorrow is another day. Go get a good night’s sleep and take the test again the next morning for a much more accurate result.
At the end of the day, and regardless of whether you take a pregnancy test during the day time or night time, what’s most important is that you don’t take the test way too early on (i.e before your missed period) since that’s a guaranteed false negative and a waste of both time and money.