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Early Testing…To Test or not to Test?

Fertility Articles, Fertility Blog, Katie's Journey

Woman viewing pregnancy test

The two week wait can be excruciating for some of us. You take every little thing you feel in your body as a potential sign of a pregnancy and you’re just so anxious to find out if this cycle will be the one that works! You see these early detection pregnancy tests that advertise HCG detection up to 6 days before your missed period and of course, those are the ones we buy. If you’re on social media and following other women in the TTC (trying to conceive) community, you’re probably constantly seeing people testing as early as 8 days past ovulation (DPO). This type of early testing can be influential, especially when you see a very faint line for some around 10 DPO and it makes you feel hopeful that you too will see a similar faint line. But for us going through fertility treatments, we may want to use caution with testing early. 

If your cycle protocol includes a trigger shot, it’s important to know that usually the trigger shot contains HCG, the hormone pregnancy tests look for. If you were to take a pregnancy test while the trigger shot is still in your system, you will get a positive test even if you are not actually pregnant. The trigger shot can last up to 14 days in your system so if you test early, it can be difficult to discern whether the trigger shot is causing a positive pregnancy test or if the cycle was successful. Women combat this by “testing out the trigger” which has become increasingly popular on social media. In this method, women will take pregnancy tests starting usually around 7 days past trigger (typically resulting in a positive test) and will continue to take a pregnancy test every day and watch the lines get fainter and fainter until the test is completely negative. Then they will continue to test hoping to see a faint line reappear on their tests, knowing that their HCG levels are rising from a pregnancy rather than a lingering trigger shot. Even though you know the positives you are seeing are the trigger shot, it can feel discouraging to see a positive getting fainter and never return. 

If your protocol does not include a trigger shot or anything else that could alter the results of a pregnancy test and you just want to test early, you can! Just keep in mind that every person and every pregnancy is different. The test is most accurate starting on 14 DPO at least. Whatever approach you decide to take, make sure to set yourself up for the fewest possible letdowns. 

Urine pregnancy tests are pretty accurate, but nothing will be more accurate than a blood test. Whether you test early or not is up to you and your partner. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to understand all the possible outcomes and when to get them verified by a doctor.

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