Emergency Contraception 101
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When to Take a Pregnancy Test
If you had unprotected sex and used emergency contraception, you may be wondering when you can take a pregnancy test. It's important to not test too soon, as this may give you a false result. For women who are not familiar with their menstrual cycle, it is typically recommended to wait three weeks after unprotected sex before testing for pregnancy.
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You had unprotected sex. You used emergency contraception, such as Plan B One-Step™. You understand that emergency contraception is not 100 percent effective. Now, you are wondering and waiting to see if you might be pregnant. This can be one of the most nerve-wracking and seemingly long waits in a woman's life. Now, you may be wondering if and when you should take a pregnancy test. This article will provide a few do's and don'ts for pregnancy testing after using emergency contraception.
Consider testing when your period is more than seven days late. If you test too soon, you may get a false negative (a negative test, even though you are really pregnant). It takes a week or two after fertilization for an egg to implant into the uterus. Pregnancy tests work by checking for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced during pregnancy by the developing embryo. However, this hormone is not usually present until after implantation. If you test before implantation occurs, or before hCG levels have risen to a detectable amount, you might get a false negative.
Testing too soon can give you a false sense of security, and you may engage in behaviors such as drinking or smoking, which you might not otherwise do if you thought you could be pregnant. It can also be a waste of money, especially if you know you tested too soon and will need to test again.
If you absolutely cannot stand the suspense and cannot keep yourself from testing too soon, consider buying a two- or three-pack pregnancy test, knowing that you will probably need to test again.