Can I test early?

images-1I know, I know – it’s tempting. The two-week wait after fertility treatment seems about six years long and you may spend a lot of time analysing every tiny twinge that you feel, or don’t feel, and trying to work out if it has any significance in terms of the outcome. So, the idea of doing a test a few days – or even a week – before you are meant can seem very attractive. And yet, it can end up making the rest of the wait even more difficult…

In the very early days of pregnancy, there are often no symptoms at all that you could notice and it may take a while for the hormone changes to be at the right levels to start to show up on a test.

I’ve heard so many people recently talking about testing early and they’ve either had a negative result, which may not mean that the treatment hasn’t worked but rather that they tested too early, or had a very slightly positive response and then spent hours peering at faint lines on the test kit before dashing off to purchase yet more to try to get a clearer result.

It really is worth waiting until the time indicated on your test kit if you possibly can. These do vary so check out which you can do earliest if you feel you really can’t wait `but do remember that testing early can sometimes lead to more questions and confusion rather than a definitive answer. .

Testing early…

There have been a few questions on fertility forums recently about doing early pregnancy tests during the two week wait – with people asking whether it’s OK to test after a week and discussing which is the best test to use if you want to do it earlier.

I know how tempting it can be – and how long the two week wait can seem – but it really is worth waiting to do the test at the proper time. The problem with testing early is that even if you are pregnant, you are quite likely to get a negative result as you won’t have sufficient levels of pregnancy hormone in your body to show up in the test.

I was desperate to know with my last cycle of IVF and decided to test just one day early, thinking that if I was pregnant, it would surely show by this time. In fact, I couldn’t work out if the test result was positive or negative. There was something in the second window of the testing kit, but it wasn’t the clear blue line illustrated on the pack as a positive result, rather a very faint light shadow instead. I spent hours peering at it trying to work out if it really was a line or not, and then felt even more anxious and worried for the rest of the day. I did another test the next morning, at the right time, and then the result was clearly positive.

So, the moral is – don’t test early! It is hard, but do wait until you can get a proper result by testing at the right time.