For most women, the first sign of pregnancy is the lack of a period, also known as amenorrhea. This usually prompts a quick drive to the store for a home pregnancy test kit. However, in some cases you may be able to determine pregnancy even before you miss your period after conception.
Home Pregnancy Test Kit
The most common way that women discover they are pregnant after conception is through a home pregnancy test (HPT). There are many types of pregnancy tests on the market, but whether they use a strip, cup or eye dropper, most of them test positive in the same time period. Pregnancy tests work by detecting a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). After conception, some women secrete higher levels of the hormone sooner than others. Since the test will not get a positive result until enough HCG is present in the urine, home pregnancy tests work at varying points from the time of conception. According to the Mayo Clinic, most pregnancy tests will not show a positive result until at least one day after your missed period, or about 12 to 14 days from conception. The one exception to this rule is the First Response Early Pregnancy Test, which has shown the ability to detect pregnancy up to five days before your period. Even then it is recommended that you test a second time at least two days after your first test to insure that you did not get a false negative.
For a more accurate, and earlier result, many women choose to get a blood test from their doctor. Pregnancy blood tests work similarly to home pregnancy tests in that they search for heightened levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). However, since the hormone will be present in the blood sooner than the urine, blood tests can get positive results as soon as six days after conception, but usually closer to 10 days. There are two different types of pregnancy blood tests, quantitative and qualitative. A quantitative blood test is the most accurate and measures the actual amount of HCG in the blood sample. A qualitative blood test only checks to see if the hormone is present, and is not much more accurate than a home urine test.