Understanding the link
Implantation is a word you have probably never heard before, or if you have, certainly not something that you actively think about when considering your potential pregnancy.
However, if you are wondering when you can take a pregnancy test and get an accurate result, implantation plays an important role in determining the answer. Whether you are worried you might be pregnant or trying to conceive, knowing how a pregnancy test works will allow you to approach the process with more clarity.
How it works
After a woman releases an egg during ovulation and it is fertilized when it meets sperm, the egg travels to the uterus. The uterus will be home to the baby while it develops.
However, in order to move on to the next stage of development, the fertilized egg must attach to the wall of the uterus, a process referred to as implantation because the egg is implanting in the uterine lining. Once the egg has implanted, it is a developing fetus, and it releases a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This hormone is only released once a fetus has implanted.
Since it is such a unique hormone, it is the one that pregnancy tests are looking for, whether you are using an over-the-counter urine test or your doctor is testing your blood in his office.
What does this mean for pregnancy?
So what does this mean for your pregnancy test? Basically, if you take a test before the fetus has had a chance to implant and to start producing sufficient hCG, you can get a false negative. This means that either the egg is still floating around the uterus or that there is not enough hCG production yet to trigger the positive response on the test. In either case, the test will say you are NOT pregnant even though you ARE!