Can You Take a Pregnancy Test on Your Period?

Whether it’s been on the cards for a while or you’ve been caught off guard, thinking you might be pregnant can be an emotional time – especially if it will make you a first-time mum (if that’s the case, here are the things nobody will tell you about becoming a mum!). The not knowing might spark a sense of urgency to take a test, but is as soon as possible the best way to get an accurate result? And what if you’re currently on your period – will the test even work?

Here are the answers to questions about when the best time to take a home pregnancy test is.

Will a pregnancy test work during your period?

If you’re bleeding vaginally or are on your period, you can still take a pregnancy test without affecting the result. This is because home pregnancy tests are designed to detect the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG, also known as the pregnancy hormone) in your urine. Blood that you pass when you pee will not affect the levels of hCG detected, and therefore will not influence the test result.

This said, if you are bleeding and think it’s your period, this is usually a good sign to confirm that you aren’t pregnant. A period happens when an unfertilised egg exits your body with blood and tissue from your uterus. When you become pregnant, you will no longer get your period because there will be no unfertilised egg to get rid of. This means that if you take a pregnancy test while bleeding and the results are positive, you were bleeding for a reason other than your period (more on this later).

When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?

Anytime from the first day of your missed period to around the tenth week of pregnancy is the optimal time to take a pregnancy test.

During the first eight to ten weeks of pregnancy, hCG levels increase quickly to a peak and then slowly decline over time. By the first day of your first skipped period, which is around ten days after ovulation, your period hormone levels should be high enough for a pregnancy test to pick up on them and show a positive result.

Possible reasons for bleeding during early pregnancy

If you thought you were on your period and still tested positive, there are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing early pregnancy bleeding. In fact, 25% of people who are pregnant may bleed during their first trimester. These reasons vary broadly from implantation bleeding when the fertilised egg is attached to your uterine lining, to unrelated infection like a UTI. We recommend that if you’ve tested positive on a home pregnancy test while bleeding, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

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Possible reasons for bleeding during early pregnancy

If you thought you were on your period and still tested positive, there are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing early pregnancy bleeding. In fact, 25% of people who are pregnant may bleed during their first trimester.

If you bleed during your first trimester, here’s what may have happened:

Miscarriage

Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester of your pregnancy, which is why bleeding during this time can be a concern. Miscarriage isn’t uncommon, in fact, up to 20% of pregnancies are miscarried . If this happens to you, it doesn’t mean that it’s your fault or that something’s wrong with you.

Ectopic pregnancy

This is where a fertilised egg implants outside of the uterus – often in the fallopian tube. An ectopic pregnancy can’t result in birth but can put the mother at risk if the embryo continues to grow and cause the fallopian tube to burst. It happens to up 1/100 pregnancies.

Molar pregnancy (gestational trophoblastic disease)

Molar pregnancy is a rare condition that happens in almost 1/1000 pregnancies. Mass tissue forms inside of the uterus, instead of a baby. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and lower stomach pain or pressure.

If you bleed in the first trimester or later on in your pregnancy, here are possible reasons why:

Implantation

An implantation is when the fertilised egg (embryo) attaches itself to the side of your uterus and starts to grow. This is so the egg can get oxygen and nutrition. The bleeding is often very light, happening within the first 6 – 12 days after you conceive, and only lasts as long as a few days. It can easily be mistaken for spotting.

Changes in your cervix

Your cervix might change during your pregnancy. Inflammation or cervical polyp (small growths) growth on the cervix can cause light bleeding. Neither are a huge cause for concern but if you’re concerned, we recommend checking in with a healthcare professional.

Infections

An infection in the vagina, cervix or from a sexually transmitted infection can cause bleeding. If you think you might have an infection, it’s best to check in with a healthcare provider.

Subchorionic haemorrhage (hematoma)

This is when the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus. A sac is formed between the placenta and the uterus, and this movement and resulting clots can cause bleeding. Many people will experience hematoma and still go on to have healthy pregnancies.

Other causes can include:

  • Having sex
  • An internal exam carried out by your doctor

We recommend that if you’ve tested positive on a home pregnancy test while bleeding, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

What to do if you think you might be pregnant, but your period starts

If you get a negative pregnancy test before you start your period, that’s usually the sign that you’re not pregnant.

However, if you’ve tested positive and are seeing bleeding or spotting, there’s no way to know what it could be. While light bleeding and spotting usually isn’t something to be concerned about, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and have it checked out.

Pregnancy, whether you’re trying to get pregnant, think you might be, or are in your third trimester, can be an emotional and stressful time. See a healthcare professional when you feel like you need to.

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32 thoughts on “Can You Take a Pregnancy Test on Your Period?

  1. Renee J said:

    I took 5 pregnancy test they all are faint but you can see the line and I took a clear blue and it said pregnant!!! But why is my bleeding like I’m on my period? Is this my last cycle? I’m scared

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Renee. Have you tried different brands of pregnancy tests? If you’re concerned, we recommend booking in to see a doctor as they’ll be able to tell you for certain what your situation is. I hope this helps!

    • Kiki said:

      Did you find out why this happened to you? The same is happening to me now! Best of luck!

      • Elisbeth G said:

        What happened in your case I’m in the same boat right now. I went and had my blood drawn today but I’m extremely impatient as I’ve been trying for about a year

    • Emily said:

      The same is happening to me atm I’ve taken a few test now with all faint lines and used different pregnancy tests all come up with same result but yet I’m bleeding and I’ve abdominal pain all symtamatic like m a period but I went to my GP the other days and did a doctor’s test and it came back negative but now I’m getting positives on my period very odd and I’m concerned

    • Monica n said:

      All bodies is different my friend maybe you’re pregnant

    • Yanna said:

      This is happening to me rn did you ever find out what’s wrong?

  2. Blessings said:

    I tested negative but am bleeding and having abdominal pains

  3. MEDELIN S SIMUDZIRAYI said:

    This article helped me but i can’t seem to understand something. I really want to know if it’s possible for a woman to bleed for about seven day and still get positive pregnancy test.

    • Natracare said:

      Hey Medelin, this might be possible but if it’s somethihng you’ve experienced we recommend speaking to a medical professional about it if you can. They will be best equipped to understand and explain why this might be happening.

    • Pooja said:

      So i have something similar.
      I got spotting on last thursday, then on saturday i started with vedy light period with cramps like period.
      From sunday evening i started having moderate blood flow with some blood clots and i tested 3 times from morning 4am and all 3 test showed me faint positive.
      I dont know what does this mean ?
      Please help

      • Natracare said:

        Hey! If, after taking home pregnancy tests you’re still uncertain, we recommend booking a test with a doctor. We hope this helps!

  4. Jasmine said:

    I missed a period in the month of October and had my period the first week of November. I was feeling weird so took 2 tests and both came out with faint lines to make it a positive test. I just went in for blood work and the results came out negative. But I’ve gained weight. I have mood swings. My breasts feel sore and full and I experience nausea after smoking a cigarette which never happens. Any ideas as to why I’m experiencing these symptoms?

    • Natracare said:

      “Thank you for your comment. We recommend speaking to your doctor about this if you can, so that they’re able to provide you with clarity with what’s going on. They will be the best equipped to give you a definitive answer. We really hope all will be well 💚”

  5. Nabakiibi Fatuma said:

    Can pregnancy be detected in oneweek(very faint line seen).But having menstruation period at the same time, stomachache,back pain

    • Natracare said:

      Usually with pregnancy tests, even if the line is faint it could mean that you’re pregnant. We recommend that you visit your doctor if you can, to ensure that you receive a confirmed result 💚

  6. Suzanne clarke said:

    Hi I did a pregnancy test Friday night it came back positive 1-2 weeks then did another Saturday morning same positive 1-2 weeks then Monday (yesterday) came on period and did a test negative ? Can you help with this. I’m still bleeding now

    • Natracare said:

      Hey! We understand that it can be difficult to understand what is going on, especially with the inconsistent test results. We recommend that you visit your doctor, so you can get a clearer answer and medical advice💚

  7. Adunola said:

    I did period november 27 and end Dec 1. Am surprised seeing another one again 4 of December but the one am seeing now is light

    • Natracare said:

      Sometimes before or after a period, you might experience spotting. However, if the bleeding continues, or if spotting is out of the ordinary for you, we recommend that you speak to your doctor for further advice 💚

  8. Ariella said:

    Hello. Hope you good, I’ve been taking fertility pills, this month I got my period twice and the second period is heavily…
    This is my first time experiencing this and I don’t know what to do.
    Some people have been advising me to take the test.. Should I take the test?

    • Natracare said:

      Hey Ariella, if you’re on new medication and it’s causing drastic changes to your cycle it might be a good idea to check in with the doctor who prescribed the pills. We hope this helps!

  9. Nikita said:

    This may seem a silly question to ask but I started my period on the 23rd of December it was heavy for 2 days including clots and then slowed until I finished on the 27th…for some reason today I just thought I’d do the pregnancy test I had left in my cupboard and it has come out with a faint positive. Now I’m confused

    • Natracare said:

      Hey Nikita, it might be a good idea to do another test or see a doctor so you can gain a firmer result. We hope this helps!

  10. Rebecca said:

    I did a test 5 days late for my peroid was a faint postitive,next day did a digital one confirm pregnant,so did other ones negative so confusing but in the past I had sex a week or two and had a heavy bleed and a week after was confirm I was pregnant.

    • Natracare said:

      We would recommend that you head to a healthcare professional to confirm your pregnancy, they’ll be able to give you the most appropriate advice.

  11. Clara said:

    I’ve been having lighter than usual periods since December 9th. This is a third time getting a lighter period. Haven’t done a test yet. No other symptoms, period comes on time, even 2-3 days earlier. Can I be pregnant?

    • Natracare said:

      Hey, have you tried taking a tests? If you’re concerned, we recommend you visit a doctor as they’ll be able to
      tell you for certain what your situation is. We hope this helps!

  12. Ember said:

    My period was 5 days late Just, so when it started I wasn’t going to take a testosterone. Buy it’s been almost 3 weeks of bleeding,, breaking for between 12 and 36 hours, and starting again. So, when it stopped again, I finally took an “early” test that came back positive with two very dark pink lines on 04 Feb. My bleeding started back up yesterday (06 Fsb) and has been heavy as he’ll.

    Is it possible that it’s a false positive? Or does the bleeding mean something else entirely?

    • Natracare said:

      Thanks for trusting us with this information. We recommend that you speak to a doctor as this is something they’ll be able to help you with. Wishing you the best!

  13. Sonni said:

    Can I get pregnant if I had unprotected sex 4 days before my period started?

    • Natracare said:

      Hey! Having unprotected sex increases the chance of pregnancy. We recommend that you take a pregnancy test, or visit a doctor.