Have you missed your period? Do you have sore breasts and/or nipples, feel nausea, experience food cravings and/or aversions, feel moody/emotional, and/or urinate more often than before? These are all common symptoms of pregnancy and most pregnant women experience at least a few of them. Even so, you’ll want to confirm that you’re actually pregnant by taking an at-home pregnancy test before you talk to your partner or make an appointment for prenatal care.

How Accurate Are Pregnancy Tests at Night?

When a woman gets pregnant, her body produces a hormone called hCG. This hormone shows up in urine and can be detected using a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are 99% accurate[1] but using them at night lowers the accuracy levels. That’s because the water you drink throughout the day and evening may dilute the hCG levels in your urine to produce a false negative. The risk of a false negative is especially high if you’re testing before you’ve missed a period. It takes some time for our body to produce enough hCG levels to register on a pregnancy test. Thus, you’ll want to wait until after you’ve missed a period to get the most accurate results. Conversely, if you decide to take a test at night, and you test positive, it’s almost certain that you’re expecting a baby.

When is the Best Time to Take a Pregnancy Test?

The best time to take a pregnancy test is first thing in the morning before you drink anything. This ensures that, if you’re pregnant, hCG levels in your urine are high enough to show positive results. If the results are negative after a morning test, you can rest assured that you’re most likely not pregnant. However, if your period still doesn’t show up, and you feel unwell, you may want to schedule a visit with your primary care provider. A missed period not caused by pregnancy can be a symptom of an illness, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or a thyroid condition. You should seek immediate medical attention if you feel pain in one shoulder, severe abdominal pain or pain in your pelvic area, dizziness, or nausea. You may have an ectopic pregnancy. This is a medical condition that can be life-threatening without fast medical intervention.


What are the Different Types of Pregnancy Tests?

At-home pregnancy tests are popular because they’re affordable, accurate, and easy to use. Even so, they’re not the only pregnancy test you can use. Some doctors offer blood tests to determine if you’re pregnant. Like urine tests, blood tests measure hCG levels in your body. At the same time, they can offer a lot more information than an at-home pregnancy test. Blood tests can measure how much hCG is in your body at any point in time. This can help a doctor or nurse determine if there is a chance of miscarriage. Blood tests can also show if you’re pregnant with multiples.[2]

Ultrasounds are yet another popular type of pregnancy test. Once you’ve taken an at-home pregnancy test, and it’s shown positive results, you’ll want to get an ultrasound from a medical care provider as soon as you can to find out more about your pregnancy. Doctors use the results of an ultrasound to determine the age of the fetus and your due date. An ultrasound also enables a doctor to hear a fetus’ heartbeat and determine if the fetus is viable. As the fetus grows, an ultrasound can detect potential birth anomalies that you’ll need to be aware of in order to make informed medical decisions. An ultrasound can also show if you’re pregnant with multiples and even show the fetus’ gender once you’re more than four months pregnant.

Understanding Your Hormone Levels

Most pregnancy tests focus on hCG levels in the urine or blood. This is one of the easiest ways to accurately determine if a woman is pregnant because a healthy woman’s body won’t produce hCG unless she’s expecting a baby. However, it’s important to realize that there are other important hormones involved in your pregnancy too. Human placental lactogen, or hPL as it’s more commonly known, is made by the placenta to stimulate the milk glands in the breasts in preparation for breastfeeding after the baby is born.

Estrogen, which your body produces even when you’re not pregnant, is also produced by the placenta when you are pregnant. It maintains the uterine lining and plays a vital role in the development of the fetus’s organs. Your body also ups production of progesterone during this time. The extra progesterone in your system softens ligaments and cartilage and loosens your joints to prepare your body for the upcoming delivery.[3,4]

The simple answer to the question, “can I take a pregnancy test at night” is yes, you can. However, it’s not an ideal time to do so as you’re more likely to get a false negative than at other times in the day. If you want to increase your chances of getting an accurate result, wait until you’ve missed your period and then take the test first thing in the morning.

If the at-home pregnancy test shows a positive result, and you’re not sure what to do next, Pregnancy Care Clinic can offer the medical assistance and emotional support you need. We provide a free ultrasound to determine the age of the fetus and your due date and check to see if the pregnancy is viable. We also offer free STI testing and medical referrals for those who need one. Furthermore, our team offers peer counseling and education, emotional support, and material assistance in the form of free maternity clothes, childbirth education, and parenting classes. If you or someone you know can benefit from our free professional services, get in touch with us at your convenience or simply walk into one of our clinics and ask to see one of our medical professionals.


  1. Pregnancy Tests. (2022, November 28). Cleveland Clinic. 


  1. Weiss, R. (2022, December 19). What Is a Blood Pregnancy Test and How Does It 

Work? Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-is-a-blood-pregnancy-test-2759849

  1. Hormones During Pregnancy. (n.d.). John Hopkins Medicine. 


  1. Geddes, J. (n.d.). Your Guide to Pregnancy Hormones. What to Expect.