Will I Still Get a Positive Home Pregnancy Test After 12 Weeks Gestation?
Some women wonder if after 12 weeks gestation they will still receive a positive pregnancy test. The reason why they wonder this is because around 12 weeks gestation the pregnancy hormone, HCG, starts to taper off because the uterus takes over the job of supporting the pregnancy. Pregnancy tests check for HCG so it would stand to reason that after 12 weeks gestation when the HCG starts going down that taking a home pregnancy test would result with a negative response even for women who are pregnant. Right?
Not exactly. The hormone does start to go down after 12 weeks gestation to much lower levels, but it should still be high enough in most women for a pregnancy test to pick it up. The majority of pregnancy tests on the market are sensitive enough to pick up 25 MIU/ML of HCG hormone in a womans urine. So, the only time during pregnancy where a pregnancy test might not be sensitive enough to pick up the hormone is the first week or so after conception. After that point the hormone levels stay fairly high although the peak does occur at 12 weeks. Take a look at the following chart to get an idea of how the hormone levels change throughout pregnancy and you will be able to see that any pregnancy test should have no problem whatsoever detecting the pregnancy hormone.
Weeks After Conception / Normal HCG Levels
Week 1 / 5-50
Week 2 / 5-50
Week 3 / 5-50
Week 4 / 10-425
Week 5 / 19-7340
Week 6 / 1080-56500
Weeks 7-8 / 7650- 229000
Weeks 9-12 / 25700-288000
Weeks 13-16 / 13300-254000
Weeks 17-24 / 4060-165400
Weeks 25-40 / 3640-117000
Seeing these numbers makes it very clear that even though the levels of the pregnancy hormone in your body peak around 12 weeks after conception they still remain fairly high throughout the rest of the pregnancy. So, even if you take a pregnancy test later in your pregnancy you will still receive a positive result.
Generally, most women will receive a positive pregnancy test about two weeks after conception or right around the time when a period is missed. A small percentage of women will receive a positive test before this time while still others wont receive a positive test for up to four weeks after conception.