Pregnancy tests: Are pregnancy tests accurate while nursing?

My son is now eight months old, I'm breastfeeding and I've not yet restarted my period. How long after sex will a pregnancy test tell me if I'm pregnant? I took one four weeks after unprotected sex, and it was negative. Could breastfeeding affect the results?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Breastfeeding should not affect a pregnancy test. If you became pregnant and took the test four weeks after making love, the test should have been positive. Most urine pregnancy tests are accurate by the time your period would be due (or two weeks after conception).

If you’re nursing frequently (day and night), you may not get a period for the first year of your baby’s life. Frequent breastfeeding sessions can suppress ovulation and delay the return of your menstrual cycle.

Pregnancy symptoms are not that different for nursing moms, though they may experience increased nipple tenderness, beginning as early as two weeks after conception.

If you feel like you're pregnant, and home urine tests are negative, check in with your doctor. Pregnancy tests, including the blood tests, are not infallible.

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