Are you #TTC, in the two-week-wait and have experienced spotting? Could it be implantation bleeding? How long after implantation can you take a pregnancy test? See if your symptoms match signs of implantation and find out about hCG levels after implantation and how soon after implantation your hCG levels might rise to a level detectable by a home pregnancy test.

In this article:

What is implantation?

Implantation is the point of pregnancy where the fertilized egg (embryo) attaches itself to the lining inside the uterus.

Once conception occurs, which happens in one of the fallopian tubes, the embryo has to move down from the fallopian tube into the uterus where it burrows into the soft uterine lining. Shortly after the embryo attaches to the endometrial surface in the uterus, the cells of the placenta begin to form. [1]

Implantation takes place about 6-10 days after ovulation. [2]

You might be able to catch physical signs of implantation happening if you pay close attention to your body.

Signs of implantation

During implantation you may experience mild cramping, abdominal tenderness, and lower back pain. You may also have a brief episode of spotting, known as implantation bleeding.

Implantation bleeding is unlike having a period – the blood is either light in color (almost pinkish) or dark brown, and the flow is very light and short-lived, not enough to soak a sanitary pad. You shouldn’t have painful cramps during implantation as is common with a coming period. [3]

It’s not uncommon to only catch implantation bleeding ONCE when you wipe after going to the bathroom and then not see it again, but some women report having more than one spotting episode following a successful implantation, lasting up to 2-3 days.

By some estimates, up to about 30% of women experience implantation bleeding during pregnancy. It is however possible that this number is in reality higher and many women simply miss the brief instance of spotting as implantation takes place.

This website uses referral links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

How long after implantation does hCG rise?

The hormone hCG is produced in the body of a pregnant woman almost right away after implantation occurs. It is secreted by the cells surrounding the developing embryo which eventually form the placenta.

HCG levels tend to rise very quickly in early pregnancy, doubling every 72 hours according to the American Pregnancy Association. [4]

Related: Common + Totally Bizarre Early Pregnancy Symptoms

How long after implantation is hCG detected in urine?

HCG finds its way into the urine shortly after implantation.

In fact, there is a close association between the blood and urine hCG levels in pregnancy. The levels and rise of hCG in the urine of pregnant women show a similar pattern to hCG levels in the blood. [5]

HCG levels after implantation

How does hCG rise after implantation, day by day?

If there is one common thing that the #TTC crowd wants to know, it is… How soon can you test after implantation or ovulation???

I have found 2 interesting research papers that I would love to share with you.

We’ll cover each one separately and then COMBINE the data as well.

(1) Johnson, Miro, Barrett, & Ellis, 2009 [6]

This study compares hCG concentrations in the earliest days of pregnancy of 86 women, using a surge in the luteinizing hormone (LH) as a marker. Data is provided for mean, median, and interquartile hCG levels. The interquartile range provides a variety of data while excluding the low and high extremes (the upper and lower quartile values).

Day relative to LH surgeMedian hCG levels (mIU/mL)Q1-Q3 hCG range (mIU/mL)
Day 80.000.00-0.00
Day 90.000.00-1.06
Day 102.771.07-6.98
Day 1110.156.10-18.43
Day 1221.9712.79-40.23
Day 1337.3720.55-60.75
Day 1468.3750.08-104.89

Using the findings in this study I will attempt to portray a pattern at which the hCG levels may rise in the immediate days after implantation to the point of detection on a home pregnancy test. I hope this will help you make sense of day-by-day hCG levels after implantation and understand the earliest time frame to possibly expect a BFP on a home pregnancy test.

As already mentioned, in this study, the hCG concentration is made relative to the days after the LH surge (LH = luteinizing hormone). The LH surge precedes ovulation by about a day or two (28-44 hours). [7,8]

Based on the increased production of hCG in the data provided in this study it seems that implantation had occurred on/by days 9-10 after the LH surge for a significant portion of the participating women. (…Which would be approx. 8-9 DPO (days past ovulation) – considering that LH typically surges a little over a day prior to ovulation, putting ovulation on day 1 after the LH surge.)

  • day 1 after the LH surge = ovulation
  • day 2 after the LH surge = 1 DPO
  • days 9/10 after the LH surge = 8-9 DPO

…Again… this is speculation – For entertainment purposes only!

HOWEVER, the average time frame for implantation to occur is about 8-10 days after ovulation [9], so this is right on track.

Also, the authors of the study note that on day 8 after the LH surge, only 4.8% of women had a value greater than the limit of detection. This climbed to 42.9% on day 9 after the LH surge. (Since DPO would be a day behind, this also supports the assumed timing of implantation.)

Based on the median and interquartile values from this study, hCG levels after implantation could then look something like this:

HCG levels after implantation: median/range (Example #1)

Implantation day: 0 – 1.06 mIU/mL hCG
1 day after implantation: 2.77 mIU/mL hCG (1.07-6.98 mIU/mL)
2 days after implantation: 10.15 mIU/mL hCG (6.10-18.43 mIU/mL)
3 days after implantation: 21.97 mIU/mL hCG (12.79-40.23 mIU/mL)
4 days after implantation: 37.37 mIU/mL hCG (20.55-60.75 mIU/mL)
5 days after implantation: 68.37 mIU/mL hCG (50.08-104.89 mIU/mL)

(Day 6 would be around the time a period might be due if not pregnant. Days after implantation relative to hCG values are estimated and not part of the study.)

Another study I came across presents similar findings.

(2) Gnoth & Johnson, 2014 [10]

This paper provides a reference range for urinary hCG increase in early pregnancy, using a combined cohort data from three different studies conducted over a period of 5 years.

In this summary, duration of pregnancy refers to days since ovulation (unlike days after the LH surge used in the previous study), with ovulation determined as the day of luteinizing hormone (LH) surge + 1 day. Median and 10/90th percentile hCG values are given.

Duration of pregnancyMedian hCG levels (mIU/mL)10th and 90th percentiles of hCG (mIU/mL)
Day 70.000.00, 0.20
Day 80.060.00, 2.91
Day 94.040.19, 11.32
Day 1012.233.92, 27.01
Day 1125.049.47, 57.82
Day 1248.1015.72, 94.09
Day 1375.2529.02, 196.95

Let’s do the same thing and use the data from this paper to re-create a pattern of hCG levels after implantation.

Again, in this research paper, duration of pregnancy is calculated by days since ovulation. I’m interpreting the duration of pregnancy as not being inclusive of ovulation, therefore pregnancy day 1 = 1 DPO. Per the authors, ovulation day is determined by LH surge + 1 day (the same I did for the output in the previous study).

Pure speculation on my part again – considering the sudden spike in hCG on pregnancy days 8/9 (8-9 DPO), I would assume that’s when implantation had occurred for most women that participated in these studies. So far this is consistent with the previous study and with the average time frame for implantation in general, which is 8-10 days after ovulation [9].

Using the median and 10/90 percentile values, day-by-day hCG levels after implantation would be as follows:

HCG levels after implantation: median/range (Example #2)

Implantation day: 0 – 2.91 mIU/mL hCG
1 day after implantation: 4.04 mIU/mL hCG (0.19-11.32 mIU/mL)
2 days after implantation: 12.23 mIU/mL hCG (3.92-27.01 mIU/mL)
3 days after implantation: 25.04 mIU/mL hCG (9.47-57.82 mIU/mL)
4 days after implantation: 48.10 mIU/mL hCG (15.72-94.09 mIU/mL)
5 days after implantation: 75.25 mIU/mL hCG (29.02-196.95 mIU/mL)

(Day 6 would be around the time a period might be due if not pregnant. Days after implantation relative to hCG values are estimated and not part of the study.)

Now, let’s compare the data from both studies so that you can see the hCG levels after implantation side by side.

Comparison chart: HCG levels after implantation

  • Median hCG values originate from the two studies discussed above [6,10].
  • The hCG range (lower/higher) is a combination of the data from both studies.
  • Correlation to days after implantation is an estimate based upon the data provided in these two studies.

This is an example of how hCG can build up in your system in the immediate days following implantation:

Median hCG [6]Median hCG [10]Lower range combined hCGHigher range combined hCG
Implantation day0 – 1.060 – 2.910 – 1.061.06-2.91
1 day after implantation2.774.040.19-1.076.98-11.32
2 days after implantation10.1512.233.92-6.1018.43-27.01
3 days after implantation21.9725.049.47-12.7940.23-57.82
4 days after implantation37.3748.1015.72-20.5560.75-94.09
5 days after implantation68.3775.2529.02-50.08104.89-196.95
6 days after implantation121.92137.1945.06-71.04175.92-301.08
(HCG values in mIU/mL; 6 days after implantation = period might be due)

Interestingly, based on these studies, the rate of hCG increase immediately after implantation appears to be FASTER than what is typically given for early pregnancy in general (hCG doubling every 2-3 days).

The authors of the first study (Johnson, Miro, Barrett, & Ellis, 2009, [6]) do make a note of that:

“There was a 30-fold increase in mean urinary hCG between days 8 and 9 after the LH surge, a 5-fold increase between days 9 and 10, a nearly 3-fold increase between days 10 and 11, doubling between days 11 and 12, and a slower rate of increase in the days that followed.” [6]

(Note: The authors were summarizing the mean hCG rate as opposed to the median hCG rate that we have gone over. While the median values remain at 0 hCG at first, there is a clear initial rapid rise in hCG that slows down thereafter in the median values as well.)

Another study publishes similar findings:

“Daily mean urinary hCG concentrations rose rapidly, with daily increases ranging from an initial 3-fold rise to a 1.6-fold rise by the end of the week. In summary, maternal urinary hCG levels are quite variable during the first week following implantation. During this gestational stage, hCG patterns rise very rapidly but the relative rate of rise decelerates as the week advances.” [11]

DaysRates of increase (Mean)10 percentile90 percentile
Daily rates of increase in urinary excretion of hCG during the first week following detection for 142 clinical pregnancies [11]

How soon after implantation can you take a pregnancy test?

(… and see a BFP if you are pregnant?)

How soon you’ll get a positive result on your pregnancy test will depend on the levels of hCG in your system and the kind of test you use. Different pregnancy tests are able to detect varying amounts of hCG in the urine and can produce different results.

If you’re using a very sensitive test (like this one from First Response), you should wait about 2 days until you test after suspected implantation.

Wait at least 3-5 days after implantation if you’re not sure about the detection threshold of your home pregnancy test to avoid getting a false negative.

Can you test positive 24 hours after suspected implantation? It’s unlikely that you would. At only a day following implantation, your hCG levels would likely still be too low for even the most sensitive home pregnancy tests to register. Unless implantation happened earlier than you had estimated… which is, of course, possible.

The bottom line is, at the very minimum, you should wait at least 2 days after the signs of implantation to up your chances of getting a BFP, ideally using some of the most sensitive pregnancy tests like this one with a presumed analytical sensitivity of approx. 6.3 mIU/mL [12] – that is an extremely low hCG level! (With this pregnancy test you will only need hCG levels of 6.3 mIU/mL or higher to trigger a positive result. The average pregnancy test detects around 20-25 mIU/mL of hCG – meaning you will have to have hCG concentrations of at least 20-25 mIU/mL in order to get a positive result, and some brands go up to 40-50 mIU/mL.)

Notice in the hCG levels after implantation charts posted above how soon you could get a BFP with a pregnancy test sensitivity of 6.3 mIU/mL VS. 20-25 mIU/mL or even higher. There could be a delay of several days. It’s perfectly fine to use *any* kind of commercial pregnancy test as long as you’re aware that some produce earlier results.

Either way, the levels of hCG after implantation as much as triple initially, so if you are pregnant it shouldn’t take very long for a pregnancy test to register.

Fun fact: Women expecting multiples tend to have higher hCG levels than women with a singleton pregnancy.

When testing shortly after implantation, before your period is due, your first morning urine is bound to give you the most accurate results. First morning urine is more concentrated, which means more hCG and a higher likelihood of getting a BFP.

Baby dust, my friend! 🙂



  1. UCSF Health; Conception: How It Works. [UCSF]
  2. Implantation and Establishment of Pregnancy in Human and Nonhuman Primates; Ren-Wei Su, Asgerally T. Fazleabas; Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol. 2015; 216: 189–213. [NCBI]
  3. Healthline; Implantation Signs. [Healthline]
  4. American Pregnancy Association: What is hCG? [APA]
  5. Relationship between blood and urine concentrations of intact human chorionic gonadotropin and its free subunits in early pregnancy; R J Norman, M Menabawey, C Lowings, R H Buck, T Chard; Obstet Gynecol. 1987 Apr;69(4):590-3. [PubMed]
  6. Levels of urinary human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) following conception and variability of menstrual cycle length in a cohort of women attempting to conceive; Sarah R Johnson, Fernando Miro, Sophie Barrett, Jayne E Ellis; Curr Med Res Opin. 2009 Mar;25(3):741-8. [PubMed]
  7. Ovulation detection in the human; J Kerin; Clin Reprod Fertil. 1982 Mar;1(1):27-54. [PubMed]
  8. Detection of ovulation, a review of currently available methods; Hsiu‐Wei Su, Yu‐Chiao Yi, Ting‐Yen Wei, Ting‐Chang Chang, Chao‐Min Cheng; Bioeng Transl Med. 2017 Sep; 2(3): 238–246. [NCBI]
  9. Time of implantation of the conceptus and loss of pregnancy; A J Wilcox, D D Baird, C R Weinberg; N Engl J Med. 1999 Jun 10;340(23):1796-9. [PubMed]
  10. Strips of Hope: Accuracy of Home Pregnancy Tests and New Developments; C. Gnoth and S. Johnson; Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. 2014 Jul; 74(7): 661–669. [NCBI]
  11. Urinary hCG patterns during the week following implantation; PA Nepomnaschy, CR Weinberg, AJ Wilcox, DD Baird; Hum Reprod. 2008 Feb; 23(2): 271–277. [NCBI]
  12. Sensitivity of over-the-counter pregnancy tests: comparison of utility and marketing messages; Laurence A Cole, Jaime M Sutton-Riley, Sarah A Khanlian, Marianna Borkovskaya, Brittany B Rayburn, William F Rayburn; J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). Sep-Oct 2005;45(5):608-15. [PubMed]

Similar Posts


  1. This seems to be the only article that explains this exact article.. thank you! All that seems to be left out it mentioning how many of these pregnancies were multiples.

    1. You bring up a great point, Mia! In the first table – (1) Johnson, Miro, Barrett, & Ellis, 2009 [6] – only singleton pregnancies were included in the study (UK Early Pregnancy Study). Cases of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and twins were excluded from the analysis. The summary for the second table – (2) Gnoth & Johnson, 2014 [10] used the same data from the very same UK Early Pregnancy Study (full-term singleton pregnancies only), data from the US Gestational Study which included single viable pregnancies only, and data from the UK Standard Care Ultrasound Study – the details of which I haven’t found available for public viewing. However, considering the statement in the comprehensive summary in the second paper (referring to all three data pools) that “All of the studies reported a remarkable uniformity in the rise of hCG levels in early pregnancy” and the close mirroring of actual hCG values, it appears that multiple pregnancies were excluded in this last study as well, as is typically the case unless explicitly stated. The rates of rise in hCG are typically similar in singleton vs. twins and multiples, following a similar doubling pattern, except that the baseline value tends to be higher for twins and multiple pregnancies, hence a higher likelihood of a very early positive home pregnancy test early on in pregnancy.

  2. This is such a fantastic resource! I suffer from a luteal phase on the shorter end of the spectrum and so many of the early response pregnancy tests count back from days to expected period, but for a short luteal phase that could literally be before implantation. This has given me hope that all is not lost for me this cycle, and even if things don’t eventuate this month, I know my body a little better.

    Thank you for doing what looks like a really tedious amount of research 🙂 and putting it together in such a clear way!

    1. I applaud you for becoming attuned to your body, Allison, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!!! 🙂

  3. So is it actually possible to have an hcg blood test of 1 mIU/ml one day after implantation? Seems low and considered as “not pregnant” since it’s below 5!

    1. Hi Lindsay – according to the data from the studies I share in this article, that would be the low end of the spectrum seen in rare instances. Typically the hCG values 1 day after implantation are more like 3-4 mIU/mL (and climb very fast). You can see the combined data by scrolling down to the comparison chart which gives you a better idea of what to expect. Generally, hCG at below 5 mIU/mL is considered negative for pregnancy, but there are many factors at play, including a delayed implantation which can all skew the numbers this early on in pregnancy.

  4. This is really useful and backed up by evidence. I’ve been searching for something so informative so thank you for putting it all together 🙂

    1. It’s so lovely to hear you’ve found the information on early pregnancy hCG levels helpful, Liz. Thank you for letting me know! 🙂

  5. This helped me wait and stave off the testing pains! I am hoping for my BFP tomorrow or the next! This is so very much informative and I am so very appreciative of this information all in one place. Thank you, so much.

    1. Hi Desiree! Thanks for stopping by! I’m super proud of you for squashing the irresistible urge to test when it might be too early – it takes courage to wait, but it’s for the best. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!!! If you haven’t yet – take a look at the common and weird pregnancy symptoms, many of which you can notice as soon as shortly after implantation. It makes the wait a little more entertaining. (#23 was a dead giveaway in both of my pregnancies and the reason I knew I was pregnant the second time around before even taking a pregnancy test!)

  6. This is such a well-written, thoughtfully and thoroughly researched, and useful webpage. I have referenced this data and its corresponding analyses many times. I cannot thank you enough for finding this information, and making it broadly available to so many people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.