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Things like, what time of day should you take a pregnancy test? Can you take a pregnancy test before your missed period?
False positives, homemade pregnancy tests, the list goes on and on! And when all of this rides on whether or not a tiny baby is growing in your belly, you want to know as soon as possible. As a mama of two, I am no stranger to the two-week wait. It can feel like an eternity between when you ovulate and when those two little lines show up!
When should I take a pregnancy test? In short, the best time to take a pregnancy test is on the day of your missed period or any day after your missed period. This is because if you are pregnant, there will be enough hCG present in your body to trigger a positive test result. But, if you are hoping to test early, or want to understand the why a little more, here are a few important things to understand: Pregnancy tests work by measuring the pregnancy hormone hCG in urine.
So, the timing for your pregnancy test is dependent on the presence of this hormone Your body begins to produce hCG very soon after the implantation of the fertilized egg in your uterus. However, implantation can take anywhere from 3 to 12 days after ovulation meaning there is a wide range of what to expect Once implantation has occurred, the amount of hCG in your urine typically doubles every two days. With this in mind, the closer you get to your expected or missed!
Keep in mind this is not a guarantee! The best time of day to take a pregnancy test is first thing in the morning. This is especially true if you are testing early. The idea is that your urine is typically more concentrated in the morning and will have a higher level of hCG present.
What pregnancy test should I take? A quick walk down the family planning aisle at your local store will show you that there are a ton of options at a ton of different price points! Are the more expensive tests automatically better? What about those infamous 88 cent Walmart pregnancy tests? Do they work? Pregnancy tests typically fall into one of three categories: pink dye, blue dye, or digital, like Clear Blue pregnancy tests. Pink Dye Pregnancy Tests These pregnancy tests work when a chemical reaction causes a line to appear when a certain amount of hCG is present.
Pink dye tests are considered a superior option to blue dye to most mamas because they do not show evaporation lines which can be misread as a false positive. Blue Dye Pregnancy Tests These tests work in the same manner as pink dye tests but are notorious for displaying prominent evaporation lines which can be read as a false positive.
This can make it confusing to tell if your test is actually positive. Often blue dye tests are less expensive but again, not always. Digital Pregnancy Tests Digital pregnancy tests are the easiest to read. They give a very clear pregnant or not pregnant.
However, these types of tests are usually less sensitive than dye tests, and its recommended to only use them on the day of your expected period or after your missed period. Digital pregnancy tests are often the most expensive option Do cheap pregnancy tests work? Inexpensive options, like the Walmart pregnancy test or Dollar Tree pregnancy test, are just as accurate as their more expensive counterparts.
And like with all tests, this is especially true when you are taking a test on or after the day of your missed period. The huge benefit of these tests is their low cost and accuracy. On the flip side, because these tests are less expensive, they are a little less convenient. For this type of test, you will need to pee into a clean cup or container and use the included dropper to dispense urine onto the test. This makes them a little more involved than more expensive options where you pee directly onto the test and put on a cap.
First Signal Walmart Pregnancy Test At just 88 cents, these pregnancy tests are the least expensive option available and are highly accurate. What about homemade pregnancy tests? Most homemade options involve things you can find in your home, like toothpaste, vinegar, or cleaning agents. The idea is that if your urine has hCG in it when your urine reacts with the agent, the effect will be different than urine that does not contain hCG.
Now you know when to take your pregnancy test and you have a better idea of which test to take. Aim to take your test first thing in the morning, and try your best to test on or after the day of your expected period for the most accurate results.
Keeping my finger crossed for you, mama! By: Alli Wittbold.
The Best Pregnancy Test
Cheap and simple, you can blow through a ton of these strip tests without spending much. Still, thousands of customer reviewers have found these test strips to be accurate, as did a Wirecutter editor for whom the ClinicalGuard test strips gave faint-but-detectable true-positive results three days before an expected period and clear negative results when she was not pregnant. Strip tests use the same technology as the manual tests we recommend and display the results similarly; they just lack the plastic housing that make manual and digital tests easier to use and read.
You cannot pee directly onto these. Instead, you dip them into a cup of urine. The advantage is that strip tests typically cost less than a tenth of what our other picks cost.
The strip pregnancy tests that we tried. Everything else—the size of the strip, the time to result, the ease of use—was Exactly. Manual vs. This surprised me. Before working on this guide, when shopping for pregnancy tests I made a beeline for the digital ones. But I have since found that the manual tests do give a clear answer.
Also, the manual tests—which contain no circuitry—are much less likely to fail on you. They are also much faster at giving a result: Around 40 seconds on average versus 3 minutes? Um, yeah. In the grand scheme of things, 3 minutes is not long to wait at all.
The funny thing is that digital tests are really just manual tests with a battery and a sensor that reads the lines for you. I cracked open all three brands of digital tests, and they look just like the manual ones on the inside. The inner bits of a Clearblue digital test. Photo: Leigh Krietsch Boerner See that strip in the picture above? Look familiar? So basically, it just reads those lines for you and tells you, in writing, whether the strip detected hCG.
But it takes longer to do this than you likely would. The manufacturers themselves note that digital tests tend to be less sensitive than manual ones.
According to the boxes of all of these tests, these are the stats obtained from lab testing: First Response: The manual test picks up on 76 percent of pregnancies five days out from the expected period date, while the digital test says yes to only 60 percent of people who are actually pregnant at that time. Clearblue: The manual tests give a positive to 56 percent of people who are actually pregnant four days before a missed period, and the digital gives a positive to 51 percent.
These numbers are 98 percent and 95 percent, respectively, for the day of a missed period. On the day of a missed period, these numbers jump to 99 percent. He found that the First Response manual test was the most sensitive of all those tested. The competition First Response Digital gave me a false negative. The instructions say it should take 3 minutes.
The Clearblue Digital is a bit clunkier and heavier than the manual test. Both were really easy to read, but the manual test gave faster results. The manual tests took a speedy 20 to 30 seconds, although it usually took up to 40 seconds for the test line to appear.
EPT suggests not reading the test before 2 minutes. The EPT Digital was the speediest of the lot and gave me results in less than 2 minutes. The digital tests are supposed to be read after 3 minutes, although the brochure says some results show up in as little as 1 minute. As with the test strips we recommend from ClinicalGuard, you must first pee in a clean cup to use this test.
But it costs around four times as much per test compared with the ClinicalGuard strips. The Easy Home and Wondfo strip tests are pretty much identical. The strips look exactly the same, and the included directions are exactly the same, except that the Easy Home directions have their logo at the top. At the time of this writing, the Easy Home tests were very slightly cheaper than the Wondfo tests, but both were more costly than those from ClinicalGuard.
Footnotes A quick interjection about pregnancy terminology—ever heard someone say that they are x weeks pregnant? Jump back.
For dilution 1, I took 5 mL of my pee and added 95 mL of water. I then took 5 mL of this solution and added it to 95 mL of water for dilution 2.
Unfortunately, I did not know the hCG concentration of my pee at this point.
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The patient is too dizzy to walk to the bathroom to give you a urine specimen to check a urine pregnancy test.
Plus, she admits that she just urinated in the waiting room bathroom a few minutes ago — so no urine now. Trick of the Trade Apply several drops of whole blood instead of urine into the pregnancy test cassette.
Did you know that most urine pregnancy test kits are approved for both urine and serum samples? The question is whether this will work for whole blood. One study 1 in the Journal of Emergency Medicine by Dr. Fromm from Maimonides Medical Center looked at exactly this issue. Whole blood pregnancy test performed extremely well, especially if positive: Sensitivity The whole blood testing approach missed a total 9 of pregnancies.
Interestingly, the urine pregnancy test was also negative in 5 of those 9 and not performed in the other 4. Bottom Line Believe a positive test. Confirm all tests with a urine qualitative test or quantitative serum beta-HCG. Tip Be sure to wait at least 5 minutes when using whole blood in the kit. When should I test to ensure accuracy? If your periods are irregular and vary by more than a couple of days each month, it will be harder to know when to test for pregnancy, but results from ovulation tracking can act as a guide.
If your urinary ovulation monitor, which detects luteinizing hormone LH —the hormone that triggers ovulation—gets a positive result, you can test for pregnancy about 10 to 14 days afterwards.
The same is true if you track your temperature and notice the subtle rise that occurs after ovulation. Simply wait 10 to 14 days before taking a pregnancy test. Is price a factor when it comes to pregnancy test accuracy? Pregnancy test accuracy is not affected by price. Should I use the accuracy percentage on the package to choose my test?
Walmart Pregnancy Test Reviews
Any test you find at a Canadian drugstore, grocery store or dollar store will have more than 99 percent accuracy if you test on the day of your expected period or afterwards. For example, the Clearblue Early Detection Pregnancy Test claims more than 99 percent accuracy if you test the day of your expected period or one, two or three days before; 96 percent accuracy four days before; and 79 percent five days before.
Should I rely on detectable hCG levels to choose my test? One of the most valuable pieces of information you can have is the hCG level that the test can detect.
Unfortunately, this information can be hard to come by. Clearblue is transparent and posts these levels on its website. Other brands refuse to give out this information at all. Here are the detectable hCG levels found in some of the most common pregnancy tests in Canada. When medically indicated, we can also order serum blood pregnancy tests, but these can take up to 24 hours to come back.
Check the expiry date: Using an expired test could result in a false negative. Take the test first thing in the morning: All pregnancy tests check hormone levels in urine. Follow the directions: Since instructions vary by brand, make sure that you take a quick read. For example, a package might say that you should check your results within 10 minutes, so follow suit.
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The false line will affect the accuracy of your reading. The takeaway? Pregnancy test accuracy is high, and at-home tests, regardless of style or price, are excellent at detection when there is enough hCG in your urine—usually 12 to 14 days after conception.