When it comes to pregnancy tests, there are so many on the market and it can be confusing to choose. Whether you have to option to go to your doctor to confirm pregnancy via blood test and ultrasound, there are so many home pregnancy tests available today that testing and knowing if you are pregnant quickly is as easy as going to your local market. However, no matter which route you choose (blood or urine), the pregnancy test works by detecting the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your system.
Blood tests can be performed earlier than urine tests, but accuracy will depend on the type of blood test that is being drawn early. There is a qualitative and a quantitative blood test. The qualitative blood test is a yes or no blood test based on a predetermined level of hCG in your system (typically 25mIU or 50mIU depending on the lab). So if you are testing very early and your levels haven’t reached the amount the lab is looking for, it is possible to get a false positive.
The quantitative blood test measures the exact amount of hCG in your system. According to the American Pregnancy Organization, an hCG level of 25mIU/ml is considered positive for pregnancy and anything under 5mIU/ml is considered negative. If you get a result of 10mIU/ml on your first blood draw, you are likely pregnant, but since hCG doubles every 48 to 72 hours your result will like be over 25mIU/ml by the time your physician does your second draw to confirm pregnancy. If it is over the minimum by your first draw, your doctor will still do a repeat blood draw to make sure your numbers are doubling properly.
How Home Pregnancy Tests Work
Home Pregnancy Tests work by detecting the amount of hCG in your urine. Most instructions say to take the test using first morning urine when your urine is more concentrated. Taking a test with diluted urine in early pregnancy could result in a false negative test. While many tests claim that you can test earlier than your missed period, you are likely to get an accurate result the day of your missed period so if you caught the egg you will know for sure! Also, accuracy percentage levels change the earlier you are testing. You just have to be sure to read the manufactures notes.
I have heard on many pregnancy forums that blue dye tests are evil because of the false positives, but I have personally never received a false positive on a blue dye test. You just have to follow the manufacturers instructions and not read the test after the time limit. Doing so can result in interpreting and indent or an evaporation line as a positive.
An indent line is the the test line that is supposed to indicate whether or not you are pregnant. However, after the time limit, this line can dry or appear darker. This is pretty much the same with an evaporation line. In the case of an evaporation line, it is when the urine evaporates showing the test line as well. Even though some say these lines will have no color, I have seen both indents and evaporation lines with color after the testing time. So the key is to throw the test away and not dig it out of the trash after time has elapsed. I know this seems like common sense, but sometimes we get so desperate trying to conceive and in the two week wait, we go back to compare tests. This is a BIG NO!
Brands of Pregnancy Tests
Over the years I have taken tons of tests (probably more like hundreds), and I really don’t have too many complaints on the tests I’ve taken. It just depends on how early you are testing and the pregnancy test sensitivity. My personal favorites are the First Response Early Result and Clearblue Plus, but there are SO many more that are also reliable.
First Response Early Result is said to be 99% accurate, but again, this is the accuracy level from the day of your missed period. This test claims to detect hCG levels of 25mIU, but has been know to detect levels as low as 6mIU. If you can find the old flat brand of this test, that would be great. However, they have since changed their design to a new curved wider test. The curve in this test can sometimes make you think you see a line when in fact you are just seeing a reflection of the curved window. This problem is easily resolved by testing as close to your missed period as possible so there is no mistake or getting your hopes up.
Clearblue Plus pregnancy test also claims to be 99% accurate, but this is also from the time of your missed period. However, they advertise that the test is so sensitive you can test five days before your missed period or pregnancy can be detected as early as four days before you period. The manufacturer of this brand also claims that their test sensitivity is 25mIU. Since this is a blue dye test, I recommend taking this test as close to your period as possible and definitely do not read the results after the time limit. If this test is blazing blue positive, you are probably pregnant. If you have to squint to see the line, I would try testing with a different brand.
If you are testing early, just because you cannot control yourself in the two week wait, I would recommend stocking up on internet cheapies and save your more expensive tests for later. My favorite cheap internet pregnancy test is the Wondfo brand. You can get 50 test strips for less than $20 on Amazon! These are dip tests and you can read the results in 5 minutes. While I do not know their accuracy level, the manufacturer claims that the test sensitivity is 25mIU. However, these tests have been known to detect levels of even 10mIU, and they have an awesome reputation in the pregnancy forums. For less than $20 for 50 tests, I don’t think there is that big of a risk there!
Last but not least, there are digital pregnancy tests. These tests are the most reliable, but sometimes have the highest sensitivity level. So unless you KNOW you are a week late, you may want to hold off on taking one to a avoid a false negative result. For example, the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test sensitivity is 50mIU and I do not believe these tests are programmed to detect anything lower. If you have any reviews of tests or would like a review of a pregnancy test, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at: email@example.com. As always, good luck and baby dust to you!