Which Is the Best ‘At-Home’ Pregnancy Test?
When you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s important to take a pregnancy test that will provide you with accurate results. A false positive or false negative result after you miss your expected period can take an emotional toll on you or your partner, and can also affect your health. If you do not know you are pregnant because of an inaccurate test result, you will not know to start making adaptations to your lifestyle and routine, which can affect the health of you and your baby.
If you’re not sure which test to buy, we’ve researched some of the most popular home tests to determine which ones are the most accurate.
Let’s take a look at how a home pregnancy test works as well as the things you should consider as you search for the best pregnancy test.
How Do Home Pregnancy Tests Work?
When you’re pregnant, you’ll start to produce the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). A urine test can be done at home to detect levels of hCG. It typically involves placing urine on a strip. You can either pee in a cup and dip the pregnancy stick directly into the collected urine, or use an eyedropper to put the sample on the test strip. You can also hold the pregnancy stick midstream in your urine stream.
If you’re pregnant, the home pregnancy test will pick up the pregnancy hormone. The further along you are in your pregnancy, the more hCG will be detected.
The accuracy of the home pregnancy test will also depend on you. If you don’t follow the instructions carefully, you may compromise your test. Some tests come up with certain symbols if there has been a user error.
When Can I Take a Home Pregnancy Test?
Waiting until you have a missed period can give a more reliable result, but you can take a home pregnancy urine test 14 days after possible conception. Some tests can detect a positive
pregnancy as early as six days before a missed period. It’s best to read the packaging on the test to determine how sensitive it is to detecting an early pregnancy.
The best time of day to take a urine pregnancy test is right after you wake up in the morning. Use the first urine of your day. Having a lot of liquids before you take the test can lead to a false negative, even if you’re pregnant.
4 Things to Consider When Choosing an At-Home Pregnancy Test
1. How Accurate is the Test?
You should check the percentage of accuracy that the test advertises. Obviously, the higher the percentage of accuracy, the better the chance that it is the right home pregnancy test for you.
If you’ve been doing your homework, you’ve probably noticed that the cost range of home pregnancy tests varies greatly. You can get one at the dollar store or you can spend more than $25 on just one.
The big difference with these tests is their ability to detect smaller amounts of HCG. Some more expensive tests may be able to detect pregnancy earlier or have a fancy digital reader.
If you’re unable to pay for a pregnancy test, there are options for free tests available to you.
3. Display Method
Speaking of that fancy digital reader, the difference in display methods can really set home pregnancy tests apart. Most home pregnancy test kits have a slip of paper that reacts by changing color when the pregnancy hormone (hCG), is present. You may also notice a difference in the number of lines that are present when the result is positive.
With a digital display test, a sign that says “pregnant” will light up when hCG is present. Some people find this more clear-cut than trying to determine if they see a line or if they don’t. Be sure to follow the directions and read the pregnancy test at the designated time to avoid any false positives.
4. Expiration Date
In order to get an accurate result from your pregnancy test, make sure that the test has not expired, no matter which brand or type you choose. If you’re buying pregnancy tests online or in bulk, be sure they’re not going to expire before you use them. When buying them in person, always check the expiration date before you pay for them.
The Best At-Home Pregnancy Test
After taking everything we mentioned into consideration, the overall best home pregnancy test in our opinion is the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test.
This test checks all of the boxes in things that you want in a pregnancy test. For starters, it provides early detection (up to 6 days before a missed period). Studies show that the First Response test can detect hCG in 76% of users five cycle days before their expected period. It can also detect all of the hormones on the day of the missed period.
If you’re only buying one test at a time, you’ll notice that this one is also an economical choice.
It advertises over 99% accuracy and results in 3 minutes. Plus, it’s compatible with a free, EasyRead app to confirm your results so that there are no mistakes. If you want even further confirmation, you can also choose a digital format to read your results. As with any test, there’s always a chance of a false negative or full positive result, but the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test is often known for its utmost accuracy.
Other Home Pregnancy Tests to Consider
Other home pregnancy tests you may want to consider include:
1. The Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test
This test can be used up to five days before a missed period. Test results from this test come back in just one minute.
It has a wide, color-changing tip so it makes it easy to use. You’ll see it go from pink to white if it’s being used correctly. It also has a smart countdown feature that will flash when the results are ready, so you don’t have to worry about timing it correctly. The clearblue digital pregnancy test is a popular choice.
2. The First Response Triple Check Pregnancy Test Kit
This is another one to keep on your radar. This is a good one because it comes with a variety of tests so you can be triple sure of the results. There is a stick for early pregnancy detection, one for when you miss your period, and one for after your missed period. It includes the First Response Early Detection test, as well as their digital test and their rapid (1minute result) test.
3. Urine Test Strips
Some women prefer urine test strips. ClinicalGuard HCG Pregnancy Test Strips are popular with women who are trying to conceive and are likely to go through many tests. They’re individually sealed and come in bulk. One downside is that you’ll need to dip them in a cup of urine. A positive result will show two different color bands appear. These tests are not usually intended for early pregnancy detection.
The Bottom Line
While these are all good choices, the ultimate way to determine a pregnancy is to have a blood test. When you go to your doctor’s office after getting a positive home result, your doctor can order a blood test to confirm the pregnancy and your levels of hCG. Whenever you get a positive test result from taking a test at home, it’s essential that you have the result confirmed by a doctor.