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Luke Gulyaev
Luke Gulyaev

When To Buy A Pregnancy Test

There are three types of at-home tests: strip, cassette and midstream. Strip tests require you to urinate into a cup and place the test strip directly into the urine. Cassette tests require you to urinate into a cup and then place drops of urine directly onto the test stick. Finally, midstream tests require you to urinate directly onto the test stick.

when to buy a pregnancy test

When used according to the directions, a home pregnancy test can be almost 99% accurate[3]Pregnancy tests. Office on Women's Health. Accessed 7/20/2022. . If you receive a positive result on a home pregnancy test, you should contact your doctor to confirm that you are pregnant and find out what to do next.

Should you receive a positive at-home pregnancy test result, your doctor will often perform an in-office blood test to confirm the presence of HCG. This and additional blood tests also provide additional information about your health and the health of your pregnancy.You May Also Be Interested In Products For Pregnancy From Our Featured Partner

It is impossible to get your period while pregnant, but bleeding or spotting can sometimes occur in early pregnancy. Check with your doctor if you experience bleeding or spotting after receiving a positive pregnancy test result.

Pregnancy tests work by detecting the hormone hCG, which the body starts producing after conception. According to 2014 research, hCG is detectable in the blood around 8 days after conception. As the pregnancy progresses, levels rise by around 50% a day. HGC is detectable in urine a few days later than in the blood.

Many tests claim to be 99% accurate, but experts note that not all of them undergo rigorous scientific testing. A person may also get a false-negative result if they take the test too early, do not follow the instructions precisely, or do not handle the test as the manufacturer intended.

The FDA notes that a positive test is usually but not always accurate. If a test is negative, they suggest avoiding alcohol and other substances that may be harmful to a fetus and repeating the test at a later date or seeking medical advice.

In rare cases, a person can have pseudocyesis, sometimes called false pregnancy, where they firmly believe themselves to be pregnant and have signs of pregnancy without being pregnant. This condition is not well understood and can happen for various reasons.

Anyone who has signs of pregnancy but is sure they cannot be pregnant should seek medical advice. The healthcare professional may wish to rule out other health conditions or provide treatment if required.

We still think Clearblue Digital is the best choice if you prefer a digital wand test. And we now recommend test strips from MomMed, which are nearly as sensitive as First Response Early Result wands, but they cost far less per test.

For this guide, we interviewed Dr. Brindha Bavan, an obstetrician-gynecologist, reproductive endocrinologist, and fertility specialist at Stanford Medicine; Dina Greene, PhD, a clinical associate professor of chemistry at the University of Washington who has co-authored several published studies on hCG testing in clinical settings; and David Grenache, PhD, chief scientific officer at a diagnostic testing company and a clinical professor of pathology at the University of New Mexico who has studied hCG for more than 15 years.

Once the body begins producing more hCG, its amount in the blood and urine roughly doubles every two or three days for the first eight to nine weeks of pregnancy. After implantation, someone might have anywhere from 5 to 50 mIU/mL of hCG in their pee (mlU/mL means milli-International Units per milliliter, a standardized unit).

It is also possible to get a false negative result after using a test on a day the box says it should be 99% accurate. This is because of how different the levels of urine hCG are from person to person, and even how much they can change throughout the day in the same person. Your hCG may be on the low end, or your pee may be very dilute.

So how do the tests actually detect hCG? Most of the action takes place along a narrow strip of a special absorbent type of paper. Each strip is pre-loaded with molecules needed to detect hCG and create a colored band and a control band. As urine containing hCG gets wicked up the paper, it passes areas where those molecules have been deposited.

We chose 26 tests to try based on their popularity and availability, as well as their ratings at online retailers. We also walked into pharmacy chains and big-box retailers to see what someone in need of a test ASAP might find on the shelves. We then looked at the following:

I compared the time it took for each test to develop with the time claimed on the packaging, and I then examined the readability of the control line and took note of any faulty tests or false positives. Leigh Krietsch Boerner, who was pregnant while assessing tests for an earlier version of this review, compared positive lines and looked out for any false negatives. She also used urine diluted by 1,000 times in water to see what a faintly positive line looked like on several tests.

In addition, in our own (unscientific) testing, this test gave the clearest positive reading to a very dilute solution of pregnancy pee. As you can see in the photo, the First Response wand (at bottom) showed a very clear positive response with a strong fuchsia line, while the other pregnancy tests barely registered faint blue marks.

In addition, its ultra-high sensitivity makes the First Response Early Result test more likely to detect chemical pregnancies, which Dr. Bavan said could cause false hope and then letdown for people who are trying to conceive, as well as unnecessary stress for people hoping for a negative result.

There are other rare situations where a more sensitive test could be more likely to give false positive results. For example, hCG can increase during perimenopause. One study found that 1.3% of home pregnancy tests taken by women ages 41 to 55 would be false positives. The manufacturer reported to the FDA a similar rate of false positives for this age group.

Similar to First Response Early Result, Clearblue Early Detection can detect pregnancy five days before an expected period 71% of the time (that goes up to 94% four days before, 98% three and two days before, and 99% a day before an expected period). Unlike other Clearblue pregnancy tests, this wand test also uses pink lines rather than blue, which some people find easier to read.

As with all digital wand tests, this one costs more than traditional (non-digital) wand tests, and it makes for additional electronic waste. The instructions that accompany the Clearblue Digital instruct you to dispose of the test (which, like all digital tests, includes a battery) according to local regulations.

MomMed Pregnancy Test strips are as well vetted as all the other tests we recommend, and they meet the requirements to detect 25 mIU/mL of hCG in urine. The manufacturer, Co-Innovation, tested for the hook effect and variant hook effect up to the same levels as the manufacturer of First Response tests has. Like all test strips, these can only be used with the dip method, and they are intended to be used the day after a missed period at the earliest.

If you can wait longer to test and want something inexpensive that you can get at a store quickly: We like the Equate First Signal One Step test (currently 88) from Walmart. This simple and effective test produces a clear, dark pink control band, and its results are easy to read. Like test strips, this cassette-style test requires you to pee into a cup. (Unlike test strips, this test has you use a supplied dropper to add urine to the test strip.) Walmart gets these from a medical device company that has shown the test can detect 25 mIU/ml hCG. The Equate cassette is not useful for detecting very low amounts of hCG, and some customer reviewers have reported false negative results when using this test.

EPT claims its test to be 99% accurate from the day of an expected period. It has really skinny handles that feel top-heavy. In our experience, the plastic film covering the test window sometimes got stuck to the strip inside, creating a vertical line that could easily be confused for a positive result, as some customer reviewers have reported.

The Modern Fertility wand test has a high claimed sensitivity and is easy to read. However, the wand is small and dainty compared with our picks and most store-brand tests, including the similarly priced Target (Up & Up) Advanced Early Result (you could fit an individually wrapped wand in your pocket, making it a good, discrete option if you prefer wand tests to strips). Modern Fertility wand tests use the same strips as Easy@Home (Wondfo), but the company says they have a higher sensitivity (10 mIU/mL) and accuracy (68% five days before an expected period, 89% at four days, 97% at three days, 98% at two days, and 99% the day of). We have not tested the accompanying app.

Of all the strips we considered, ClinicalGuard strips had the least impressive testing data. They detected hCG at 25 mIU/mL in control samples just half of the time. The packet we received had no insert, and it was difficult to find any instructions for use online. And they are skinnier and harder to handle than MomMed and Easy@Home strips.

Amanda Keener is a freelance science journalist living in Littleton, Colorado. She earned a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She writes about all sorts of biomedical topics, including pregnancy. She had no clue how much her scientific training would come up while parenting three children.

Instead, Wood says men should see a doctor if they notice testicular cancer symptoms or unusual changes, including a lump or enlargement in either testicle, a sensation of heaviness in the scrotum, or a sharp pain or discomfort in the scrotum or testicle.

The next step is a blood test. Many testicular cancers make high levels of certain proteins called tumor markers such as HCG and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), which are both associated with pregnancy. When these tumor markers are in the blood, it suggests that there's a testicular tumor. 041b061a72


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