Test Online To See If Your Pregnant – Ever wonder if a dollar store pregnancy test is reliable? We’ve got a GP to answer any questions you’ve ever had about the accuracy of pregnancy tests.
You open the box, peel off the plastic, pee on the absorbent and anxiously await the results. But have you ever wondered how much you can trust this little character? With so many brands and styles on the market—from convenient early detection models to inexpensive ones you can pick up for next to nothing at the dollar store—choosing the right pregnancy test can seem overwhelming. Carrie Schramm, a family physician at Women’s College Hospital and cycle monitoring physician at the Hannam Fertility Center in Toronto, answers everything you’ve ever wondered about pregnancy test accuracy, the importance of cost and how to avoid false negatives.
Test Online To See If Your Pregnant
All pregnancy tests you can find, regardless of brand, style or price, look for one thing in common: detectable levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by a newly implanted embryo. During a normal pregnancy, the level of the hormone doubles every 48 to 72 hours and usually reaches a level that can be detected by a urine test 12 to 14 days after conception (or a few days before the expected period). If a test is more sensitive, it may detect a lower level of hCG (ie the earlier test result).
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If your pregnancy is early and your body has not yet produced enough hCG for the test to detect, you may get a false negative, meaning you are actually pregnant even though the test says you are not. The sooner you test, the more likely this scenario will occur. If you get a false negative and still suspect you are pregnant, repeat the test in a few days. If you miss a period, test again and make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you still get a negative result. “It’s reasonable to visit your doctor to get a more accurate blood test and see if there’s another reason why you’re having longer periods,” says Schramm.
A false positive — when a pregnancy test says you’re pregnant but you’re not — is rare, but it can happen. Ovidrel (chorionic gonadotropin alfa), a form of the hormone hCG used in fertility treatments, can be detected by a pregnancy test up to 12 days after injection. If you have a tumor that secretes hCG, the pregnancy test may also show a false positive, but this is rare. In addition, pregnancy tests can pick up pregnancies that cannot be carried to term, such as ectopic pregnancy (most often in the fallopian tubes) and very early miscarriage.
The sooner you test, the more likely you are to get a false negative. “Implantation usually happens nine days after ovulation, and bleeding usually starts 14 days after ovulation,” says Schramm. This means that if you test too soon before your period is due, you will still get a negative result, even if you are pregnant. From a results point of view, the best time to test is the day after your expected period.
Some specialist tests can detect pregnancy as early as six days after your period has stopped (which, FYI, is not the day your period is expected but the day after). “But the sooner you test, the less accurate the test is, because ovulation is not perfect every month and implantation can change two or three days after ovulation,” she says. “I’ve seen patients get really upset when the initial test comes back negative, only to find perfectly normal hCG levels the day their period is due.”
What Is The Most Accurate Pregnancy Test At The Store
If your periods are irregular and vary by more than two days each month, it can be difficult to know when to take a pregnancy test, but the results of ovulation monitoring can be a guide. If your ovulator detects a positive result for luteinizing hormone (LH), the hormone that stimulates ovulation, you can test for pregnancy 10 to 14 days later. (Note: This method will not work if you get false positive LH readings in your urine.) The same is true if you monitor your temperature and notice the subtle rise that occurs after ovulation. Wait 10 to 14 days before taking a pregnancy test. “If you don’t want to track ovulation or find it difficult, try a pregnancy test once a week,” says Schramm.
The accuracy of a pregnancy test does not affect the price. If your dollar store pregnancy test says you’re pregnant, you almost certainly are. More expensive tests may be more sensitive, so they can detect lower levels of hCG and give positive results earlier than cheaper tests. “That’s why you really shouldn’t rely on dollar tests for early testing,” says Schramm.
Any test you can find at a Canadian pharmacy, grocery store, or dollar store has more than 99 percent accuracy if you test on or after the day your period is expected. More expensive early detection tests may have a chart with accuracy percentages up to six days before the missed period, and you will notice that accuracy decreases the longer you try to test. (For example, the ClearBlue early detection pregnancy test claims more than 99 percent accuracy if you test on the expected day of your period or one, two, or three days before; 96 percent accuracy four days before; and 79 percent for five days. These numbers are the first response early results (Similar to a pregnancy test.)
One of the most valuable pieces of information you have is the amount of hCG the test can detect. The lower the hCG required, the more sensitive the test and the sooner you can confirm pregnancy. Unfortunately, this information is difficult to obtain. Clearblue is transparent and publishes these scores on its website. Other brands list them in the instructions on their packaging (so you won’t know about detectable hCG levels unless you buy the test). Other brands refuse to provide this information.
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Here are the detectable hCG levels in the most common pregnancy tests in Canada. Regardless of the price or “initial result” promised, they are pretty much the same. Remember, the lower the number, the more sensitive the test.
“For most women, it’s quicker to get a test at a drugstore or dollar store,” says Schramm. “Our first step is a urine test, which measures hCG, similar to what you use at home. Plus, most offices don’t have fancy early detection tests, so ours is a very early pregnancy test that you can take at home. Upon medical indication, we can also order a serum (blood) pregnancy test, but it can take up to 24 hours to deliver.
2. Take the test first thing in the morning: All pregnancy tests check hormone levels in the urine. Taking the test after drinking a lot of water or fluids can dilute your urine, increasing the chance of a false negative test, especially early in pregnancy. It is best to take the test after going a few hours without drinking.
3. Follow the instructions: Make sure you read the instructions quickly, as the instructions vary by species. For example, a package might say you need to check your results within 10 minutes, so follow that. “Leaving the test too long can cause a ‘ghost line’ that appears when other substances in your urine settle on the detection line as the urine evaporates,” says Schramm. A false line can affect the accuracy of your reading.
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The delivery? The accuracy of pregnancy tests is high, and home tests, regardless of style or price, are great for detecting when you have enough hCG in your urine—usually 12 to 14 days after conception. If the test results are positive, you are almost certainly pregnant. But if your test result is negative, pregnancy may be detected very early. Try again if you miss your period.
Of course, nothing here is medical advice, and we recommend that you always contact your healthcare provider for answers to your specific health care questions.
First, hello! I’m Hilary — most people know me as antenatal nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a registered nurse since 1997 and have 20 years experience in OB nursing, I am also the curly head behind this website Pulling Curls and online childbirth classes for couples. 🩺 I am often asked if anyone is pregnant…
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