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When you’re hoping your pregnant, all tests should not be created equal. There is a lot of emotional baggage riding on that pee stick you’re staring at, waiting for it to tell you if you should be settling in for a happy and healthy nine months.
For that reason, you should understand the pluses and minuses different pregnancy tests. Pun intended.
Chapter 1. Line Test vs. Digital
When you’re early in your cycle and want to know if there’s a chance you’ll be pregnant, grab yourself a line test. All pregnancy tests detect the same hormone in your urine — hCG — but they don’t all carry the same sensitivity for that hormone. That means one test can tell you much earlier than another whether or not you’re pregnant.
Line tests can greatly vary depending on the level of hCG in your system. You may have the teeniest bit of it in the earliest stage of your pregnancy and it can generate a line. If you go for a digital test, it will spit out a “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” depending on a specific level of hCG in your system. So if you are very early on, a digital may not give you the result you’re looking for.
Chapter 2. Blue Dye vs. Pink Dye
Scour the Internet for “blue dye vs. pink dye” pregnancy tests and you will find story after story of false positives generated from blue line tests. The blue dye creates an evaporation line that has fooled many hopeful women into believing they’re pregnant only to be let down by a period, negative pink dye or digital test.
The blue dye tests run cheaper than the pink, but the general rule of thumb is to spring for the more expensive tests.
Chapter 3. Risk of Early Result Tests
A blessing can also be a curse for the early response tests that can detect a very small amount of hCG in the urine.
While a positive pregnancy test can bring excitement to pregnant women just 8–10 days after conception, it could also signify a chemical pregnancy, or pregnancy in which the egg is fertilized, but doesn’t survive.
So while it’s exciting to see a faint pink line, you may want to proceed with the caution until you get a positive result with a digital pregnancy test that requires a higher level of HCG before for returning a positive.
Chapter 4. Best Practices
If you are getting ready to take a pregnancy test, make sure you conform to the best practices:
- It is recommended to wait until your missed period before taking a pregnancy test, meaning at least 28 days. Many women who are actively trying to conceive have a tough time waiting that long, though! If you do test prior to 28 days, remember that the chance of chemical pregnancy does exist.
- It is best to take a pregnancy test first thing in the morning when you haven’t used the bathroom for an extended amount of time. This gives the hCG a chance to build up in your urine.
- Instead of urinating directly on the pregnancy test, you may want to urinate into a plastic cup and then dip the test in for the required number of seconds. This not only helps with result accuracy, it allows you to re-test if you so desire.