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It can seem like your life is going on for a long time, especially if you’re wondering if you’re pregnant. You may experience many emotions when you anticipate pregnancy. Your life could never be the same again.

A reliable, at-home pregnancy test can provide a quick answer to your big question. You can also use it to determine if you should schedule an appointment with a doctor, midwife or other healthcare professional (and stop the cocktails span>).

What are the home pregnancy tests?

Your home pregnancy test detects a hormone called hCG in your urine. Some cells, which will soon become the placenta, start to produce hCG when a sperm or egg joins and starts growing.

HCG levels increase rapidly during early pregnancy. This is what home pregnancy tests look for.

Home pregnancy tests are usually done in one of two ways. You either place the stick in your urine stream (preferably the first thing in the day, as this is when your urine hCG levels are highest), or you pour the urine into a cup and dip it in.

Next, lay the stick/strip flat and wait for the time indicated on the box. This can vary depending on what test you are doing.

It is best to wait until the day after your period began to get the most accurate results. You might not have enough hCG to pass a pregnancy test if you wait before this.

It is possible that your pregnancy test results are negative. Wait a few days and then try again. False positives are more common than false negatives. This is due to incorrect instructions, testing too early or using expired tests.

When is it a good idea to have a pregnancy test?

It’s a good idea for anyone who has been sexually active, even if they have used contraception, to get a pregnancy test. Although there may be other reasons why your period is late, an at home pregnancy test can help you to identify them.

If you have been experiencing early signs of pregnancy, such as:

  • breast tenderness
  • nausea
  • Higher sense of smell
  • fatigue
  • food aversions

How to choose the best home-pregnancy tests

To compile this list, we surveyed several doctors and midwives for their expert opinions. We also read research studies and asked parents. Particular attention was given to accuracy.

Many brands claim 99 percent accuracy. However, this depends on the time of day. These results were compared to those from a large third-party study. It was found that accuracy can vary between mainstream tests depending upon when you test for missed periods. It is best to test on the day you missed your period and for the week following.

Although the 2011 study was not the most recent, it is the most current research available to compare mainstream tests. It is important to remember that brands may have updated their technology since then.

What the pros thought

Healthcare professionals agreed that no matter which home pregnancy test is used, they all work the same. It just depends on what you prefer.

If this is the case, what does it matter? These were their key recommendations:

  • Verify that the test has not expired.
  • Don’t wait until you miss your period to test (don’t test too soon).
  • Please follow the instructions exactly.
  • If you receive a positive or negative test result, but your period doesn’t begin, or you have any other concerns (such as severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, etc.), call your doctor or midwife. )

There are some important differences that can make one test better than the other. To help you choose the right home pregnancy test, we’ve ranked them based on their sensitivity, speed, cost, and convenience.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $5 per test
  • $$ = over $5 per test

Healthline Parenthood’s top picks for the best pregnancy tests

  • Best overall test for pregnancy: Early Response Pregnancy Test
  • Best pregnancy test for fast results: Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test
  • Best digital pregnancy test: Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test
  • Best pregnancy test strips: ClinicalGuard Pregnancy Urine Test Strips
  • Best budget-friendly pregnancy test: Pregmate Pregnancy Test Strips
  • Best pregnancy test kit: Easy@Home Ovulation & Pregnancy Test Kit
  • Best pregnancy test for assurance: First Response Triple Check Pregnancy Tests
  • Best pregnancy test subscription: Stix Pregnancy Tests
  • Best Pregnancy Test with App Integration: Modern Fertility Tests

The best overall pregnancy test

Pregnancy Test: First Response, Early Result


Price: $

The pros: It provides fast results up to 6 weeks before your missed period.

Con: Several reviewers have reported false positives or negatives. However, this is a risk that all at-home pregnancy testing comes with.

Results time: 3 minutes

Display method: Line test

First Response was found to be 97% accurate in the largest ever study of over-the counter pregnancy tests. This test is easy to find online or in stores and can be used to determine if you have missed your period. You can purchase a 2-pack or three tests.

First Response Early Results is the most sensitive at home test. It also has an ergonomically designed handle. We were shocked at how many sticks we nearly dropped into the toilet. It can be held under your urine stream as you pee. There is no need for a cup or dip. If you are unable to read the results, it is also available digitally.

Fastest pregnancy test

Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test


Price: $

Advantages: Lines results are displayed in separate windows with clear guides that make it easy to see.

Cons : It might not be as exact in the days preceding a missed period.

Results time: 1 minute

Display method: Line test

Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test may be right for you if 3 minutes seems like a long time to wait for a results. The test takes just one minute and delivers results in less than a minute. Although the test is quick, it’s best to wait until a week after the missed period to be tested. The 2011 study showed that only 64% of missed periods were correctly detected ).

This test is easy to find and widely available. However, there were more false positive reports than any other test (based on reviews). False positives can cause emotional turmoil so it might be worth spending a little extra time with a reliable test. Two pregnancy tests are included in this package.

Best digital pregnancy test

Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test


Price: $

Pros: Smart countdown flashes when results are available. The display window also shows progress bars, so you can relax and test again (or try). It doesn’t require any timing or counting.

Con: External studies suggest that it may not be as accurate during missed periods.

Results Time: This is not advertised, but the smart counter clarifies it during testing.

Display method: Digital word display

A common problem with pregnancy tests is their difficulty in reading — how many lines can you mean that it’s positive again? Is it a reflection or a second line?

It is not fun to guess at a time that is already emotional. Clearblue Digital can help you to determine your pregnancy. The Clearblue Digital pregnancy test has a countdown clock that flashes to let you know when it’s ready. It also spells out your results in words, rather than using lines.

The test claims it is sensitive enough to detect missed periods up to 5 days before they occur (which may be true in some cases). It will still be the most accurate if it is performed after your period has started. In fact, the digital test was only able to detect 54% of missed periods in the 2011 study. Clearblue has made some improvements to its technology.

Five tests per package.

Best pregnancy test strips

ClinicalGuard Pregnancy Urine Test Strips


Price: $

The pros: You get 20 packs for less than $10. The results are also displayed on a control screen for easy interpretation.

Cons: Strips make for messier testing.

Results time: Under 5 minutes

Display method: Colored lines

Although not as user-friendly as other test strips, they are often much cheaper and more accurate when used correctly.

Pregnancy test strips can be smaller and more fragile than stick test strips and should be used to dip into a cup full of urine. They can be held under the stream but are a bit more difficult to use (i.e. not drop in the toilet).

These strips are great for those who want to find out if they’re pregnant. The big advantages of the ClinicalGuard strips are their affordability, accuracy, and ease-of-use.

The best budget-friendly test for pregnancy

Pregnant Pregnancy Test Strips


Price: $

Advantages: This is the most economical test for bulk purchases.

Con: Several reviewers noted that the lines are too faint to be considered as true negatives.

Results time: Under 5 minutes

Display method: Two lines equal pregnant. One line is not pregnant.

Pregmate pregnancy tests strips are another solid option at a very affordable price of only 30 cents per test. This is a great option if you’re trying to conceive and plan to take many tests. Some of the more expensive tests can quickly add up. These strips are simple to read and easy to interpret if you take them near your missed period.

Although they can be used up to five days before missing periods, for best results it is better to wait until the period has ended. They are affordable and come in 50 bags so you can test them out.

Best pregnancy test kit

Easy@Home Ovulation & Pregnancy Test Kit


Price: $

The pros: You can track your results in this app (access included), to better predict ovulation.

Cons: Some users might find the line method less reliable or more difficult to understand. These strips have been criticized by reviewers for showing negative results, whereas Clear Blue and First Response show positive results.

Results time: 3 to 5 minutes

Display method: Line test

A pregnancy test kit is available for those who are currently pregnant. Easy@Home’s kit includes 10 pregnancy test strips as well as 40 ovulation tests strips.

Ovulation test strips are similar to pregnancy tests. However, they detect a rise of luteinizing hormone. This will tell you when you can expect to ovulate within the next 24 to 48 hour. You can then use one or more of the pregnancy test strips two weeks later to find out what has happened.

If you’re going to be doing lots of testing for ovulation or pregnancy, this is an affordable option. The company also offers a free app that simplifies tracking your cycles.

The best pregnancy test to ensure your safety

First Response Triple Check Pregnancy Test Kit


Price: $$

Advantages: This kit includes three types of tests. You can test before, during, and after your missed periods.

Con: This pack will last one cycle, so it’s not as cost-effective as other test strips.

Results time: Varies per test

Display method: Line test

You may not believe the results you get (positive or otherwise) the first time. This variety pack from First Response might be a good option. You can test at any time, before, during, or after your missed period.

This includes the First Response Early Detection Test, our favorite, along with their digital test and quick (1-minute result), test. This kit is a great choice if you want more information.

Best pregnancy test subscription

Stix Pregnancy Test

Cost: $$. (but prices can vary depending on your subscription)

Comments: This brand is owned by women and offers an easy subscription model.

Con: Several reviewers felt that the results window was too small.

Results time: 5 minutes

Display Method: Line Method, with a control Window

Stix joins the growing list of women’s health brands that sell direct to consumers. They offer the most flexible subscription option for at home pregnancy tests. Two tests are included in each pack. Delivery options include every two weeks, four weeks, eight weeks, twelve weeks, sixteen weeks and 12 weeks. Maximum of four boxes can be included in each shipment (total ).

These tests were confirmed by the company to be 99 percent accurate even if a missed period occurs. Stix tests are eligible for HSA/FSA eligibility, just like other over-the counter tests.


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