This is a post that has been on my mind for a while now and I wasn’t quite sure how to execute it, but I figured I’d just get started and see how it goes. If you have anything to add, please comment! Anything you can contribute will only benefit those looking for information.
1. Understand how tests work.
A home pregnancy test (HPT) is designed to detect the hCG hormone in your urine, which is created as a result of pregnancy. Each test is designed to only show positive if the concentration of hCG in your urine is a certain number (Home Pregnancy Test hCG Levels). This does mean a test can show up as negative when you are in fact pregnant. For example, if you take a ClearBlue Digital test that is designed to detect level 50 hCG in your blood, and your current level is only a 25, it’ll show up as negative. #4 will explain further. Just understand the basic premise: the test is designed to detect hCG at a certain level. The more concentrated your urine is, the more accurate your test result will be. This is often why the test instructions say to test first thing in the morning, but holding your pee for 4 hours works, too. 😉 Just don’t down a glass of water and then go test… it might not be concentrated enough.
2. Respect the time limit.
Please, please, please… do not obsess over a test that you took an hour ago. There is a time limit for a reason. Some tests will start to show a second line after a time limit because the test is wet. Some tests show what is known as an “evap line” after the time limit, which is a shadowy line that doesn’t have a lot of color (they’re usually grey, although I beg to differ, I’ve known friends who have had evaps that had color). There is a time limit for a reason, and honestly you need to stick to it. If it didn’t show up in 2-5 minutes, you probably need to count it as negative and trash it.
3. Pick pink line tests.
I am very passionate about this one. Blue line tests are evil. Okay, maybe that is extreme, but let me explain: blue line tests seem to be the #1 culprit when it comes to evap lines. Because evap lines tend to be greyish in color, sometimes it is SO HARD to tell if that shadowy line on your blue line test is an evap or a BFP. I’ve been victim to this before, as have MANY women. I do not like blue line tests and do not advocate that women use them. This means those Equate tests that are so temping at Walmart – those are very popular and I wish they weren’t. I know they’re cheap, ladies, but there are better options out there, and I will get to that in the minute.
4. Pick sensitive but inexpensive tests.
This is a tricky one. When you are TTC, you end up spending a lot of money on tests, and it’s hard to know which ones you should invest in. Pink line are my favorite, but I want pink line that are inexpensive, too. The best test I’ve seen out there for sensitivity is the First Response Early Result, because it has picked up hCG levels as low as 10 in some of my friends who later had blood tests the same day as the pee test… and they confirmed – so that is incredible. But as you guys know, FRER can be expensive… like, really expensive. Like, you don’t want to buy those unless you have to… so there are other options out there. If you don’t struggle with infertility, then by all means, go for the FRER tests. If you do struggle, then find something else. At the end of the post, I’ll share links to some options.
5.Testing too early isn’t a good idea.
I know, this is blasphemy in the TTC world, but hear me out. If you’re testing before 9 dpo, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Egg fertilization + implantation typically occurs between 7-12 dpo… so even if it hits at 7 dpo, the hCG hormone needs time to double every couple of days before it can show up on an HPT. Testing too early is like picking a green cherry tomato and then being disappointed that it didn’t taste like a red one when it has the potential to eventually turn red if you’d just be patient. Have I utterly confused you? To make this clear: do not test too early. I personally do not recommend before 9 dpo, and THAT is early. The only reason you should test earlier is if you have a trigger shot in your system that you need to test out… then and only then should you start right away. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed when it’s a BFN and who knows, you could still be pregnant. I’m the worst influence when it comes to telling ladies to test, but I will never tell you to before 9 dpo. There are very few cases where women have seen a BFP at 8 dpo… but they were such a small percentage, it’s not worth wasting the test and the emotions. Trust me.
Okay, so now for the fun part. Buying tests! If I can get my hands on them, I really like the ones at Dollar Tree. They’re just $1 and detect hCG of 25. Plus, they’re convenient to pick up. I also like the tests on early-pregnancy-tests.com. They are just the strips so you need a pee cup, but they are pretty sensitive and again, cheap! The more you order, the cheaper they are, and you can buy packs that also come with ovulation test strips. Bingo!
A lot of women in the TTC community swear by the Wondfo tests on Amazon, which you can also purchase in packs with OPKs. I plan to add some Wondfo to my list next time I order supplements. I haven’t personally tried them yet, but they are pink line tests. However, these are some I’ve heard of women getting evaps on, so make sure that if you DO use them, you follow the time frame rule!
I went ahead and put together a collection of tests you can get on Amazon, just in case you want to snatch some up while buying fertility supplements. 😉 Let me know if you find the tests cheaper somewhere else, I’d love to know! But on Amazon, I’m seeing better deals so far. Even better than Walmart. Maybe locations vary?
I hope this helps! What HPTs are your favorites? Do you have anything to add to my post? I welcome friendly conversation. Notice I said friendly… 😉