You’ve been trying to conceive, your boobs feel funky and your period’s two hours late (well, not really – but you get the picture). Sounds like it’s time to take a pregnancy test.
Now, taking a pregnancy test (and hopefully finding out you’re expecting – yippee!) is a big moment. You kinda want to know what the f*ck you’re doing. But is it as simple as peeing on a stick? (Plot twist – it’s not!) And how the hell do you choose a home pregnancy test?!
Let’s talk about pregnancy tests, how they work, the different types out there and our picks of the lot.
At home pregnancy tests: the basics
First things first – there are two ways of checking if you’re pregnant. You can take a pregnancy test at home or have a blood test (which is done through your doctor). We’re going to talk about the former.
What are they, and how do they work?
Home pregnancy tests are what’s called a urine pregnancy test. They work by measuring for traces of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG for short) in your pee – hCG is a hormone that only occurs in your body during pregnancy. To take one, you either pee on the test stick or tinkle into a cup and pop the test stick into your urine from there. (Either way, you’ll likely wee on your hand a bit!) Then, you wait for the result.
Are there different types?
There are three main types of at home pregnancy tests:
- Digital pregnancy tests – these display words like ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not Pregnant’, and some even report how many weeks pregnant you might be based on the actual levels of hCG in your pee.
- Regular pregnancy tests – sometimes called in-stream pregnancy tests, these will simply show you coloured lines or symbols to indicate pregnancy or not.
- Early detection pregnancy tests – these are more sensitive, so they are able to detect hCG levels in your urine earlier than other pregnancy tests.
Ultimately, pregnancy tests all do the same thing (they measure hCG in your urine and indicate if you’re pregnant or not). So, the type you choose will depend on your budget, your preferences and when you’re taking the test.
When should you take one, and how early can a home pregnancy test detect a result?
You usually take a pregnancy test if your period is late or if you find yourself experiencing the first signs of pregnancy (like nausea, tender boobies and fatigue).
However, if you’re actively trying to conceive and you’re itching to know if your endeavours have been successful, you might take a pregnancy test sooner than this – some pregnancy tests say they can detect results as early as ten days after conception (crazy, we know). But, know that taking a test too soon can affect the results. This leads us to…
How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
Most at home pregnancy test kits claim to be 99 per cent accurate. And interestingly, you’re more likely to receive a false-negative than a false-positive result.
False positives can happen if you had a pregnancy loss soon after the fertilised egg attached to your uterine lining, if you took the test too soon after taking a particular fertility drug that contains hCG (it’s called Clomid), or if you have problems with your ovaries.
Whereas false negatives can happen if you took the test too early (and there’s not yet enough hCG in your body) if you check the results too soon, or your wee was too diluted when you peed on that stick. (Which is why it’s recommended you wait until your period is a no-show to take a pregnancy test – read here for more information on how to take pregnancy tests at home.)
This means that if you have a positive reading, it’s most likely you’re expecting. And if you have a negative reading yet continue to experience the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, wait a few days, then test again because you may actually be with child (yay!).
Now, let’s discuss the home pregnancy tests themselves.
Best home pregnancy tests
Here’s our pick of the lot so that you can make your choice with confidence.
Best overall home pregnancy test: First Response Dip and Read Pregnancy Test
Taking a pregnancy test is kind of a momentous occasion (we say that not to freak you out, but to get you excited!). And, for these types of occasions, sometimes you just want something that’s going to get the job done without bells, whistles and fuss. This is why we think First Response’s Dip and Read Pregnancy Test is tops: you can use it at any time of the day (other tests recommend you take them in the morning only), it’s easy to read, you dip it rather than pee on it (so there’s a slightly lower chance you’ll tinkle on your hand – yay) and results take as little as two minutes. Plus, it comes in single or three-packs for convenience (though neither will break the bank).
It’s available at Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Big W and pharmacies around Australia. For more product information, click here.
Source: First Response
Best home pregnancy test for early detection: Pregnosis In Stream Early Detection Test
If you’re a keen bean and just want to get that test done (hey, we don’t blame you), the Pregnosis In Stream Early Detection Test gets our vote. It can be used as early as six days before your missed period, it accurately detects super-low levels of hCG in your urine, gives results in just three minutes and is generally simple and easy to use. Plus, it comes in single and three-packs.
It’s available to buy through Chemist Warehouse. For more product information, click here.
Source: Chemist Warehouse
Best digital home pregnancy test: Clearblue Pregnancy Test with Weeks Indicator
Look, knowing just how pregnant you might be can help you work out when you might be due (though your doctor will likely still send you off for an ultrasound to confirm). In any case, this is where this particular Clearblue pregnancy test comes in handy – it’s digital and provides an estimation of how many weeks pregnant you might be. So cool. Other things to know are that it’s a super-sensitive test, meaning you can take it up to five days before your missed period, and it gives results within three minutes. So, so cool. It also comes in a single and a double pack (because, you know – options).
It’s available at Coles, Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Big W and on Amazon. For more product information, click here.
Source: Chemist Warehouse
Best budget-friendly home pregnancy test: Clearblue Rapid Detection Test
This Clearblue pregnancy test is one of the best on the market – it claims to deliver results in less than a minute, and it comes sold in handy three-and-five-test multi-packs (it’s for this reason that we’re calling it the best budget-friendly home pregnancy test).
On top of this, it has an award-winning ergonomic shape that makes it easier to hold and pee on (really), it has a colour-changing tip that indicates you’ve peed on it correctly (so good), and it gives results in a simple plus (+) for positive or minus (-) for negative fashion.
It’s available to buy at Coles, Woolworths, Priceline, Chemist Warehouse and on Amazon. For more product information, click here.
Source: Chemist Warehouse
Best home pregnancy test for extra reassurance: First Response Test and Reassure Pregnancy Test
Having a baby is a big deal. So, you might want to be sure-sure that you’re pregnant before sharing the news with your partner. Enter this First Response pregnancy test that comes with two tests for ultimate peace of mind. The first test is an early result test designed to deliver results as early as six days before your missed period; the second is a digital test intended to provide extra reassurance you’re ‘up the duff’, as they say.
It’s available to buy at Woolworths, Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Big W and local pharmacies across Australia. For more product information, click here.
Source: First Response
We hope this leaves you feeling informed and confident for when the time comes to take what might be the most important wee of your life (wow!).