How Accurate Are $1 Pregnancy Tests?

OK, my friends. Time to ‘fess up: how much money have you spent on pregnancy tests in your life? If you’re like me, you cringe to even think about it.

ABC News recently did a segment on $1 pregnancy tests that piqued my interest. I’ve heard of dollar tests before. I’ve had several girlfriends who tried for 6+ months to get pregnant and grew tired of spending $13/test, so they went over to the local Dollar Store and purchased some cheap-o tests.

I will admit, the first time my friend told me she was peeing on a $1 test I was very skeptical. How could something that costs less than a pack of gum accurately tell you if there is a human being starting to grow in your uterus?! I felt justified in spending a lot on the “real” tests because I wanted to be sure they were accurate.

But according to the segment on ABC News, I was wrong. The inexpensive urine tests are completely accurate at detecting HCG, the hormone released when a fertilized egg implants on the uterine wall. They are accurate, just not as sensitive as the more expensive brands.

In early pregnancy, the amount of HCG in the body doubles every 72 hours. A top of the line pregnancy test will detect as low as 5.5 units of HCG, while a $1 test might not turn ‘Pregnant’ until a minimum of 50 units is present in urine.

To break that down–if you use a fancy brand of test, it may be the difference between knowing a few days to a whole week sooner. So to me this is a matter of patience. If you can wait until you miss your period to pee on a test then be wise and go for the cheap, generic tests. But, if you’re impatient and excited like me and want to test every day for the whole week before your period, you may want to spend the extra cash on a fancy test.

With this pregnancy I spent over $20 on something that I urinated on and then threw in the trash. That now seems a bit insane to me. If I had just calmed the hell down and waited a few days I could have used a $1 test and spent that $20 on stretch mark cream.

Did you ever use a $1 pregnancy test?

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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