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Are Cheap Pregnancy Tests Reliable?

Are Cheap Pregnancy Tests Reliable?

You may have noticed that inexpensive pregnancy tests are popping up in places like discount stores and online.  So the question is, are these off-brand, cheap pregnancy tests reliable?

We did a bit of research and found that the experts at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had already looked at this. Their verdict on cheap pregnancy tests?  YES, even 50p pregnancy tests can be reliable.

So How Can Cheap Pregnancy Tests Can Be As Good As the Posh Ones?

It first helps if you understand that all pregnancy tests are designed to read the levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine.

Where the discount tests may differ from the more expensive name brands is that the more expensive brands are often able to read lower levels of hCG.  At home tests can read hCG levels that run anywhere from 10mIU/ml to 50 mIU/ml.  All tests are required to read hCG levels of at least 50mIU/ml.

Zoom Baby Early Pregnancy Tests detect hCG at 10mIU/ml – this means they are as sensitive as the most expensive early pregnancy tests on the market in the UK now. They are CE marked.

How Do My hCG Levels Determine If I’m Pregnant?

When you are pregnant your hCG levels in your urine double every 72 hours.  This increase of HCG starts in the earliest stages of your pregnancy, even before a fertilised egg has the chance to attach to your uterus wall.

So Can You Trust a Cheap Pregnancy Test?

An investigation by medical watchdog the MHRA has shown that the inexpensive pregnancy tests are accurate. Experts from the agency told women to look out for a CE mark on kits, which is a sign of quality and safety. An MHRA spokesman said: “Customers should always look out for the CE mark. If they carry this, it means that they are a legitimate device. “Just because they are cheap it does not mean that they cannot be trusted.”

Pregnancy Test Strips: Should You Use Them To Learn If You’re Expecting

Many people are under the assumption that the low cost of pregnancy test strips are not as effective as the digital pregnancy or branded-mid-stream tests like First Response and Clearblue are. The reality is that most cheap pregnancy tests strips are as precise as the expensive brands and could even detect if you’re pregnant early than other more costly pregnancy tests that are available.

Why Are Pregnancy Test Strips Less Expensive?

There are three key reasons why the pregnancy test strips are less expensive than other models?

  • They don’t have as much packaging to them.
  • They’re not advertised as often.
  • The test format is simpler. It’s a dip in urine and read pregnant test compared to what you get with other testing options.

Positive Aspects Of Using Pregnancy Test Strips

  • They don’t cost as much money as other options.
  • They can be purchased in bulk.
  • You can test more often.
  • Compact and discreet, allowing you to put them in your purse or luggage.
  • They work as an early detection pregnancy test.

Negative Aspects Of Using Pregnancy Test Strips

  • You must collect urine in a container to do the test.
  • You have to read the test results yourself.
  • You may have to retest if the line is faint.

If you believe you are pregnant and live in the UK, you can purchase these highly-accurate, less expensive early detection pregnancy tests from Zoom Baby with same day shipping.

How Do I Use A Home Pregnancy Test?

Regardless of the test you purchase, inexpensive or name brand, they all have a couple of things in common.  Each test will require you to urinate on the test or to dip the test in a small cup of urine.  After you have waited for the designated amount of time, up to 10 minutes depending on your brand of test, your test results will appear.  Each test has a different method for reading its results—like a plus sign or a negative sign, or a different colour for positive and negative.  Read the instructions of your test to make sure that you are reading your results correctly and within the correct time-frame.

Keep in mind that the earlier in your pregnancy you are testing, the lower your levels of hCG.  This means that you your early test results may come back as negative, but you could still be pregnant.

When Is The Best Time To Use A Pregnancy Test?

To increase your odds of accurate results it is best to wait until you are at least one day late with your period.  It is at that point in which at home pregnancy tests with the CE mark have an accuracy rate in the high 90% range.

When taking a pregnancy test do not forget the importance of reading the directions.  Even if you have taken at home pregnancy tests in the past remember that each brand is different so you should follow the directions precisely.

Picture Credit: “This 99 cent store has TWO pregnancy tes” (CC BY 2.0) by On the White Line

This post has been updated since its original publication in 2013.


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