When it comes to pregnancy, knowing whether you are or aren’t feels urgent when your birth control failed, your period is late, you notice the subtle signs, or you’re trying to conceive. Luckily, most pregnancy tests can detect the pregnancy hormone, hCG, as early as the first day of a missed period (or sooner).
So how do you know which tests are most accurate and where to start? In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how home pregnancy tests work, how to choose a home pregnancy test, and how timing impacts efficacy.
How Home Pregnancy Tests Work
All home pregnancy tests do the same thing: detect hCG in urine. Enough hCG is present to trigger a positive test by or before the first day of a missed period in most cases, but there are some exceptions.
Digital and analog home pregnancy tests both look for hCG in urine using a paper strip, but digital pregnancy tests include technology that “reads” the paper strip and produces a digital result like ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ to simplify the process for users.
How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Home Test
While any home pregnancy test you buy at a pharmacy should produce accurate results after the first day of your missed period, you have the option to choose between digital and analog tests. As discussed above, digital tests are sometimes easier to use because you don’t have to interpret the results yourself – you’ll get a simple ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ result. Other factors to consider when choosing a test are cost and brand name.
The Best Pregnancy Home Tests: Accuracy & Timing
Again, any home pregnancy test found at a pharmacy should provide accurate results, but most experts put First Response brand tests at the top of their list because of their ability to detect pregnancy earlier than other brands. Clearblue and EPT are also reputable brands often recommended by experts.
It’s important to note that even tests that claim they detect pregnancy early are most accurate after you’ve missed your period. If you find yourself facing an unplanned pregnancy, the team at Willowbrook Women’s Center is here for you. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about your options and the support that’s available to you during this challenging phase.