I live near a Watsons Pharmacy, and out of convenience, I purchased pregnancy tests from there. I also found that they had regular buy-one-get-one half price discounts which added up in the end.
All the tests that I used were ‘mid-stream urine pregnancy tests’ which detect the levels of hCG in urine – a specific pregnancy hormone. A hCG level of less than 5 is considered negative for pregnancy, and anything above 25 is considered positive for pregnancy. Having used multiple test, what I can say is that not all pregnancy tests were created equally; some are more sensitive and can detect lower levels of hCG than others, which is why they would be considered ‘early detection’. As you could guess, these such tests were had a higher impact on my budget.
Tests on the lower end of the budget
- Cheap and available to buy in bulk from Carousell/online (approximately $0.80-$1.00 per strip).
- The only instructions were in Chinese.
- Although it can detect pregnancy once hCG is 25 and above the positive line can still appear very faint so I always used a second test from another brand as confirmation. Because it still left me in doubt, I’d say it wasn’t sensitive enough.
- Maybe it’s just me but because they are very cheap, I’d test multiple times per day which can definitely make you feel a little crazy.
Test in the middle budget range
- Easy to use.
- Sensitive in early pregnancy (hCG 25) with definite line progressions as HCG levels increased.
- Affordable in comparison to many alternatives.`
- The lines would change colour/appearance over the course of the day/s. This might lead to false hope if a line appeared several hours after a negative test. I advise to dispose of the tests once you’ve taken them to avoid this from happening.
Tests on the more expensive end of the budget
- Trusted brand
- Easy to use
- Sensitive in early pregnancy (hCG 25)
My top tips for taking pregnancy tests:
- Try not to start taking tests too soon before your period is due. It leads to crazy eye squinting, looking for positive lines, holding the tests up to the light, looking for the faintest of lines and increased stress that you just don’t need (been there, done that)
- Use your first morning urine (FMU) to test as this has the highest concentration of hCG
- Read (and follow) the instructions carefully. If it says wait 3 minutes then wait 3 minutes!