It’s been 10 days since our baby making activities and ever keen to write this month’s attempt off as ‘experience’ due to our issues with timing, we took a test just to confirm our suspicions that we were not pregnant after our first attempt.
Oh, how wrong we were!!
4 pregnancy tests later, a positive result was confirmed. You will be forgiven for wondering why 4 tests? Well this is a mixture of eagerness, shock and a little scepticism on my behalf (again due to shock). The first test was negative due to it being too early to register. Tests 2 and 3 showed positive results but left a little doubt. Certainly in my mind anyway. Jen on the other hand, after getting over the initial surprise was pretty sure. Probably as she was experiencing other early pregnancy indications. The final test confirmed a positive test result.
Jen goes into full detail about the experience and why we took 4 tests in her post, our 1st positive test result – or is it.
Since we took so many pregnancy tests and tried 3 different brands, I wanted to pass on a few thoughts of each.
Our tests went as follows:
6 Days before due period – morning urine, One Step, negative.
4 Days before due period – morning urine, First Response, positive (very faint)
4 Days before due period – evening urine, One Step, possibly positive (very very faint)
3 Days before due period – morning urine, Clearblue digital, positive
One Step Pregnancy Test (generic test)
This one certainly is the no frills option. No unnecessary packaging or plastic casing, much kinder on the environment though. It’s very well priced but perhaps a little underwhelming when opened. It is a thin strip, not much bigger than a pH testing strip.
The test strip is to be place into a cup of urine as deep as the very obvious max line for 10 seconds. Once removed the test is then left for around 5-10 minutes to develop. Although the instruction leaflet states that a positive result may appear in as early as 1 minute. Almost immediately the control purple line appeared to confirm the test was working. During the development period, if you are pregnant a second purple line will begin to emerge. Or not, if you’re not!
In our experience, just as the result it returned, I’m afraid my verdict on performance of One Step pregnancy test, has to be inconclusive. Although I do still believe this could be a good pregnancy test purchase.
It didn’t offer us the positive result it should have, but please let me make it very clear this was due to our eagerness to know if we were pregnant, meaning we didn’t give it a fair crack of the whip. The first time Jen used it, the result was negative. This is understandable; as it was earlier than the manufacturer claim it is able to give a result. We were just eager to try. Our second use also wasn’t under optimum conditions for a result. A morning urine sample is more concentrated, meaning higher levels of hCG detectable. But we used it in the evening and still a day earlier than the instructions claim it should be used.
On this second use, the test does show a very, very faint smudge where the positive line should appear. Knowing we had a positive result from the First Response (possibly!), you can just about make out a positive result on the One Step test. Had this been the only test we had conducted, the result certainly would not lead me to believe it was positive.
The One Step pregnancy test doesn’t have the glamour of some of the branded alternatives, although it is a great economic option. If you are looking for an early pregnancy indicator, then in our experience it’s not for you. If you are close to your expected period due date, or late and want a well priced no fuss option, give it a try.
Overview of the One Step Pregnancy Test
Plus – very well priced
Minus – a quite basic test that’s not so great for early indication. It also took an hour or so to fully develop into a clear line, the initial 5 min result was just a burred smudge of ink.
First Response Pregnancy Test
Looking more like how you would expect a pregnancy test to traditionally look and with the possibility for the earliest pregnancy indication we could find. The First Response is however priced at the higher end of the scale.
The test has a protective cap that needs to be removed to reveal the absorbent tip. You can either pee directly onto the tip or dip into a collected cup of urine for 5 seconds. The cap can then be replaced for hygiene purposes (something I didn’t mention about the One Step, which doesn’t have any kind of cover, leaving you to hold a pee soaked strip). Once laid flat and left for 3 minutes to develop you will either see 2 pink lines for positive or 1 pink line for negative (or as in our case 1 pink line and a faint second line!).
The control line appeared immediately and was clear to see. As the minutes passed, from a few feet away as it developed on the counter there was certainly no sign of a second line. Then as Jen picked it up for closer inspection, there it was, just about! Shocked to say the least is a massive understatement. It did take the allotted time to develop, so be sure to leave it the recommend 3 minutes.
The control line was very clear to see. Our pregnancy line was also definitely there, but certainly faint and far from as strong. Jen informed me that any evidence of a second line was a positive result, as it would only trigger if even the smallest amount of hCG was detected. Faint or otherwise.
This left me with a nervous scepticism to its validity. Obviously my hesitation was purely to do with the shock and surprise of the situation. It was our first attempt to get pregnant and we felt we had missed the chance as our timing didn’t go as planned. But this is a very key point to consider. You aren’t necessarily thinking straight when performing a test; it’s quite a momentous life event to say the least. And as in my case, if it leaves you with any element of doubt, then you are left wondering.
Can I please add at this point for you to be aware, the First Response did perform exactly as it should and it did correctly display a positive pregnancy result. The faintness of the line was due to the earliness of the test and accordingly low levels of hCG in the urine. We bought the First Response brand as it offered the earliest chance of testing. It certainly met these claims. The line was fainter than expected, but readable. If it wasn’t for the fact we were so eager to try a test and had waited until closer to Jen’s period due date, then the result line would have been stronger.
We would use the First Response pregnancy test again as it offers great early indication. In retrospect and now it’s sunk in, I even trust a faint indication line.
Plus – earliest opportunity to test after conception
Minus – line clarity (but only if you are untrusting)
Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test
During my time of uncertainty I picked up one of the Clearblue digital tests from a local store with the understanding there would be no faintness or interpretation required. It would either say pregnant or not pregnant.
It’s the biggest of the 3 test units, as it must contain more technical elements within to power the screen. The digital screen is a good size and displays a clear reading. The Clearblue also has the additional feature of indicating the length of time since your conception in week numbers.
As with the First Response, the Clearblue pregnancy test has a protective cap for hygiene after use. Remove the cap and place the absorbent strip part in a cup of urine, this time for 20 seconds or pee directly onto it for 5 seconds. Rather than a control line appearing so you know it’s working as with other tests, an hourglass symbol flashes on the digital screen. The result will take up to 3 minutes to show. You will know it’s about to display the result as the hourglass will stop flashing. For us, it took less than a minute to display the word pregnant. It took an additional minute or so to display the result of the conception indicator (2-3 weeks).
The Clearblue test performed exactly as hoped. It displayed the word pregnant, which left no room for doubt. I would certainly buy this pregnancy test again if needed. Especially recommended if you might be sceptical with the validity of the line as me!
The only couple of things that let it down were its price, being the most expensive found in our research and the fact that the result only remains on the digital screen for 24 hours. I think it has a battery within which doesn’t last very long. Of course that is plenty of time to take a reading, but we have all 3 brands currently lined up in our bathroom, every time I look at them it brings a smile to my face. Sadly, the Clearblue no longer shows the result just a blank screen.
I also personally don’t see the need of the conception indicator. If you are planning a pregnancy, then you will likely be aware of the point you are at. If it’s an unexpected pregnancy then you will likely be taking the test due to a missed period. In which case it’s likely to show the highest conception reading of 3+, which doesn’t really add any additional clarity. But hey, we did do a lot of planning and knew where we were at every day of the process. If you haven’t it maybe of help to you.
Plus – tells you ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’, no interpretation required
Minus – price, its one of the more expensive pregnancy tests on the market and the result disappears after 24 hours (no keepsake)