Pros: Can detect a lower amount of hCG, easy one-step results
Cons: Pricey, doesn't detect pregnancy early for all women
I just bought a 2-pack of First Response Early Results Pregnancy Tests to give it a try at detecting pregnancy as early as it claims since my husband and I were trying to conceive this month. I am going to talk about the test itself and how I used it as a tool along with other methods I used to determine pregnancy. I will make some comparisons that will help you in your quest for the truth about your pregnancy results. Here are my results with it.
How does the test work?
The test works by detecting the pregnancy hormone, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), in a woman's urine. Women begin producing the hormone once an egg has been fertilized and has implanted inside the walls of the uterus. Generally, the amount of hCG in the urine is high enough to be detected by one day after you have missed your period. The new First Response Early Results Pregnancy Test claims it is sensitive enough to detect the presence of hCG as early as three days before you have even missed your period. That is four days sooner than other tests on the market. This is what intrigued me to buy this test and try it early.
How do you use this test?
The First Response Early Results Pregnancy Test is like almost all other tests on the market where you can get results in one step. You unwrap the foil wrapper and remove the plastic cap over the absorbent end of the stick. Facing the results window away from you, you urinate on the stick for at least five seconds (or you can collect it in a cup and then dip the stick in the cup). Replace the overcap and lay the stick on a flat surface with the results window facing up. Testing can be done at any time of the day although first morning urine has the most concentration of hCG.
After urinating on the stick, a pink color will move across the clear top. This means the test is working. Wait three minutes to read your results. Only one pink line means that you are not pregnant and the test worked correctly. Two pink lines (no matter how light) means that it is POSITIVE!
Well, it claims it can be used up to three days early BUT the fine print gives you the real odds of it reading that early for you. Only 52% of woman in clinical studies had their pregnancy detected as early as three days. It detected it as early as two days in 69% and as early as one day in 86% of women. So since each woman is different and the pregnancy hormone increases as your pregnancy increases, it may not detect it as early for you. It also depends on when the egg implants. You could have conceived after ovulation but it takes anywhere from 6 to even 12 days for the egg to implant. You don't start producing hCG until it has implanted so the test may give you a false negative if taken too early.
I have been reading about pregnancy tests on the Internet. In doing so I have found that most generic brand tests are actually more sensitive than expensive, name brand tests. This means better results. For example the CVS brand pregnancy test detects pregnancy at only 25 mIU/ml hCG (so does Confirm and Lifesign). E.P.T is at 40 mIU, the standard First Response is at 100 mIU and Fact Plus is from 150-250 mIU! This will determine how early it will detect for each woman and how sensitive the test will be. Honestly, I'm not sure where the new First Response Early Results Pregnancy Test falls into this range but I can tell you what my experience was with it and how early I tested and what my results were and you can make your own judgement based on all the facts.
How I planned to get pregnant?
In order to conceive this month, we used the First Response Ovulation Predictor Tests along with a basal body temperature chart. I charted my temperature all throughout my cycle. Basal body temperature is your body temperature when you're completely at rest. Most women experience a slight rise in basal body temperature (measuring only fractions of a degree) when they ovulate. If you take your basal body temperature properly and chart it each day, it's possible to determine if ovulation has occurred. It will stay elevated if pregnancy occurs, or drop if it doesn't and your next menstrual cycle will start. The Ovulation Predictor Tests told me when my LH had surged and that ovulation would be within two days and the temperature chart confirmed that, indeed, I did ovulate. This helped me chart when to start testing for pregnancy.
How I tested for pregnancy:
Starting on Day 25 morning of my cycle I used the first First Response Early Results Pregnancy Test. This would be 3 days before my period was due and the earliest that the test says it can be used (but remember only 52% of women will get a positive result this early if pregnant). My result was negative. On Day 26 morning, two days before my expected period, I went to my hospital (Kaiser) and got a free urine test done. I knew it was early, but I was there and it was free so I did it. It too was negative. Meanwhile my basal body temperature was remaining elevated (another sign you may be pregnant) so I wasn't giving up hope yet. On Day 27 morning, I used the second First Response Early Results Pregnancy Test. This is only one day before my period is due. The test showed a dark control line and a VERY light test line. If any hCG is detected the line will appear. I am assuming this as a positive result as any line appearing, no matter how light, is a positive result that hCG was detected. The first test I took showed a pure white area where a line would have been. This is an obvious very light line. So that means I am pregnant but just didn't have very much hCG being produced yet. That seems normal though. I hadn't missed my period yet. On Day 28 morning I took an E.P.T One Step Pregnancy Test. I wanted to see if a brand not marketed as an "Early Results" test could detect it as good as the First Response Early Results Pregnancy Test. I wanted to know if it was worth the extra money. My result was POSITIVE. I got a clearer, darker line - but it was a day later. Also that morning on Day 28, I went back to the hospital (I was there for another appointment anyway so why not, it's free). Their test finally came out POSITIVE too.
Would I recommend it?
Well, I think that you could get the same results from a very inexpensive brand that I did with the First Response Early Results Pregnancy Tests. I also didn't get any results as early as they advertise. I barely got a result the day before I missed my period. So was it worth $20 for that? Not really. From now on, I would just go buy the cheapest brand they had at the store and test every day in a row for cheaper. Overall, I have no problems with the product itself. It is a fine product. I just don't think that the percentages are high enough for most women to get good positive results as early as they claim so just not worth the extra money. Would I recommend it to a friend though? Sure. Go ahead and give it a try yourself it it helps you feel better but don't stock up on them too early. Go ahead and get a cheap one or two just as a back up if you really think you are pregnant and aren't getting a good result. (I was happier with their pregnancy test than I was with their Ovulation Predictor Tests by the way!)
For questions call: 1-800-367-6022 Weekdays, 7 a.m to 5 p.m. EST
A list of references:
www.babyhopes.com/hpt.html (Comparison of brands)
www.babyhopes.com/pregnancytests.html (Explanation of hCG and implantation of the egg)
Thanks for stopping by! I hope this helps you save a little money and get the answers you need. :-) I expect my new third child in October 2002!