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What You Need To Know About Choosing A Pregnancy Test

When it came to pregnancy tests the first time I tried to conceive, I was a total test snob. I bought the fanciest digital tests — I was pretty sure it would gently sing the results to me from the toilet. But are digital pregnancy tests better than regular pregnancy tests?

There are so many tests on the market right now. A simple Amazon search yielded 33 pages of results. Everything from the most basic "pee in a cup and swirl" to ones with a countdown timer and calculation of due date. They vary hugely in price, too. Those medical-grade swirly tests are about $8 for 25 tests. (That's practically free.) Whereas those tests that are ergonomically designed to fit in your palm as you still pee all over your hand, and tell you how far along you are, can be upwards of $20. But is one test actually better than another? It's pretty easy to believe that they would be, given all the fancy packaging and neat design features. I mean, it's a stick that tells you how far along you are, if you're pregnant, what your astrological sign is, and whether or not you plan on voting in the next election, right?

Are they better though? Are digital pregnancy tests better than regular pregnancy tests?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no. Not really. Once you've missed your period, all pregnancy tests are about the same in accuracy. They all measure the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone present in the urine, and with varying levels of sensitivity. So while one test may register a pregnancy days before your missed period, another may need to be used the day you miss your period. However, the Mayo Clinic cautioned women to wait until they've missed their period before they take the test to avoid a possibly incorrect result. Since virtually every test, according to outside lab test Craig Medical, has the same level of accuracy at this point, judgement should be based on personal preference.

If you don't mind the swish and swirl, you're probably OK with the bulk medical grade tests, which oddly score the highest in customer satisfaction on Amazon. If you aren't quite there yet, you're probably going to want the droplet tests or the analog pregnancy test sticks. They're uncomplicated and easy to use. However, if your hands are shaking, you feel like you may vomit at any time, and you basically want no questions whatsoever, buy the pricey test. This is definitely one of those times in life where you need to choose what makes you the most comfortable, and is the easiest for you. Alternatively, you could call your OB-GYN for a test at their office, and take the ball out of your hands entirely.