Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Should you buy a Dollar Store pregnancy test?

Several months ago I wrote a little post about the Dollar Store.
If you missed the series, you can find it here:
original post
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
wrap up

Seems like that little Dollar Store post struck a chord with many of my readers and it's safe to say that that post went viral on pinterest.  

One of the most talked about Dollar Store buys from my list has been the pregnancy tests.
I thought I would answer the question that I have gotten often,
"Should I buy a pregnancy test at the Dollar Store?"

I'm a mom of three, I understand how expensive pregnancy tests can get when you are actively trying to conceive and are anxious for positive results.  
I did a quick search to find out what the going rate for pregnancy tests at our local drugstore (Walgreens) was.  Most are $13-$20.  As my husband used to say "you are peeing on money." 

Let's start by finding out how pregnancy tests work.  Thanks to the lovely people at womenshealth.gov for this easy to understand answer.

How do pregnancy tests work?

All pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain hormone in the urine or blood that is only there when a woman is pregnant. This hormone is called human chorionic gonadotropin (kohr-ee-ON-ihk goh-NAD-uh-TROH-puhn), or hCG. It is also called the pregnancy hormone.  

hCG is made when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. The amount of hCG rapidly builds up in your body with each passing day you are pregnant.

So, pregnancy tests detect the hormone hCG in your urine, if you are pregnant, you get a positive result, if you are not pregnant, no hCG is detected, therefore, giving you a negative result.  Sometimes, the test is taken too early, and there isn't enough hCG in your urine to detect a positive result.  False negatives happen, false positive results however, are quite rare.

Some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive then others at detecting hCG in your urine stream. hCG is measured in mIU's, so I did a little research to see how sensitive each pregnancy on the market is.  The lower the mIU's the more sensitive, therefore, the test will detect pregnancy earlier.  Thank you to baby hopes for compiling this easy to read list.


Test NameLowest hCG detected
BabyHopes 10 mIU Generic Pregnancy Test Strip10 mIU    Buy Here!
AimStrip (aka AimStick) Pregnancy Test Strip20 mIU    Buy Here!
BabyHopes Generic Pregnancy Test Strip20 mIU    Buy Here!
Accuclear Pregnancy Test25 mIU
Answer Early Result Pregnancy Test25 mIU
Clearblue Easy +/-25 mIU
Clearblue Easy Digital (1 piece, blue cap)25 mIU
Clear Choice w/ Cup25 mIU
Confirm 1-Step Pregnancy Test25 mIU
CVS Early Result Pregnancy Test25 mIU
Dollar Store Brand (mini-strip, cassette, & midstream)25 mIU
Early Detect25 mIU
e.p.t. +/- Test25 mIU
e.p.t. 1-Step Digital Test25 mIU
e.p.t. Certainty Digital Test25 mIU
Equate +/- (Wal-mart)25 mIU
Equate Pregnancy Test (Wal-mart)25 mIU
Fact Plus Midstream Pregnancy Test25 mIU
First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test25 mIU
One Step Be Sure Pregnancy Test25 mIU
Right Aid Pregnancy Test25 mIU
Target Brand Pregnancy Test25 mIU
Walgreen Midstream Pregnancy Test25 mIU
Walgreen Digital25 mIU
Fact Plus Cassette40 mIU
Clearblue Digital50 mIU
CVS "Early Result" Cassette Pregnancy Test50 mIU
Drug Emporium Brand Pregnancy Test50 mIU
early Pregnancy test50 mIU
Walgreens Cassette Pregnancy Test50 mIU
If you can see, the Dollar Store test has a sensitivity of 25 mIU's, which is fairly competitive with some of the other bigger more trusted brands that you will find yourself paying nearly $20 for!
What surprised me is that one of the brands I thought would be more sensitive, (ClearBlue), isn't.  ClearBlue Digital tests run around $14.
I've had several comments from my readers telling me that they have had success with Dollar Store pregnancy tests.  Most people were quite pleased with the test, and the price doesn't hurt!  
I would say that Dollar Store pregnancy tests are well worth the $1.
If you find yourself in the market for a pregnancy test, save yourself some dough and head to the Dollar Store.
While you are there you can satisfy your craving for potted meat.
Only kidding!
ps-I have had some readers tell me that Wal-Mart offers their pregnancy tests for $.88.  This may be a good deal for some of you, but for me, it's worth a few extra pennies to NOT have to step into Wal-Mart!

21 comments:

Angie said...

I used a dollar tree test with my 2nd child. I took 2 tests and both correct! I was prego! save the money :)

Frugal Queen said...

I shall boast about the NHS here - take a pot of pee to the GP surgery, some one will test it for free and tell you there and then. Then all the healthcare, baby care, prenatal is free at source too.

Megan Reinbold said...

I took one with my last pregnancy. First try and it was positive!

Jenny Yarbrough said...

Ha! Love the Walmart bit. This is a great post, Rachel... totally informative.

Jocelyn said...

I thought my friend was crazy when she tested for her first pregnancy with a dollar store test, but then I grew older and wiser. I've used dollar store tests several times and have never had a problem with their accuracy. I love your husband's comment about peeing on money; it sounds like if he ever met my hubby, they would get together and plot new ways to penny pinch ;)
I love that dollar store tests are so cheap I can justify testing instead of waiting to see if I was just late. And I'm with you: I would totally pay the extra pennies to avoid Walmart!

Kati @ Obscured Flair- said...

I had always taken them in my last relationship.
In my new one, 6 months into it, I figured I'd take one a day before my period was supposed to come, because I didn't spot. Now mind you, I was on the birth control pill, but I was like, "oh come on, THAT would NEVER happen [pregnancy]". I was told I had PCOS and wouldn't be able to conceive.
Imagine my surprise when I dropped my pee on it and those lines came up so quickly!! The BEST $1.00 I ever spent!!
I now have 6 month old TWIN girls!!

aprettymess said...

Hi Rachel, hoping i dont need a pregnancy test any time soon =P i came by to tell you i chose you to receive the Liebster Blog Award. visit my post to get the rules and so you can pay it forward to other bloggers
xoxox
Lily Bean

Erin {Home Everyday} said...

This post reminds me of my friend and I. We were pregnant at the same time with all three (six) of our children. When I got a positive pregnancy test with third child, I had just bought a three pack of expensive pregnancy tests. Since I got a positive result on the first try, I gave my friend the rest of the tests to use. Anyway, she joked that with your first you buy the digital read out because you don't know any better, but as you get older and wiser you know that a Dollar Tree or FREE pregnancy test works just as well :)

Beth Mcgwire said...

I will have no need for this info but I think this is a great post. Thanks for sharing. I think there will be a lot of grateful readers. Good stuff.

~PJ said...

Several years ago I hosted a baby shower for a friend, the take home was a coffee cup and inside we put a dollar store pregnancy test, a dollar store fertility test, a condom and a large straight pin. Along wtih a note "May all your baby dreams come true"

TWO!!! women from that shower then used those dollar store pregnancy tests to find out they were in fact pregnant.

LOL

shelly said...

The pregnancy test my doctor used looked EXACTLY the same as the dollar store cassette. Pretty sure they're from the same supplier.

Allison said...

The dollar store tests are the exact same as the ones used at the doctor's office AND at fertility clinics. So glad I learned that for this pregnancy, I wasted SO much money on pregnancy tests with my other two pregnancies, it's sickening to think about!

Unknown said...

I cannot take bc but hubby and I are pretty carefull with the old condoms. Yet, every couple of months I get a little parinoid and buy myself some dollar store assurance. They work great and have predicted accurately my last two pregnancies. One of those now 4 is my best little buddy ever...in response to the sad late term loss of the one before... They work great and I work in a pharmacy...

Unknown said...

I cannot take bc but hubby and I are pretty carefull with the old condoms. Yet, every couple of months I get a little parinoid and buy myself some dollar store assurance. They work great and have predicted accurately my last two pregnancies. One of those now 4 is my best little buddy ever...in response to the sad late term loss of the one before... They work great and I work in a pharmacy...

Aerial Douty said...

I was not about to spend the 20ish for a test.. I used the .88 cent Wal-Mart ones had to use two because I thought the first one was wrong because it was cheap.. nope it was right I was pregnant with my first child:))

susan allen said...

I've used dollar store pregnancy test & always has success with them. I totally agree with you about wal mart. I'll never step foot in another wal mart after they treated me so badly when I was trying to exchange baby shower gifts that I had received duplicates of.

Nicole said...

Any comment on th Ovulation test?? Do you know if those are equally as good?

Lindsay(PACountryCrafts) said...

Definitely! I am expecting #6 and when I tried to get a test at another store, it was locked in a plastic box! I would have had to take it to the register and have them unlock it while a long line of Christmas shoppers at the quick check out lane looked on. I put it back and went to the Dollar Tree which was totally empty. Whew! I have used them before and they are always accurate. I have had name brand ones fail me, though.

Diana Southard said...

Spent $$$ buying tests at Wal-Mart. Finally I got smart and bought Dallor Tree ones. Took them while trying to conceive. Was just a few weeks along (hadn't missed my period but I always tested every other week). Positive results! Took two more, both positive. Went to see my doc & was confirmed. Never again will I spend $$$!! Stocking up on Dallor Tree tests for now on.

Melody Daines said...

I got so tired of spending money on pregnancy tests when I was trying to conceive with my second. Finally I went on Amazon and bought a lot of 25 Wondflo test strips for about $5. They're the same kind they use at the doctor's office. I just looked and the price has gone up to about $19 for 50, but that's still a heck of a deal. You can pee on things until you're completely sure and not go broke!

jessy desouz said...


I use cheap pregnancy test,
Imagine my surprise when I dropped my pee on it and those lines came up so quickly!!