$25 for a pregnancy test can be a bit pricey, especially when you want to buy two or three, just to make sure. A $1 pregnancy test seems like the way to go, but there's that unnerving feeling that you may be "getting what you paid for." Are all pregnancy tests the same?

First, it's important to understand that pregnancy tests are all designed to do the same thing - detect the hormone HCG, the hormone that tells your body not to shed its uterine lining this month. Some tests are better than others at picking up low levels of HCG (which increases daily as the pregnancy progresses). Most women agree that the "best" pregnancy test is the one that can tell you if you're pregnant days before you've even missed your period.

While most over-the-counter pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate, ultimately that accuracy depends on a variety of factors, including, according to the FDA, "how well you follow the instructions and interpret the results. If you mishandle or misunderstand the test kit, you may get poor results."1 Results may vary based on how far along you are or even how diluted your urine is. Also, because pregnancy tests are chemical in nature, improper storage and age can compromise their precision.

The bottom line is that whether you buy a cheap pregnancy test or a more sensitive one, your pregnancy should always be confirmed by a qualified medical practitioner.

CompassCare provides same and next day appointments where you can get a free clinical pregnancy test and free ultrasound. Trust your health to a professional. The nurses at CompassCare are here to meet with you in a caring, private and professional atmosphere.

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1 U.S. Food & Drug Administration. "Home Use Tests > Pregnancy." May 6, 2014. https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/InVitroDiagnostics/HomeUseTests/ucm126067.htm