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Pregnancy Tests Information

This page describes the current available over the counter pregnancy tests, and lists their effectiveness rating. They are rated in mlU - which measures the amount of HCG in your urine. HCG is a chemical that your body starts producing once a pregnancy begins. This hormone is the same one that makes you queasy, and starts all those other physiological changes that accompany pregnancy. If you want, print this page out and take it with you to the store for reference when you buy your pregnancy test. For the earliest detection, look for a test with the lowest number of mlU (20mlU). This is the smallest amount of hormones the test is capable of measuring. The tests which measure 20mlU are capable of giving an acurate positive reading 10 days after ovulation. If you test and get a negative result, but think that you are pregnant, retest again in two days. HCG levels double about every 48 hours. So if on the day that you first tested and got a negative result and your hCG level was 15, then 48 hours later it should be around 30, and should be detected by a pregnancy test that measures as low as 20mlU.

Home pregnancy tests are listed in a table below in order of most sensitive to least sensitive. The levels are based on phone calls to the manufacturers. below that there are several frequently asked questions. At the very end is an alphabetical list of testings and manufacturer contact info.

The majority of the tests listed are available in the United States unless otherwise noted after the test name. Two of the tests that are available in the U.S. and in the U.K. are registered for different levels in the different countries (Clearblue Easy and First Response).

20-25 mIU

AimStick Pregnancy Test detects 20 mIU AimStick contact info
Clearblue Easy (U.K.) detects 25 mIU Clearblue U.K. contact info
Confirm 1-Step detects 25 mIU Confirm contact info
CVS detects 25 mIU CVS contact info
Day Seven (CDN) detects 25 mIU Day Seven contact info
Health Check detects 25 mIU Health Check contact info
Insta Test hCG detects 25 mIU Insta Test contact info
Lifesign One-Step detects 25 mIU Lifesign contact info
LifeSign 1 Midstream detects 25 mIU LifeSign 1 contact info
One Step Be Sure detects 25 mIU One Step contact info
Rapid Self-Test (U.K.) detects 25 mIU Rapid contact info

40-50 mIU

Boots (U.K.) detects 50 mIU Boots (U.K.) contact info
Clearblue Easy (U.S.) detects 50 mIU Clearblue contact info
Early Bird One Step (U.K.) detects 50 mIU Early Bird U.K. contact info
early Pregnancy test detects 50 mIU early contact info
e.p.t. detects 40 mIU e.p.t. contact info
First Response (U.K.) detects 40 mIU First U.K. contact info
Hannaford detects 50 mIU Hannaford contact info
Predictor (U.K.) detects 50 mIU Predictor U.K. contact info
Rite-Aid detects 50 mIU Rite-Aid contact info
Selfcare detects 50 mIU Selfcare contact info
Target detects 50 mIU Target contact info

100 mIU

Answer detects 100 mIU Answer contact info
Conceive detects 100 mIU Conceive contact info
Equate (Wal*Mart) detects 100 mIU Equate contact info
First Response (U.S.) detects 100 mIU First Response contact info
Precise detects 100 mIU Precise contact info
QTest detects 100 mIU QTest contact info
Walgreens detects 100 mIU Walgreens contact info

150+ mIU

Fact Plus detects 150-250 mIU Fact Plus contact info

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is hCG?

A: hCG is human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. Home pregnancy tests (HPTs) are designed to detect it.

Q: Why does the hCG level of the test matter?

A: Basically the pregnancy tests that the detect the lowest number of units should give you the earliest results.

Q: How do home pregnancy tests work?

A: Home pregnancy tests (HPTs) are designed to detect hCG, a hormone released by the placenta right after the embryo begins implanting into the uterine lining. The hormone is released in a pregnant woman's urine.

Q: How soon after ovulation can I test?

A: You may be able to get a positive HPT about 10 days after ovulation. If you have not had an hCG injection (common in infertility treatment, brands include Profasi and Pregnyl), you believe the positive, but you might get a false negative. If your period is late, test again. Your hCG levels should double every 2-3 days and many people won't have a positive HPT until the first day of a missed period or even a few days later.

Q: How do I perform the test?

A: You should use midstream urine -- meaning you should pee a little first and then either hold the test stick in your urine stream or use a collection cup. If you would like to collect urine in a cup even though you bought a stick test, you need to hold the absorbant tip of the stick in the cup of urine for 10-15 seconds. Otherwise, follow the directions with the test.

Q: How long do I need to hold my urine?

A: That depends how long after ovulation you are testing. If you are testing early, a four-hour wait is a good idea. The more hCG you have in your system, the less long you'll need to hold before trying to test.

Q: Can I use an HPT if I got an hCG shot (such as Profasi or Pregnyl)?

A: You can, but you should wait 7-14 days after your last injection before the shot is out of your system. If you test too soon, you might get a false positive. Wait 14 days after a 10,000 IU injection, 10 days after a 5,000 IU injection, or 7 days after a 2,500 IU injection.

Q: What should my hCG level be?

A: An rounded-off average would be about 25 mIU at 10 dpo, 50 at 12 dpo, 100 at 14 dpo. Please consult or for charts on hCG levels in early pregnancy.

Q: What if I took a test and it was negative, but when I looked at it an hour or more later I saw a faint line?

A: You may be pregnant and just didn't have a high enough level of hCG to trigger the test within the usual time frame; however, it also could be the way that test reacts over time, so you really need to test again either way in order to be sure of the result. Some brands indicate that an "evaporation line" will appear if the test is left to sit (Equate, for example). Generally speaking, you should not rely on any positive result that does not show up within the time limit stated in the test instructions.

Q: Which is more accurate, a urine test or a blood test?

A: A blood test is more accurate, but not necessarily more sensitive. A lot depends on the lab. A quantitative blood test, usually called a beta hCG test, measures the exact units of hCG in the blood. That means it will detect even the most minimal level. There is another type of blood test sometimes called a qualitative hCG. This is a test that simply gives a yes or no answer to whether you are pregnant. Just like urine tests, labs vary as to what is considered a positive pregnancy test. Common cutoffs for positive are 5, 10, and 25 units. A level under 5 is considered negative. A test that is only triggered at 25 units of hCG is not any more sensitive than several of the urine HPTs.

Q: Can I tell if my hCG level is doubling by retesting with an HPT and looking for a darker line?

A: No. You may get a darker line as your pregnancy progresses, but the HPT is not accurate enough to give you a full picture. Only a quantitative beta hCG blood test can tell you this. Best to have the blood tests performed at the same lab since standards vary.

Q: What if my HCG levels aren't doubling every two to three days from a quantitative blood test?

A: It doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong, but it warrants further exploration including an early ultrasound (6 weeks LMP). Slow-rising hCG can be related to impending miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. One important thing to remember is that on average hCG levels double approximately every two days from 4-6 weeks LMP, then doubles every 3 days when the level is 1600-6000, then the doubling slows to every 4 days or so. Levels peak a week or two before end of the first trimester (14 weeks LMP) before declining in the second trimester.

Q: If I am pregnant, how long will my doctor monitor hCG levels.

A: Many doctors will do two or three hCG levels to confirm doubling and stop there. Most others will stop after a fetal heartbeat is detected since hCG levels vary greatly and doubling begins slowing down. After a heartbeat is seen or heard, the chance of miscarriage drops to 16% before 6 weeks LMP, 5% from 7-9 weeks, 1-2% after 11 weeks (reference).

Q: I had a positive HPT, but my period started. What happened?

A: The only way to know for sure is to get a quantitative hCG blood test run. If you were pregnant but are miscarrying early, you may still have some level of hCG on the first day of bleeding -- but you need to go for the test as soon as possible. It is also possible that you got a false positive on the pregnancy test, in which case you should call the manufacturer with the lot number and try to get your money back.

Q: I have all the symptoms of pregnancy and got a faint positive on a home pregnancy tests. My qualitative (yes/no) hCG blood test came back negative. Am I pregnant or not?

A: It may be that the qualitative blood test is less sensitive than the home pregnancy test, so it would be a good idea to get a quantitative hCG (measures the actual hCG level).

Q: Can you get a postive HPT with a lower level of hCG than the tests manufacturers say they detect?

A: Yes. Most of the tests can detect lower levels of hCG than what is listed in this FAQ, but the levels printed here are the ones quoted from the manufacturers.

Q: Can I be pregnant and not get a positive HPT?

A: Yes. Most women will register on HPTs by the time they are a few days late for a period, but not everyone will. If you suspect you are pregnant, you should see your doctor for a quantitative hCG test no matter what result you get from an HPT.

Contact Information

AimStick Pregnancy Test
* detects 20 mIU of hCG
Germain Laboratories, Inc.
San Antonio, TX 78229
For technical assistance, call: 1-800-854-8446
Outside U.S. call: 210-692-4192
Order in bulk:

* detects 100 mIUs of hCG
Distributed by Carter Products
Division of Carter-Wallace, Inc.
1345 Avenue of the Americas
New York NY 10105
1-800-833-9532 (customer service, *not* a help line)

Boots (U.K.)
* detects 50 mIUs of hCG

Clearblue Easy (U.K.)
*detects 25mIU of hCG
Unipath Ltd.
Priory Business Park
Stanard Way
MK44 3UP
Helpline No: 0870 5673514

Clearblue Easy (U.S.)
* detects 50 mIUs of hCG
This for both 1-minute and 3-minute tests.
Manufactured by Whitehall Laboratories
Madison NJ 07940
1-800-883-EASY (3279)

Confirm 1-Step
* detects 25 mIUs of hCG
Distributed by Durex Consumer Products, Inc.
A division of London International Group, Inc.
3858 Engineering Drive NW
Norcross, Georgia 30092
Consumer affairs: 1-334-792-3775

* detects 100 mIUs of hCG
Quidel Corporation
San Diego CA 92121
1-800-CONCEIVE (266-2348)

CVS Pregnancy Test
* detects 25mIUs of hCG
CVS Pharmacy, Inc.
Woonsocket RI 02895

Day Seven (CDN)
* detects 25 mIU of hCG
Pharmaceutical & Diagnostics Ltd.
Vancouver, BC

Early Bird One Step (U.K.)
* detects 50 mIU of hCG
Kent Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Wotton Road
TN23 6LL
Tel: 01223 638614
email: mailto:[email protected]

early Pregnancy test
* detects 50 mIUs of hCG
Distributed by Inverness Medical, Inc. (subsidiary of Selfcare)
200 Prospect Street
Waltham MA 02453

* detects 40 mIUs of hCG
Manufactured by Warner Wellcome Consumer Health
Morris Plains NJ 07950
1-800-EPT-1STEP or 1-800-337-7266
coming soon:

Equate (Wal-Mart)
* detects 100 mIU of hCG
Note: This is a new test with a purple cap (the old version that detects 20 mIU is all white). There are still a number of false positives being detected, and if you receive one the company would like you to call with the lot number on the box. The test should not be read after time in instructions -- it commonly has an evaporation line.
Also manufactures a number of store-brand tests. I have been told this includes Shop Rite, but I was unable to confirm that.
Manufactured by Perrigo
Allegan MI 49010

Fact Plus
* detects 150-250 mIU of hCG
Note: There has been a bit of confusion over the hCG level detected by this test. When first called a few years ago, I was told 150-250 mIU. About a year later I was told the 1-step detected 50 mIU and the 2-step square test detected 25 mIU. After further calls, the manufacturer says 150-250 mIU, but people have reported positives with levels under 50 mIU. Manufactured by Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp.
Raritan NJ 08869

First Response (U.S.)
* detects 50 mIU of hCG
Feminine Care Research Lab
Carter-Wallace Ltd.
Wear Bay Road
CT19 6PG
Helpline: 01303 221686

First Response (U.S.)
* detects 100 mIUs of hCG
Carter Products
Division of Carter Wallace, Inc.
New York, NY 10105

Health Check
* detects 25 mIU of hCG
Health-Mark Diagnostics
P.O. Box 6186
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33310
Fax: 954-975-6803
Toll free help line: 1-800-482-2907 (8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST, M-F)

Insta Test hCG
* detects 25 mIU of hCG
Cortez Diagnostics, Inc.
23961 Craftsman Road, Suite D
Calabasas, CA 91302
order online:

Lifesign One Step Pregnancy Test
* detects 25 mIU of hCG
Distributed by LifeCare Medical International Corp.
Philadelphia, PA 19044

LifeSign 1 Midstream Pregnancy Test
* detects 25 mIUs of hCG
Available by mail order only from Geodesic Meditech, not the same as the one in stores such as Wal*Mart.
Note: The FDA does not allow claims of hCG readings under 25 mIU. In studies, this test could detect hCG levels of 5-20 mIU within 7 minutes. So, a positive within 7 minutes indicates that hCG was detected, but you should not read the test after 7 minutes. After 7 minutes that dye can break through and you may see an evaporation line.
1155 Camino Del Mar, #517
Del Mar, CA 92014 USA
1-888-357-9399, 1-619-792-1100
fax: 1-619-793-1824
mailto:[email protected]

One Step Be Sure Pregnancy Test
* detects 25 mIUs of hCG
Manufactured by Syntron Bioresearch, Inc.
Carlsbad CA 92008

* detects 100 mIUs of hCG
1 Becton Lane
Franklin Lakes NJ 07417-1883

Predictor (U.K.)
* detects 50 mIU of hCG
Unit 327, Science Park
Milton Road
Helpline No: 01480 421817 Also Netherlands:
BU Chefaro
Chefaro International bv
1 Weth. van Eschstraat
P.O. Box 20
5340 BH Oss
The Netherlands

* detects 100 mIUs of hCG
Manufactured by Quidel Corporation
San Diego CA 92121
for Ansell Incorporated
Dothan AL 36502

Rapid Self-Test (U.K.)
* detects 25 mIUs of hCG
ARK Pharmacare Ltd.
44-46 Lower Bridgeman Street,
Helpline No: 01204 362236

* detects 50 mIUs of hCG
Distributed by Selfcare, Inc.
200 Prospect Street
Waltham MA 02154
1-800-899-SELF (7353), 1-617-647-3900

Store Brands: Rite-Aid, Target & Hannaford
* detects 50 mIUs of hCG
Selfcare makes most major store brands.
Selfcare, Inc.
200 Prospect Street
Waltham MA 02154

* detects 100 mIUs of hCG
Manufactured by Quidel Corporation for
Walgreens Co.
Deerfield IL 60015-4681

HPT list was compiled by Rebecca Smith Waddell and originaly posted at FertilityPlus.Org Used by permission. For the latest version, please visit fertiliyPlus.Org"> Affordable Pregnancy Tests - Sells early-detection pregnancy tests and ovulation predictors. Same-day shipping on FDA approved tests as low as $0.65.

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