The Expert Scoop on Pregnancy Tests: From Moms Who've Been There (and a giveaway!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

6 kids into this parenting gig, and I thought I was an expert on all things related to pregnancy tests! But when I asked some fellow moms for their tips, I learned so much: Blue dye vs. pink dye, when during your cycle you can start to test, how *not* to sneak buying tests in the store past your kids... And what exactly is the best pregnancy test to use?

I never knew that there was a difference in the types of dye used for pregnancy tests! Annie and Ginny pointed it out, and after some research I found out that pregnancy tests using blue dye lead to false positives if they're read too far after taken, because of the evaporation line that shows up after sitting for a while. So look for a pregnancy test that uses pink dye.

Some brands really can detect your pregnancy earlier than others - it's not just an advertising ploy! Mandi tried tests with different sensitivities and got a much darker positive line on the more sensitive test. If you're testing early in your cycle and want to be absolutely sure, it might be worth it to buy tests that guarantee greater sensitivity.

"First morning urine" was the rule I learned with our first child, and I followed it religiously until my 4th pregnancy. How many of you have kicked yourself for forgetting to take a pregnancy test first thing in the morning, because you missed that window and had to wait an entire day to try again? I read in an online review that first morning urine will probably contain lower levels of hCG (the hormone your body starts producing upon implantation) because it will be mixed with whatever you didn't void from your bladder the night before. Since hCG levels rise continuously, testing later in the day shouldn't have different results unless you're overhydrated (see below). I've gotten early positives (12 days post-ovulation at the earliest, with singleton pregnancies) mid-day.

Overhydration can lead to false negatives! A friend tried it herself - she got a positive pregnancy test, then tried drinking a high volume of water and tested negative. So if you've been chugging water, you may very well end up with a negative test when you may actually be pregnant.

Amelia recommends waiting to test until at least 12 days post-ovulation (assuming you know when you ovulated) if you want to avoid taking too many tests before getting a positive. Of course, this is assuming you haven't bought so many tests that you don't mind taking multiple tests every day until you get that overwhelming evidence of a positive test or your next cycle starting! This can vary based on how long your cycles are, obviously.

A darker line doesn't always mean twins! I can't tell you how many times I've seen some form of the following question: "I just took a pregnancy test and the line was WAY darker than it should have been for such an early positive! Could it be twins?" Maybe, but probably not. There are a lot of factors at play, and it's way too easy to start freaking out (or getting excited!) at the possibility of a multiples pregnancy just based on your pregnancy test! Believe me - I've been there.

Check test reviews! Sometimes the cheaper ones really are more effective than the pricey tests! If you're ordering online (because buying them in a store can be awkward, especially if you have your kids with you and they're looking under that bag of chips you used to hide the test...), check to see if others have had a good experience with the test you're buying! And consider buying in bulk - you can get excellent deals that way, and you won't feel so bad about testing multiple times if you've got plenty of tests to spare. And you can share the leftovers with friends if you end up not needing them!

Hopefully after taking all those tests, you'll be rewarded with something sweet like this:

Disclosure: I've partnered with Nakturnal for this post - I was compensated for my time, and you're being compensated too, if you win this giveaway for a $50 gift card! Share your best pregnancy testing tips below for a chance to win.

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