Maybe you’re in the time of your life where the concept of falling pregnant is exciting to you. Maybe you wouldn’t give a shit either way. Or you might be freaking the fuck out about a missed period. Regardless, most women have had a moment where they’ve had to hit the pregnancy tests aisle of their local chemist and decipher which of the many similar-looking kits is going to do the best job of telling them if they’re up the duff or not.
The thing is, no matter what your attitude toward a maybe-pregnancy is, it’s pretty important to get the best possible gauge on whether you, you know, ARE pregnant or not. And if you don’t understand the test you’re using and do it wrong, you might get an incorrect result. At the very least, you’ll be left confused – leading to more stress or hope that could be avoided.
We tried all the tests we could find on shelf (as well as one of the special ones they give you at the doctors) to give you the best idea of what’s easy to use, and which one is best for you.
The best thing about this test was that it cost me $4.99. I’ve found pregnancy tests can be quite expensive, and given I’m on the pill but I am also quite a paranoid person, I’ve bought a few in my time. So the price-point was fantastic news.
This test is one where you have to pee in a cup. You’d think that’s harder than the pee-on-a-stick versions, but I found it easier. It meant I could finish weeing and then deal with the test. You dip a small strip up to a black line in your wee, wait five seconds, then leave to develop on a flat surface. I felt like the wee element of this test was way more precise than when I’ve had to wee on a stick.
The results are harder to decipher – it still operates with a two bars/one bar system, but because it’s a piece of absorbent paper I felt like I was a bit confused as to whether lines were or weren’t showing up. I still felt confident at the end that I wasn’t pregnant though because it just had one strong pink line, but this small blue dot appeared that wasn’t explained in the sheet and I assume was a weird anomaly. – Paula
I used this one once because I was scared I was preg, but it wasn’t time for my period yet. I didn’t want to wait another whole week to find out, so I went for the early detection. I found the bar thing to be easy to understand, because the second “not pregnant” bar was in a completely different section of the test. However, I’ve found these bar tests to stress me a little because I was convinced the “pregnant” bar was showing faintly. – Brynne
3. HcG Test
My doctor supplied me with a few foil bags which she assured me were “pregnancy tests”, along with one of those specimen cups to take home. When it came time to use it, I peed in the cup as that felt like an obvious first step, but when I opened the foil package I found a strange flat rectangular plastic contraption with two windows on it, as well as a dropper. And, crucially, no instructions whatsoever. I literally had to Google: “how to use hcg pregnancy test”.
It turns out you used the dropper to pick up some of your pee and drop it into the small circular window like some kind of mad urine-wielding scientist, then wait a few minutes for the line/s to show up in the rectangle window. Look, beggars can’t be choosers and the test was free from my doctor, but the whole thing was so confusing and weirdly technical that I just went out to the chemist and bought another idiot-proof one to use as a backup, just to be sure. – Fern
I’ve used these several times and while they’re super easy to use, you just hold the thing in your pee stream for a few seconds and it starts doing its thing. But there’s something I don’t like about pink lines versus blue lines because the background turns kinda pink too? And the line itself (when I tried it) wasn’t very defined so maybe there was a second line and maybe there wasn’t? At a time like this when you need straight answers this kind of vaguely pink panel with wishy-washy lines just doesn’t cut it!
Apparently that second faint line (next to the “control line”) can sometimes be what’s called an evaporation line, and according to Healthline it doesn’t always mean you’ve got a bun in the oven, but could “appear in the results window of a pregnancy test as the urine dries. It can leave a faint, colourless line.” GREAT. – Lola
So when I first peed on the HcG test and found it too much Year 10 science class, not enough “You are/aren’t pregnant” I decided to go out and get this one. Mainly because my best friend — who ended up being preganté — used it and it very clearly came up with a strong, blue + symbol on a white background. The control line is in a different spot all together, to the right of the result window.
My mate had peed on a “one/two lines” kinda stick first and felt like the second line was too faint so tried this one to be sure. Aside from its visual differences it’s much the same as the First Response version where you put it under your urine stream for a few seconds to get your answer, so pretty easy to use if you have a strong and steady pee trajectory, but in my opinion, easier to make sense of. – Fern
After hearing not-great things about pregnancy tests that involve confusing lines on them, when I was wanting to find out some answers I decided to go for the digital version. I like that it gives a definitive answer and I don’t have to question what it’s telling me (but there are two in the pack just in case you don’t trust it).
It’s one that uses your pee stream, but there’s always the option to do it in a cup and dip the stick in so you don’t have to be a contortionist on the loo. After a few min it comes back with “Not Pregnant”, or if you are pregnant it even gives you an indication of how many weeks along you are, which to me seems like the way of the future, right? – Ellie
PSA: This tried-and-tested yarn may help you choose your pharmacy pregnancy test, but if you’re concerned you’re pregnant it’s always a good idea to visit your GP for a more official confirmation.Image: Knocked Up