Newest Review: ... to peed on rather than dipped in urine and you should hold the absorbent end in a stream of urine for three seconds. I'm not sure wh... more
Not Necessarily First and certainly not the best
First Response Early Pregnancy Test
Member Name: sandemp
First Response Early Pregnancy Test
Advantages: Do give early results, easy to use
Disadvantages: Not so easy to read, too expensive for repeat (reassurance) testing
After getting a very faint, very early result on a mega cheap, basic pregnancy test, I decided that rather than believe my eyes I would confirm the result on various other brands of pregnancy test. Among those other brands was this the First Response Early Response otherwise known as FRER, which is definitely amongst the most expensive available, coming in at approximately £8 for a single test when bought on the High Street or £7.49 for a twin pack when purchased from Amazon. Comparing this to what I paid for the basic strips that gave me the initial positive result, at their cheapest the FRER tests are nearly 50x the price (the cheap tests ended up costing under 10p each).
First Response advertise this particular test as being able to detect a pregnancy up to 6 days before a period is due. It is worth noting that they also produce another test that can only be used on the day a period is due and that the packaging for both types of test is nearly identical, so do make sure you've picked up the correct test. Within the box each test is wrapped in foil and there is a separate information leaflet, that is reasonably comprehensive. I do have to admit that the foil wrapping were quite difficult to open, there didn't seem to be any "tear here" indicator. Unlike the cheaper tests, the FRER are of the cartridge variety, with an absorbent tip hidden beneath a cap at one end and the results window approximately midway on the stick that you hold. These test are designed to peed on rather than dipped in urine and you should hold the absorbent end in a stream of urine for three seconds. I'm not sure why that specific amount of time, or what would happen if you left it there longer, but there must be a reason. Once you've peed on the stick, you simply need to replace the cap, place the test on a horizontal surface and wait for the results to appear.
The instructions state that a result should be visible within three minutes, but if not to wait another minute and look again. Results can take up to ten minutes to appear and if a positive result appears after this time-scale it should be ignored as evaporation lines (grey/colourless lines that look almost positive) can appear after this time. As with the majority of pregnancy tests available today, the FRER can give one of three results. If two lines appear then the hormone HCG (which is generally only secreted in pregnancy) has been detected and you are probably pregnant. If a single line appears in the control area (furthest from the wet end) then the hormone has not been detected and you are either most probably not pregnant, or simply not far enough along to be excreting enough HCG to trigger the test. If no lines appear or one line appears in the test area and none in the control then the test is invalid and you will need to retest.
While I cannot find exactly what level of HCG these tests will react to, I am assuming that it is 10mui, as they claim to give a result so early. While the manufacturer claims that these tests are 99% accurate on the day your period is due this does reduce significantly the earlier you take the test. At five days before your period is due, the tests are only able to pick up a pregnancy 62% of the time, at four days it is 78%, three 87% and two 98%, so if you are testing early then you may get a negative result and still indeed be pregnant. With these types of early pregnancy test it is also possible that they may pick up a very early pregnancy that is not viable and ends with a period at the normal time (chemical pregnancy).
I first used these tests several months ago when I was desperate to get pregnant after a miscarriage and was testing well before each period. Other than the fact that the packaging was difficult to open and it was quite a challenge to differentiate between these and the standard tests, I found them easy to use. With previous tests I always got a very obvious negative result with no evaporation lines, but I did notice that unlike most home pregnancy tests the lines are very thin. This month I had already had some very faint positives on very cheap tests and was looking for confirmation and was hoping that as these test are marketed as giving a positive result earlier than any other test on the market I would get a somewhat stronger line on them at four days before my period was due.
While for most people the best time of day to take a pregnancy test is first thing in the morning, for some reason I test better at lunchtime, so this is when I took the test. I checked a result after three minutes, fully expecting at least a very faint line to be visible without needing to squint, to be disappointed. After another minute, there was what could possibly have been interpreted as a positive result, only the line was so thin that it was hard to tell, and that is my major problem with these tests. I did indeed get a very faint positive four days before my period was due, but the line was so thin it was hard to see, if anything it was harder to see than the line on the 10p tests. As I had bought a twin pack of tests, I decided use the second test a couple of days later to see if the line had darkened any, which it had, but I still found that the thinness of the line made comparison difficult.
While these tests do indeed do what they say on the tin and detect early pregnancies, I can't really recommend them. For one thing there are other tests that will detect pregnancy just as early for far less money (the cheap ultra early one steps). Also with the pregnancy being confirmed so early there is a chance that it is not viable and will end in a regular period, which means that if you have already suffered losses you will have a few days extra stress and want to retest regularly to ensure the line is getting darker, and these are simply not economical for this. My final problem with these tests is that the actual test lines on them are simply too thin and make reading the results harder than it should be. I'm therefore giving the First Response Early Response pregnancy tests three stars out of five, as although they do work there are cheaper alternatives available that work just as well and are easier to read
Summary: Although they do work there are much cheaper options available