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Is There A Bun In Your Oven?
Tesco Pregnancy Test
Member Name: sandemp
Tesco Pregnancy Test
Advantages: Cheap and work
Disadvantages: Only use from day period due, need to interpret result yourself
About a week ago a little suspicion started to gnaw away at the back of my mind, I was starting to feel distinctly hormonal, my boobs were tender and I was feeling just a little bit pregnant. Already having five children (ranging from 2 to 21), I know the feeling well, but to make sure I asked my partner to pick me up a cheap pregnancy test from Tesco. What he came back with were these Basic Pregnancy tests that are sold both singly and in twin packs, costing £3.97 for the twin. The first thing I'm going to say is that if you're looking for a pregnancy test that you can rip open and use in the supermarket toilets, this is not it. With both the single and twin packs the actual box they came in is held within a plastic enclosure that is almost impossible to get into without a very sharp pair of scissors.
Once you do manage to get the box open you are faced with an instruction leaflet and either one or two foil sachets (depending on whether you bought the twin or single pack) containing the actual pregnancy test. These foil sachets are easy to open, but I would recommend at least glancing through the instruction leaflet before doing so, even if like me you are quite a pro at using these tests. The test itself looks rather like a digital thermometer, and has a cap at one end that when removed reveals the test strip that needs to be soaked in urine. The instructions state that this test can be used from the day that your period is due and can be used at any time of the day, but the most accurate results will occur if you test the first wee of the morning. The leaflet suggests two ways of soaking the strip with urine, to hold it in the stream as you wee (no thank you) or wee in a cup and dip it in this for at least ten seconds. A cup to pee in is not provided, but a disposable cup works fine, or if you are desperate you could try using the pouch the test was supplied in. (If you do get a positive result, get used to the idea of peeing in a cup/bottle, because you will be doing it a lot).
Once the strip has been soaked in urine, the cap should be replaced and the test laid on a flat surface for three minutes while it works it's magic. As the urine makes it's way through the test a red tide mark will work it's way through the two test windows, leaving a line in either one or both of them depending on the result. The leaflet states that you should get a result within three minutes, if not should wait a further minute and should not read the test after ten minutes as there is the possibility of an evaporation line forming. As with all home pregnancy tests, these tests measure and react to a hormone produced in early pregnancy called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), the amount of which increases rapidly in early pregnancy. Although the instructions do not state what level of this hormone they can detect, as it can only be used from the day your period is due, it is in no way the most sensitive on the market.
Once the test is complete one of three possible results will be displayed. If there is a line in both the square test window and the circular control window then the hormone has been detected and you are most probably pregnant (there are a few other reasons the hormone can be in your body). If there is a single line in the control window and none in the test window, then the hormone has not been detected and you are either not pregnant or not far along enough to have a detectable concentration and if your period has not arrived within a week you should retest. If there is no line within the control window, even if there is one within the test, then the test has malfunctioned and you should use another test. As far as the positive result goes it does not matter if the line in the test window is fainter than that in the control, as long as it is there you have a positive result.
As with all modern pregnancy tests these are considered more than 99% accurate at detecting hCG in the urine, but there are other factors that need to be taken into account. A negative result may not mean that you are not pregnant, it just means that the test was unable to detect the hCG, this may be because you are not far enough along to be producing a detectable level of the hormone or that you are not pregnant. There are also some drugs and conditions that can give a false positive, such as ovarian cysts. So you should always go to the doctor to have your positive result confirmed, even though doctors rarely retest as the home tests are now as accurate as any hospital test on urine and can only really be beaten by blood tests.
I've actually used three of these tests over the last week and a half, using the first test when I first suspected I was pregnant, which was a day or so before my period was actually due. Rather stupidly I didn't wait until the morning, but took the test last thing at night, thinking that as I usually have high hCG levels even before my period is due that I would get a result. Apart from actually getting in the box, taking the test was as easy as any I have taken. I peed in a pot, dipped the stick and then waited for the result, which came back negative. I must say the result was very easy to read, but I wasn't convinced that I wasn't pregnant, so decided to wait the week before sending my partner for more tests, this time a twin pack.
I used the second test once more in the evening, following the same process of peeing in a pot and then waiting for a result. After three minutes I couldn't really see anything in the test window, but by five minutes there was a very faint line. Knowing that the result is the same no matter how faint the line, I was pretty sure I was pregnant, but I repeated the test the next morning to get a much clearer second line. As this was a brand of pregnancy test I hadn't used previously, I did buy a more expensive test the next day, which confirmed the result.
These are in no way the most advanced pregnancy tests, you do have to interpret the results yourself and they do not tell you how far along you are, but neither are they the most basic (that would be test that are simply test strips). I do like the way that they are enclosed and once the lid is replaced there is no urine dripping, and I like the fact that unlike digital tests the results don't disappear as the battery runs out, meaning they can be shown to the Daddy later in the day or kept as a keepsake. What would probably cause problems for those who are inexperienced in reading pregnancy tests is that the test line can be very, very faint and the result still positive, it's easy to believe your eyes are deceiving you.
All in all, I think I would recommend these pregnancy tests, they certainly worked for me and are far cheaper than (and just as good as) the big name brands. My only slight concern is that the resulting line in the test window can be very faint, so for this reason I'm giving the Tesco Pregnancy tests four stars out of five.
Summary: A great alternative to more expensive brands