* Prices may differ from that shown
At the end of last summer, my husband and I decided that the timing was never going to be right to have a baby and therefore, instead of putting it off any longer we should really bite the bullet. We both really want children but realising that there was never going to be the "perfect time" i.e. when we had enough money in the bank and a big enough house, we decided that I should come off my reliable contraceptive and begin trying. Over the next couple of months I would patiently wait until around three days before my period was due before making a trip to my local pharmacy to buy the required pregnancy test and see whether we had conceived that month. Pregnancy tests are, in my opinion, quite expensive when you are testing regularly and therefore quite quickly I realised that I was literally burning money and so instead looked for a cheaper alternative. Browsing on Amazon, of all places, I came across these One Step pregnancy tests, and at £2.80 for 15 I was willing to give them a try.
**How do they work?**
These pregnancy test strips work by detecting the presence of the hormone H.C.G in your body and this hormone is produced once the embryo has attached itself to the lining of the uterus. After doing a good deal of research on the subject, I believe that it takes around seven days on average for the fertilised egg to attach itself to the womb lining although with this pregnancy test they do advise that it is taken anywhere after four days before the first day that your period if due. Apparently there are few things which can affect the accuracy of this test and alcohol, oral contraceptives and antibiotics will not affect the accuracy although any drugs containing H.C.G. can produce a false positive.
**Using the test strips**
After receiving my envelope of test strips through the post, I was keen to understand exactly how they worked before I took one. Fortunately my pack of 15 strips came individually sealed in little foil sachets and were presented in a clear sealed plastic bag which also contained a small page of information about the tests. The information was clearly written in a manner that I found easy to understand and gave a little bit of information on how these strips work and what to do with them. It was useful to me that these strips can be used at any time of day although personally I believe that if you test early i.e. four days before a missed period it is probably best to use the first wee of the day as it contains higher concentrations of H.C.G.
Unlike stick pregnancy tests (or cassette if you use the correct word) these strips work best when dipped into a pot of urine rather than held midstream. Indeed, it is of my opinion that you would struggle to hold these steadily without splashing and creating a right mess. The strips are predominantly white in colour and feel quite flimsy in construction being made of a thick cardboard material. They are actually quite small strips when you get them out of their foil sachets at around 90mm long by around 50mm wide. On the top of the strip the stick is divided into two halves with one half being blue in colour and the other white. On the white end of the stick is the area where you conduct the test and this is shown as a blue line with the word 'MAX' shown on it indicating the level at which the strip should be dunked. It is important to keep the urine level within the line of the test or else you render the test result void and have to open another one. Once the test has been completed a pink line will appear just below the blue half of the stick called the 'control line' to show that the test is working and a positive result will be shown with the appearance of a second pink line. Although quite a simplistic way to conduct a test, I liked the simplicity as I found it easy to understand and even easier to conduct.
In my case, I was actually on a weekend away at the time my period was due and I therefore decided to wait a couple of days after my period was due before testing. I had done a couple of test previously and with two negative results I was feeling slightly despondent, yet somehow I had an inner feeling that this month was going to be different. The lack of a period also confirmed this suspicion. Once home, I eagerly removed a strip test from the pack and prepared my pot of urine for testing, not the most pleasant of tasks but still a necessity although fortunately I was in possession of a disposable cup. My information leaflet said that you should ideally place the test strip into the urine for ten seconds before removing and laying on a flat surface to develop, however I have since read online that results can be obtained from as little as a three second dip. Nonetheless, I followed the ten second rule and religiously counted down the seconds before removing the strip and leaving on a flat surface. Within seconds a pink line appeared to show that the test strip was working and, after five minutes, I returned to my stick to interpret the results.
My strip showed a very faint pink line in the area where the positive result should show. Reading the leaflet again I understood that no matter how faint the line was, any line was still a positive and so I shrieked excitedly to my husband to tell him the good news. As I did my test in the afternoon (I couldn't wait until morning) I did re-test the next day to double check the results using my morning pee and this time the line was a dark pink, a definite positive.
As a result of my experiences, I do think that these strips are an excellent product and offer a cheap solution to what can be an expensive event should you test with regularity. These tests are easy to interpret and, as long as you have a disposable cup, are very simple to perform. Being pregnant, I did use one of these strips every couple of weeks before my first scan just to reassure myself and with the excellent value for money of these strips I wasn't worrying about the cost. Perhaps my only criticisms of these particular strips revolve around the fact that whilst they do confirm a pregnancy, they do not give any indication of how far along you are, although if you keep a regular track of cycles you should know this anyway. In addition, they are not the most hygienic of tests as they do not have a cap to put over the test strip and therefore you wouldn't want to keep them as a memento.
Overall these strips represent excellent value for money and have been an accurate indication of my pregnancy result and therefore I would recommend them. As a result they score a very good four stars from me and I will be turning back to them in the future, assuming that we are fortunate enough to have another baby in the future.
I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x
Before I start writing this review let me make one thing clear - I do not want any more children. I've got four of the little, umm, darlings and frankly another one would be overkill - with this in mind I've spent the past few days in a bit of a tizzy after forgetting my contraceptive pill even existed for over a week, and some suspect belly aches had my mind working overtime. I refuse to pay Clearblue prices as an increase of £10 for a super-duper plastic casing is a liberty in my opinion, playing on the insecurities of the would-be mother (or in my case don't-want-to-be mother!) - a Poundland test will give the same result (albeit a little later on in the pregnancy) and my One Step Pregnancy tests were an even bigger bargain as I only paid 25p for it in my little local discount shop. Well 50p really as I bought two, just in case of a dodgy test and also to check the result.
So, what do you get for your 25p? Well, not a lot in terms of physical items - but the same peace of mind as if you were using Clearblue. After all, when you have a pregnancy test done at the doctors or A&E they use simple test strips - it's not the aforementioned casing which gives you the result, it's the absorbent end and section where the all important lines develop! If I can check for 25p I'll do that rather than spend silly money on something which does the same thing, despite the bells and whistles. Mine came in the form of a small paper sachet inside which was nothing more than a foil wrapped pregnancy strip test, a brief sheet of instructions and a single latex glove. With a hole in it. Good start, eh? I believe the same One Step tests are available in larger numbers in a cylindrical tube where you will receive 50 of the useful little strips, although I didn't pay any attention to those as I knew I wouldn't need that many as mine was going to be a straightforward case of yay or nay.
To use the strips you need a clean pot to collect a sample of urine, I used an old egg cup which I then served Mark a boiled egg in (only joking, I used his shot glass) and attempted to wee into it without a) weeing on my hand and b) dripping fresh urine all over my trousers as I moved the shot glass out from the toilet area and nearer to the sink so I could dip my stick. It says on the instruction pamphlet that I need to hold the strip in the urine for a maximum of twenty seconds, but after this time had elapsed the absorbent end hadn't soaked up enough for the liquid to reach the test area so I left it in for a further ten seconds until I was sure there was enough urine on the stick to give me a result. After this I lay the stick down over the top of the shot glass and wandered off, heart racing, to fill another shot glass - this time with something of a higher ABV than my urine. Yes, I had done the test first thing in the morning and yes, I did glug back a shot of brandy while waiting for my test to develop - I'm not an alcoholic, this time I was drinking in the morning because I was terrified of what the test was going to reveal.
I left my test for around five minutes before going back and checking for lines, the line to show it was working appeared pretty much immediately so I was confident that I was going to get an accurate result and remembered from previous tests that the results must be read within ten minutes to prevent a false positive so didn't want to wait too long - and anyway my nerves couldn't have withstood a longer wait!
Negative! And thank CHRIST for that! It was quite clearly negative as the control line was sharp and clear and there was obviously nothing in the space reserved for the 'oh shit' line, happy days! If I'd been pregnant there would have been a second line which I understand would become darker and more prominent the further into my pregnancy I was - as the pregnancy hormones kicked in these would have reacted with the chemicals used to create the test, leaving little room for doubt regarding your pregnancy status once you reach a certain point (usually the end day of when your first missed period would have come and gone).
I retook the test a few days later to be doubly sure and again received a negative result (hurrah!), I obviously didn't need to take it again as the first had been accurate - which begs the question why us girls feel the need to take again a cheap test but put our faith in Clearblue the very first time?!
Anyway, I fully recommend One Step to confirm a pregnancy (or in my case, to stop me fretting about one!). At 25p it was money well spent, even the usual price of £1.39 (as seen in Lloyds) is a vast improvement on Clearblue prices - of course if it's your first baby you might want the excitement of using Clearblue (especially now they have the indicator of how far along you are) but after using so many pregnancy tests over the years I can honestly say I'd much rather go for the cheapie option and spend the difference on some baby socks. Or in this case a bottle of champagne to celebrate!
When we were trying for a baby (and happily conceived my son) a couple of years ago, these were the tests that I used. I have never been the patient sort and waiting for my period to arrive was too much to bear so I wanted an early test that would give me a positive result at the earliest possible point. At the same time, I found that pregnancy tests were generally grossly overpriced and I could not justify taking these on a whim. When I came across these on Amazon, they were ideal as they were so cheap. You can purchase in packs of 5, 10, 15,20 or 50 - price varies depending on quantity but the more you get, the cheaper the individual price. A pack of 20 cost £2.45, and bearing in mind individual tests can sell at £7 plus in supermarkets and chemists, this represents tremendous value.
For those unfamiliar, pregnancy tests work by detecting the pregnancy hormone hCG in your urine. This is secreted by the placenta shortly after fertilisation - about 6 days after conception. So, these tests are described as 'ultra early' tests and can give a positive result up to four days before your period is actually due.
The tests are very basic. They arrive in a clear plastic bag (I ordered from Amazon and they were very discretely packaged). Each test is in a foil pouch which is sealed. This has the product labelling and some instructions written on - although the main instructions come in a paper insert in the main packet. The pouch can be easily ripped open to reveal the test and a silicate pouch to maintain freshness and prevent dampness etc. The test is a small cardboard strip - quite thin and short. One end is coloured blue and the other white, with a line labelled 'max'. To use the test, you urinate in a clean cup (ideally first thing in the morning as this is when the hCG, if present, will be most concentrated) and dip the white end into the urine for around 10 seconds, ensuring it does not rise any further than the max line. You then need to wait patiently for any lines to appear - a control and a positive line if pregnant. These appear in red.
I found the tests very easy to use and very reliable too. When pregnant with my son they did give me a very early positive result. I love the fact that they are so cheap that I can take one just out of curiosity (and impatience!). They are also small and discrete so you can dispose of them easily too. I thoroughly recommend these to anyone to conceive.
Following a miscarriage about six months ago I was looking for some cheap pregnancy tests that would allow me to check that all the pregnancy hormones had left my body and then test in the following months to see if they had made a reappearance Although they are all designed to react to a hormone that is only present during pregnancy (HcG), the price of pregnancy tests can vary wildly, with the most expensive retailing at upwards of £10. The One Step pregnancy tests fall at the other end of the scale, I picked up 100 from Amazon for the ridiculously low price of just £8.95, making them less than 10p each.
As with all pregnancy tests, these very basic test strips detect HcG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is a hormone that is generally only secreted during pregnancy. However unlike the majority of test that will give a positive when levels reach 25,50 or even 100miu, these tests are ultra sensitive and can give a positive result when there is only 10miu of HcG present, meaning that they can be used earlier than the majority of tests. The flip side to both the lower price and higher sensitivity is that these tests are very basic and the actual instructions are minimal.
The tests themselves are supplied in foil packaging, with each package containing a single test along with a sachet of silica that will help keep it dry. The packages are easy to open and are printed with very basic instructions. We are told to dip the test in urine but not told how long for and are informed of what a positive, negative and invalid result looks like. Unlike far more expensive tests these small thin strips cannot be used by being held in a stream of urine, they need to be dipped and so you will need a small clean pot to pee in. Personally I have a special pot that I keep for this purpose, but a plastic disposable cup would do the job as well as anything else. Looking on the Amazon web page, the seller states that these tests can be used any time of day from four days before your period is due, but for most people the best time to take these tests is first thing in the morning. I'm strange though and get best results about lunchtime.
Once the pee is in the pot, the stick needs to be dipped in to absorb the urine and it's not only obvious which way round it goes, but also how far with the clear maximum line. Although there are no instructions telling me how long to dip, I generally hold it in the urine for approximately 15 seconds and then lay it on a flat surface to work it's magic (the foil pack is perfect for protecting whatever you are placing it on from yellow stains). Within minutes a pink tide can be seen making it's way up the stick leaving either one or two lines in it's wake. In some cases results can be read instantly, but if the levels of HcG are very low it can take up to ten minutes for the results to reveal themselves. However the test should not be read after this time as it is possible for evaporation lines to appear. Once those ten minutes are up one of three results is possible, if there are two lines viable, no matter how faint the second line then it is positive. If there is only one line and it is closest to the handle (rather than the dipping end) then it is negative. The final result is a faulty test and this is when there are no lines or only one line and it's closest to the dipping end.
Over the last 6 months I have used all 100 of these tests and must say that not once have I had an invalid result and neither have I had an evaporation line (this is where a grey line can appear). I've always preferred red dye tests to blue as I find they are less prone to these evaporation lines and easier to read when the positive line is very faint, so I was glad that these use red dye. While many will find the fact that these are dip sticks a disadvantage, I prefer this method and even dip those posh wand sticks rather than holding them in a stream of pee. When the results have been negative, this has been very obvious, with stark white where the second line would have been, so far so good.
The spiel on Amazon states that these tests are 99% accurate when used four days before your period is due, but I have found them even more sensitive than that. I recently began to feel a little bit icky six days before the witch was due to make an appearance and decided to use one of these tests. This was about midday (which is the best time for me to test), and just before the ten minutes was up a very faint second line appeared. I will admit that it was very difficult to see the line but it was there. Not believing the result, I tried another test (this is where the fact they were only 10p each becomes a real boon) and again there was a second line. Over the next three days I must have tested every time I peed, with the line getting steadily darker, until I was confident enough to try a more expensive test which confirmed the result. So despite being ridiculously cheap these tests are accurate, with both negative and positive results. In fact my only problem with these tests is that as I have recently suffered a loss and got a positive so early, I have needed to continue to POAS (Pee On A Stick) regularly to ensure that the line is darkening daily and these don't seem to go as dark as some other tests, but they are cheap enough to make sure the line isn't getting any lighter. It's very early days yet, but these cheap and cheerful tests have certainly given me peace of mind that everything is on track.
Although very basic these tests do exactly what it says on the tin, that is give a very early indicator of pregnancy. I used these tests to "test out" a miscarriage and then each month to see if I had managed to catch the egg. Until this month I had always got negative results, which were correct as I wasn't pregnant. This month I got a very faint line 6 days before AF was due and this line got progressively darker. I will say that the point at which they refused to darken further was a little earlier than other tests, but these are perfect for POAS addicts.
When I first bought these, years ago, the seller claimed they were "high sensivity" measuring 10miu of the pregnancy hormone, HCG, in the urine. I was soon to discover this was not true.
I buy these off ebay for about 10p each, much cheaper than most high street brands of pregnancy tests.
To distinguish these from the One Step Ovulation tests, these strips are blue rather than green. You might ask how you can get confused between the two, but honestly, it really is possible to accidentally urinate on an ovulation test, see a line and think you're pregnant...
Each test is individually wrapped with a little pack to keep away moisture.
Ease of Use
Simply rip open the packet, discard the little packet and dip your test in a cup of fresh urine, for at least 10 seconds and wait no more than 10 minutes to read. Do not go over the max line and do not urinate directly on the stick as this usually results in a smeary and unclear test with unreliable results.
If you are desperate, I have recently discovered that you can urinate inside the packet itself and then dip the test in there.
When to test
Realistically you shouldn't test for pregnant before about 10 days past ovulation, or 4 days before your period is due. If you do test that early, I would recommend a very sensitive test, these cheap tests are not going to provide a readable result until at least 12 days after ovulation, or 2 days before your period is due.
Reading the Results
If there is a second line within the time limit of 10 minutes, the test is positive and you are indeed pregnant. Congratulations...or commiserations depending on your situation. It doesn't matter how faint the second line is, if it's there you're pregnant.
Some cheap tests are well know for giving false positive readings. But not the one step. In fact you are far more likely to see a false negative result. These tests are nowhere near as sensitive as they claim. When I actually did get pregnant and used these tests, the line was so faint at 11 days past ovulation, I wasn't sure it was there at all. I spent most of the day wondering if I was or not. In the end I got a much more expensive first response test, which claims to measure 25miu of HCG, rather than the 10miu on these tests and I got a clear, easy to see, nice and dark pink line.
So while I have never got a line when I wasn't pregnant, and there has never been false hope, I wouldn't rely on these to give me a clear result before my period was due. I'd say around 14 to 15 days past ovulation, you might get a clear pink line, before that I would rather use a much more sensitive test.
I wouldn't recommend these if your period is not late yet, if you like to test early then I'd try a first response for better accuracy. If your period is late then these will be perfect to give an honest and reliable result to that every nagging questions...am I pregnant?
I purchased One Step Pregnancy Test Strips from Poundland, £1 for 2 strips. I didn't seriously think I was pregnant, I just wanted to rule it out as I was feeling ill and bloated. For 50p a test, it was a good way to put my mind at rest.
They are very very basic. Rather than being in a plastic casing which you hold in a stream of urine these are very simple, thin strips which you dip into a cup of urine (which I actually found very very easy to use). If when the urine soaks up the strip a clear red line appears, you are pregnant.
Well, I was! So I did the second test to be absolutely sure. I was amazed (but happy!) now, I have to admit, I then went out and bought a fancy £10 Clearblue test to do with my husband later on. But I cannot fault these One Step strips, I was sceptical as they are very basic and from Poundland but if you are trying for a baby and just want a first indication then they are great to have in the house - a cheap way of knowing if you are expecting before spending money on a more advanced and expensive test.
So, for me, 5/5 - as a pregnancy test they are basic, but they are ridiculously cheap and extremely accurate. So I can't fault them at all.
Three weeks ago whilst I was on holiday, it suddenly dawned on me that aunt Flo hadn't visited for two months. I know that two months might seem an awful long time to not notice but she isn't the most reliable visitor and her visits can be infrequent.
I wasn't particularly worried about pregnancy as my husband had a vasectomy five years ago, but two months seemed to be a long time and I started to think 'what if ?' I know it is rare but you do hear these stories about ladies becoming pregnant years after their husbands had the snip. It started to play on my mind and I didn't want to spend the whole holiday worrying. So I decided to buy a pregnancy test.
I was quite shocked at how many different choices there were and how the prices went from 99p to £14, surely they all do the same thing - tell you if your pregnant???
I decided to buy a triple pack of the One step pregnancy strips for £2.99.
Whats in the box - There were three pregnancy tests, each strip came individually packaged in a foil wrapper. The strips are very thin approx 3mm wide and about 7 cm long. They are discreet and simple, no fancy casing or digital displays.
There was also clear instructions on how to use the tests and how to read the results. These instructions were also printed on the individual wrapper.
How to use - The instructions recommended conducting the test first thing in the morning but said that it would still work at any time of the day. The tests are really easy to use.
* Collect a urine sample in a clean, dry container
* Place the test strip into the container up to the blue marker line
* Leave for 30 seconds
* Place on a flat surface for five minutes
* Read results -
* Two lines = pregnant,
* One line = not pregnant
* No lines = Test invalid
You should not read the test after ten minutes, as the results may be wrong.
I found the tests incredibly easy to use, and the instructions were basic and jargon free.
I would have preferred to 'wee' directly onto the test as it's more hygienic and less messy but I didn't think this privilege was worth an additional five pounds.
I these tests would be a fantastic option for people who are trying for a baby and regularly buy pregnancy tests.
I bought mine from a little chemist, but I have since seen them in the pound shop and Wilkinsons.
My tests were negative and aunt Flo is back on track with her visiting, I am pleased I bought these as it put my mind at rest and I could enjoy my holiday without niggling thoughts.
One Step Pregnancy Test Strips
A lot of people find out that once you start trying for a baby it doesn't always happen the first month of trying. Sometimes it can take months and in some cases even years so quite often you find that you are buying lots of pregnancy tests. When trying for my daughter it took me several months before I fell pregnant so I was constantly taking pregnancy tests which was starting to cost a considerable amount of money. So I decided to go online and see if I could find a cheap alternative to the shop's more expensive brands.I came across these tests online and bought 50 of them and yes to my embarrassment I used all of them lol! I was very anxious and eager to become a mummy. I also purchased ovulation test strips which I found useful as well.
**WHAT IT THE PRODUCT**
Well basically they are test strips so you can test your urine to see if you are producing HCG (Human Chorlonic Gonadotrophin) hormone. This hormone is produced when you are pregnant and can be found in your urine. The particular tests that I decided to buy were very sensitive and would pick up 10 mIU of the hormone in your urine. Most tests in the shop are 25 mIU so I thought that this would be a good thing as I could find out sooner if I was pregnant. They are basically a cheap and no frills version of a pregnancy test that you can find in a shop.
These tests come in a foil packaging which is very simple and to the point. They are individually packaged in small rectangular foil pieces that are white in colour. The front of the foil has a picture of the test itself so you can see what the test looks like. It is just a strip with a blue part at the top for you to hold. It tells you what the product is on the front as well in blue writing. The back of the foil gives you instructions on how to use. There is a tear in the foil so you can open it easily when you are going to use it. This leaves it easier when you are scrambling around all nervous about the results.
**THE ACTUAL TEST STRIP**
Is a small thin strip in fact it was way smaller than I had imaged at first as most pregnancy tests that you buy are very large. The top of the strip (the part you hold onto) is blue in colour. At the bottom of the strip there is a marker in dark blue which says max. You do not go over this line when you are dipping your test strip into your urine as it will not give you accurate results then.
**HOW TO USE**
You will have to collect your urine in a clean container. This is not provided when you buy the tests so you will have to get something yourself. Something that is large enough for you to collect your urine easily. It is advised that you take your test first thing in the morning as this is the best time and not to drink more fluids than usual as this will dilute your urine and therefore it may not pick up the hormone.
Once you have collected your urine in your container you open your test and hold it by the blue end. The other end you dip into your urine making sure not to go over the maximum line. Hold the test strip in the urine for 10 seconds and you will see it move up the stick. Even if you don't see is move up the stick you still need to take it out after 10 seconds. Then lay the test strip on a flat surface and wait for the control line to appear. This control line will appear after the maximum line and before the blue part you hold onto. To get a result doesn't take long, it never took me any longer than 2-3 minutes maximum.
**READING YOUR RESULTS**
This is the important part and really it is very straight forward to read. If you are pregnant there will be two lines. If you are not pregnant or there isn't enough of the hormone in your body yet there will be one line.
It is rare to get a fake positive result though I have heard of it happen before. This never happened to me. If you get a negative result you still could be pregnant. You could have just tested too soon and if your period has not came within a few days I would advise you to test again.
It cost me £13.00 for 50 tests which I thought was fantastic value for money. I am one of those people who have no patience and would test at the first opportunity. As these tests were very cheap I felt I could test when I wanted without feeling guilty of wasting lots of money. This is not always necessarily a good thing as I was tormenting myself a lot taking tests.I never got a fake positive and the month I was pregnant this test showed up a positive before any others that I tried.
I had been testing the month I was pregnant and I found out I was pregnant a couple of days before my period was due. This test picked it up before a clear blue one did. The only problem was that the line was very faint and when I asked my husband to check that it was a positive he wasn't so sure. As I had been taking the tests so often I knew that I had never seen even a faint line before so I got excited and went and bought a more expensive test. It came up negative.
My period still didn't come so I kept testing every day and the line got darker and darker gradually. On the day my period was due a more expensive test came up that I was pregnant. So these tests had gave me my result way before any others.
When I was 5 weeks pregnant the line still was fainter than the control line and I started to bleed. I was taken to hospital and I was told that I had possibly lost my baby and I had to come back in a week to get another scan to check if the baby was still there. Every day I took a test to see if I was pregnant which was probably silly because even if I had lost the baby I still may have had the hormone in my body as I had been pregnant. However each day my test showed up a stronger line which I seen as a good sign and it helped me through the hard time of waiting. Thankfully I my baby was ok and she is now a happy, healthy 3 month old.
The only bad thing about these tests is that when you do get a positive you are constantly checking at it to see if it is a strong enough line. I felt the tests saved me a lot of money and did the job good. I double checked with a more expensive brand once it said that I was pregnant and it ended up picking it up before the more expensive brands.
When looking for pregnancy tests, you can spend an absolute fortune on them, or not. My opinion on the matter was that there are better things you can pay for like vitamins. There is no need for anything that costs a bomb.
The appeal to these ones were i could buy 5 including the cost of their postage for £1.25. Some shops sell a couple for a £1, but wherever they are from, they are cheaper than the digital version that is around £7.50 for 2.
What is a pregnancy test?
A pregnancy test is a home diagnostic test that detects the level of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) that is present in a pregnant females urine. If you have never done a pregnancy test, they are placed in urine for at least 10 seconds, and the strip has a band that changes colour if the hormone is present at a high enough level. If there is not enough of the hormone, or you are not pregnant it registers a negative result. (To reassure those of you who don't want to be pregnant - the level of this hormone shoots up rapidly in the 1st few days of pregnancy, so you are unlikely to get a false result if your period is more than a few days late.)
With this kit, you get a blue line on every test to indicate that it has been used, and if you are pregnant, a second blue line appears about half a centimetre below the 1st line. A negative test shows one blue line.
At this point i should probably say that it is possible for a woman to get a false negative test (ie saying you are not pregnant when you are) but very rare (almost impossible) for a test to say you are pregnant if you are not.
This is where the cost of the strip becomes important. A test like 'clearblue' is the conventional type. You hold the strip directly in the flow of urine, and it has a digital display, and it says 'pregnant' or 'not pregnant' and you get a clear indication immediately from the first day your period is late to tell you if you are pregnant or not.
Some kits come with a little pot that you can collect a sample of your urine in, and then you stand the kit in it so the urine slowly absorbs up the strip to tell you your result.
This type of strip needs to stand in urine for at least 10 seconds. It is most suitable to hold it in a pot of urine until the urine absorbs to a certain level indicated on the strip. A pot is not provided, however a clean pot of any sort (eg an old yoghurt pot) is ideal. By providing your own pot you save a lot of pennies here. This test does not work by holding it in the flow of urine. I've tried it and it does not work.
With this type of test, i have found it is not as certain at detecting your pregnancy in the earlier stages. I did tests every day for a whole week in my 1st pregnancy, and i annoyed my hubbie to death by asking him to try and interpret the results. There was a faint line on the test, but it was so faint you could not be sure at all. With each test it grew steadily darker and we grew more excited.
With my 2nd pregnancy, i got a very strong line on the test 2 days after my period was due.
I think the key with these tests is to appreciate that they are the sort a doctor or midwife would use a few days at least in a pregnancy. They are not as sensitive as the ones like clearblue that can be used even before you miss your period. They are accurate if the level of the hormone is high enough, and once you period is at least a few days late they will show something.
They are not for you if you want an early result or if you are concerned by how basic they are (eg by not including a specimin pot.) Frankly, i would rather spend the extra cash on something good, and i find these are cheap enough to keep in my medicine cabinet for if my period is a bit late and i don't really think i am pregnant but would not want to take a new packet of the contraceptive pill if i were pregnant. Small, discrete, cheap.