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Home Pregnancy Tests Vs Doctor’s Pregnancy Tests

So you’re wondering if you are pregnant and you want to take a pregnancy test to find out. At-home pregnancy tests or tests administered by doctors, which one do you choose? It’s can be a hard decision, especially if money or age are considerations. The most important thing to do is make sure there’s a chance you are pregnant. Some tests can be expensive, so if they are done unnecessarily it can be a waste of time and money. Other times women jump the gun and test too early, when their period is only a few days late.

Regardless of why you are taking the test, it’s important to figure out how you will take it. Below we will go over the advantages and disadvantages of at-home test kits and doctor-administered tests.

At-Home Pregnancy Tests

Many women take at-home pregnancy tests to find out whether they are pregnant or not. These tests look for the hormone hCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, in a woman’s urine. Some find them reliable, while others end up going to see the doctor anyway. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of taking a home pregnancy test.

Advantages:

  • Found easily in stores or online
  • Have a 97% accuracy rate if done correctly
  • Can be done in the privacy of your own home
  • Don’t have to fill out paperwork or sit in a doctor’s office
  • Generally cost effective
  • Immediate results

Disadvantages:

  • If not done correctly, can give false results
  • Test not administered by a trained professional
  • Cheaper kits do not provide greater accuracy

Doctor Administered Pregnancy Tests

Many women who try an at-home pregnancy test first end up in a doctor’s office. When you go to a doctor’s office for a pregnancy test, they test your blood instead of your urine, which improves accuracy. There are advantages and disadvantages to going to a clinic or hospital to have a pregnancy test done.

Advantages:

  • In some cases, pregnancy tests can be free
  • Greater accuracy, up to 99%
  • Can be done anonymously, without parental consent
  • Test administered by a professional

Disadvantages:

  • Spending time in a doctor’s office filling out forms
  • Can sometimes be more expensive
  • Have to wait up to a week or longer before getting results
  • Though rare, false results are still possible

Each way has its advantages and disadvantages. You have to consider your comfort and how much time you can afford to spend waiting for results. If you aren’t getting the test done too soon (meaning you’re waiting until you’ve missed a period), if you are experiencing pregnancy symptoms, and if you have the money to spend, then it’s okay to go through with your test, however you choose.

    [Page updated June 2017]