You can usually use this type of pregnancy test from a few days before your period is due and you can use it as far into pregnancy as you would need to use it. The body continues to produce hCG the entire pregnancy. This is why it can be done even later in pregnancy with good results.
You can purchase this form of pregnancy test from many places. This includes:
- A pharmacy
- A grocery store
- Various dollar stores
These tests are all basically the same. Though the prices will vary in range from a dollar to close to twenty dollars for a single test. You can also buy multiple packs of tests for a few dollars to closer to thirty dollars.
The more expensive tests don’t necessarily buy you any more accuracy. Though they may have various features that you like. Examples of things you might find here would be digital pregnancy tests that read “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” as opposed to a typical two line or plus mark for a positive pregnancy test. Some women really like this feature, while others would prefer to see if the line is faint.
These tests are often the same tests that are used in many physician’s and midwive’s offices when you have a pregnancy test done there. Many practitioners do not even repeat a pregnancy test if you come into the office with a home pregnancy test that has been positive. Exceptions might be made if you had a test result that was different than what you expected or if you require a blood test. A urine test cost at your practitioner’s office will vary in cost. You should ask before it is done, even if you have insurance. So the cost may be as little as your co-pay or as much as one hundred dollars or more to include the visit.
A blood test will cost more. This test also measures hCG, but in your blood. Your practitioner may order this to confirm a pregnancy of to look at a specific number of hCG found. By repeating this test and watching the hCG numbers, she can tell you something about the health of your pregnancy. In a normal pregnancy, the hCG about doubles every 48 hours. The cost of a blood test may also be covered by insurance, but if you are paying out of pocket, you will need to talk to the lab who does the test about their cost. You will pay them separately from your practitioner. This makes this a more expensive test for most people, which is why it is generally reserved for complicated pregnancies.
There are also places to get free pregnancy tests or low cost pregnancy tests. These tests are usually the urine pregnancy test. They may be given by medical personal or people who are volunteers with no medical knowledge. You can usually also find sliding scale pregnancy tests through your local health department.
Truthfully, the best bet for most women is going to be the dollar store tests. These are inexpensive enough that you can buy a couple to keep on hand. (They also sell ovulation prediction kits.) This can be easily done in the privacy of your own home without a lot of added expense. If you get a positive pregnancy test, be sure to call your doctor or midwife right away to schedule prenatal care.
See also: Unexpected Pregnancy Test Results