Digital Pregnancy Tests: Are They More Accurate?

Digital Pregnancy Tests: Are They More Accurate?

Feeling slightly out of sorts?

Kinda like you’re so tired you can’t possibly leave the couch… 🛋️

Or, perhaps you’ve developed the nose of a bloodhound — and once-loved scents are now nauseating. 🤮

It may be time to take a pregnancy test.

But, which type of pregnancy test should you choose?

With so many options for women out there, from blue dye or pink dye pregnancy tests to blood pregnancy tests, it can be overwhelming knowing which to choose. 😖

That’s why we’re focusing on one type of test today — the mighty digital.

Bringing women’s health into the 21st century, this epitome of modern technology is a fan-favorite among mama’s to be.

So, what’s it all about?

Let’s find out. 👇

In this article: 📝

  • What is a digital pregnancy test?
  • How to use a digital pregnancy test
  • Are digital pregnancy tests accurate?
  • Are digital tests expensive?

What is a digital pregnancy test?

In short, it’s where pregnancy meets technology.

It’s the byproduct of introducing an LCD screen and a small built-in computer into a pregnancy stick, meaning the results are displayed digitally as either:

  • Pregnant/Not pregnant
  • Yes/No

Clever, right?

A lot of women prefer this method to save them from the dreaded line eyes — where you’ve stared at the line on a pregnancy test for so long, you can’t tell what the lines mean anymore. 😵‍💫

It takes away the guesswork, replaced by an ultra-modern test that gives you a definitive answer.

“Sounds great — but what are the downsides?”

We hear you!

First, let’s cover how you’d use your digital pregnancy test and then we’ll get to the pros and cons.

How to use a digital pregnancy test

That’s the best bit — you use a digital pregnancy test in the exact same way as you would a normal test.

The only variables may be wait time (each type of pregnancy test’s wait time varies — always be sure to read the instructions!), and how you read the results.

The peeing on the stick, the agonizing wait, the emotional rollercoaster… that all remains. 🙃

Simply place the absorbent tip into your urine stream (or a cup of urine) for the specified time (some are 10 seconds, some 5…), and then replace the cap, and lay it down flat.

Now the countdown starts. ⏳

If your test is working correctly (more on this later!), you should see a Smart Countdown (or similar), which tells you that it’s all working as it should.

How long does a digital pregnancy test take?

It depends on which brand of test you use but, typically, it takes around 3 minutes.

Clearblue’s digital pregnancy tests produce your result in 3 minutes — and, in some cases, the result may shown in as little as 1 minute.

First Response digital tests also produce results in about 3 minutes.

This can be faster than some traditional non-digital pregnancy tests, and some brands have a wait time of up to 5 minutes (which, in comparison, is excruciatingly long 😅).

Do digital tests have 2 lines?

Nope — digital tests are designed so you no longer need to study lines to work out your result.

Instead, digital results appear in word form — either as ‘Pregnant/Not Pregnant’, or ‘Yes/No’.

So, wave goodbye to line eyes, and say hello to easy-to-read results at what can be an emotional time. ❤️

Will a digital pregnancy test pick up a faint line?

Digital tests avoid the uncertainty of reading faint lines — instead, offering you a definitive result.

Either you’re pregnant, or you’re not.

In some cases on dye tests, faint lines can be mistaken for positive results, but could actually be evaporation lines.

This happens when your pee has evaporated, and too much time has passed between taking the test and then checking the result.

But, digital tests avoid all of that.

Another pro for digital tests!

🔍 Read more: What is an Evaporation Line? 🤔

Are digital pregnancy tests accurate?

According to Clearblue, their digital pregnancy tests are 99% accurate from the day you expect your period.

But, are they more accurate than other types of tests?

One small study seems to think so — with results showing that digital tests offer more benefits to users than traditional non-digital tests.

A larger meta-review of multiple different studies also agrees, saying that digital tests are more accurate because they’re easier to read, removing the need for users to interpret the results — meaning, results are generally that bit more accurate.

So, seriously, what are the downsides?!

We’re getting there… stay with us!

Can a digital test be wrong?

Well, there’s always that little 1% caveat there to keep you on your toes…

No pregnancy test, digital or other, can ever be 100% accurate.

You may have a false-negative (we’ll explore this in more detail later 👇).

Or, you may get a false-positive (but this is more rare).

This could be if you’ve had a recent pregnancy, as your hCG levels can remain detectable for several weeks after, but should disappear by the third week.

Or, you could have had a chemical pregnancy.

You should also keep a sharp eye out for any faulty or expired pregnancy tests, as these can lead to wrong results, too!

🔍 Understand False Positives: Reasons Why False-Positives May Happen

Why is my digital pregnancy test stuck on the clock?

Sometimes, this can happen. 🤷‍♀️

This would then be an invalid test — it may be faulty, or it may have become invalid from user error.

But, it happens — we all make mistakes!

Either way, best to head out to the store to pick up a new one (we know, it’s super frustrating 😖).

Can you still be pregnant if a digital test says no?

Put simply, yes — you can.

But it’s unlikely.

The main reason women have false-negatives is if they are testing too early, or if they’re testing during the day or at night.

Let’s tackle these reasons one at a time:

How soon can digital tests detect pregnancy?

Again, this does depend on the brand.

Clearblue digital ultra tests (AKA, Clearblue’s extra sensitive tests) can detect 78% of pregnancies 6 days before your missed period, and 93% can be spotted 5 days before.

They also say 99% or more could be detected from 4 days before your missed period.

But this does vary by brand.

Most pregnancy tests can accurately detect pregnancy on the first day of your missed period, which is around 10 days after conception.

These tend to detect earlier than the day of your missed period.

But, if you want to be really sure, we’d suggest it’s still best to wait.

Do digital pregnancy tests need more hCG?

Compared to non-digital tests, digital tests may actually require more hCG to detect a result.

Another reason why they suggest waiting until the day of your missed period before testing!

This is because they are generally less sensitive than pink dye or blue dye pregnancy tests.

Something to consider when choosing your type of test! 🤔

Are digital tests expensive?

So, here comes the downside, as promised…

Yes — digital tests are more expensive than non-digital tests.

You can get a pack of 30 pregnancy strips on Amazon for under $12 (which is $0.40 per strip).

A pink/blue dye pregnancy test averages around $2/$3 per test.

But digital pregnancy tests generally work out at more around $4/5 per stick, and that’s typically sold in a multi-test pack.

But hey, that’s the price you pay for accuracy and readability…

A lot of people favor digital tests for this reason.

But, it’s just maybe not so cost-beneficial for our TTC Community! 💰

So, there you have it!

The ins and outs, upsides and downsides of digital pregnancy tests.

Ready to take your test, but you’d like some support from a Community of women in the same boat?

We’ve got you. ❤️

You’re always welcome on Peanut to join the conversation. 🥜


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