Roaming the aisles of a drugstore to buy a pregnancy test can be overwhelming. They're not exactly cheap, and all the boxes seem pretty much identical. Not to mention, you're extremely anxious because you're about to determine whether or not you're pregnant. It's a big deal!
Understanding what an OTC pregnancy test actually does might make using them seem less daunting. Pregnancy tests are designed to pick up a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, Caitlin McAllister, MD, chief Ob/Gyn resident at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital told Refinery29. When a person is pregnant, hCG is secreted in their blood and, later on, their urine — and that's why you pee on the test sticks.
Most pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate. But no test is perfect, because there's always a chance that people won't use it 100% correctly. In theory, peeing on a stick is pretty straightforward, but in a 2008 study, 1 in 4 women misread a line on a pregnancy test. Another study from 2009 found that most pregnancy-test instructions are too difficult to read and understand. So it's not always foolproof.
Given that there's room for error, we found the most accurate, easy-to-use pregnancy tests that you can buy at the drug store. And if you still don't trust a fancy stick to tell you whether or not you're pregnant, give your doctor a call — they'll administer a test in the office, and help you figure out what's next.