Pregnancy tests can be expensive. Whether you’re trying to conceive or trying to avoid pregnancy, it’s important to have a cheaper option available, should you need it. Walmart sells one test for only 88 cents; but you may be wondering – is it accurate?
The Equate First Signal One Step Pregnancy Test, available at Walmart for 88 cents, is 99 percent accurate when used correctly. For best results, test first thing in the morning after the first day of your missed period and seeing two red lines (however faint) means the test is positive and you are pregnant.
It’s easy to say that something works, but I’ve always been a little wary of the cheapest item on the shelf. With that being said, sometimes the job can be done just as well with the cheapest option as it can be with the most expensive. Let’s check out some real-world experiences with this 88 cent Walmart pregnancy test.
What is the Walmart 88 cent pregnancy test?
The Equate First Signal One Step Pregnancy Test is one of the most inexpensive pregnancy tests available and can be found at any Walmart in the family planning aisle or at Walmart.com right here. This is an eyedropper-style test, which requires a woman to collect a urine sample and then use an eyedropper to place a few drops in the test reservoir.
Test results will appear in the result window within one to three minutes. Be sure that you aren’t waiting too long to check the results because after about 10 minutes of being exposed to the air could lead to a false positive for this particular test.
Do the 88 cent pregnancy tests really work?
Walmart pregnancy tests, often called “cheapies,” have a surprisingly good track record. Most women who have tried them find that they work just as well as more expensive tests. They are also rumoured to be the same tests used by most doctors offices.
The reality is that no pregnancy test will be 100% accurate for a variety of reasons. In fact, you could get a false positive or invalid test result if:
- You test too soon (before your body has released enough hCG
- The test has been left in a hot car or otherwise exposed to extreme heat
- The seal on the packaging has been broken and the test has been exposed to air
- The test is too sensitive and your normal levels of hCG are higher than average
How much hCG does the Walmart pregnancy test detect?
Pregnancy tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, which is produced by the placenta after implantation. Different tests have different sensitivity levels – the lower the sensitivity, the sooner a test may detect pregnancy. However, if the test is too sensitive, it may pick up some naturally occurring latent levels of hCG in women who are not pregnant Therefore, most pregnancy tests will not read positive for anything lower than 20mIU/hCG to prevent showing too many false positives.
The Equate First Signal One Step test is designed to detect a level of 25mlU/hCG. This is the same level that many of the more expensive early pregnancy tests are set up to detect. On average, a woman who is pregnant will have at least this level of hCG present in their urine by seven to ten days post ovulation.
Of course, these levels are just an average so it is important to understand that you should wait as long as you are comfortable with to take a test and to be prepared to take a second test later on if you are still unsure.
What does the Walmart 88 cent pregnancy test positive look like?
Like many other brands, the 88 cent pregnancy test will display two red lines on a positive test. The line on top is a control line, clearly marked next to the result window with the letter “C”. This line verifies that the test is working properly.
The lower line is the test line, marked with a “T” next to the result window. This line may appear dark or faint, depending on your level of hCG at the time of testing. It will not necessarily appear the same as the control line, which is almost always dark.
The presence of two red lines, regardless of intensity, indicates that you are most likely pregnant.
Remember that if you leave the test out for too long after activating it that you could get a false positive due to the test’s interaction with the air.
What does the Walmart 88 cent pregnancy test negative look like?
As important as getting a positive test reading is, it’s also important to know what to look for if the test is negative.
A negative result, with the 88 cent test, will only display one red line next to the “C” in the result window. This means that the test did not detect high enough levels of hCG to confirm pregnancy.
However, it does not necessarily mean that you are not pregnant – if you choose to test early, such as before your missed period, you may not yet have high enough hCG levels to get a positive result. Test again in a few days to be sure.
Be sure to note the position of any single red line on your test. If a line appears next to the “T,” but not the “C,” then the test is considered invalid and you should test again on a different strip. A test displaying no lines at all is also considered invalid.
Is the Walmart brand pregnancy test accurate?
The Equate First Signal One Step pregnancy test has a 4.3 star rating on Walmart.com.
Most women report quick and accurate results in both product reviews and forums. Many say that they prefer these to more expensive tests and won’t buy anything else. A few women have said that the lines were too faint or that they received false negatives. Some even mentioned false positives. Others have complained about purchasing several tests which were defective, only displaying invalid results.
It is important to remember that false negatives can frequently occur during early testing, regardless of the brand of test used. While 25hCG is the average level at ten days post ovulation, some pregnancies naturally produce much less hCG in the early days after ovulation.
Other pregnancies (especially multiples) produce much more. Every pregnancy is different. It may be prudent to wait until after your missed period to take a test.
Similarly, lower hCG levels will result in fainter lines. Keep in mind that any time there are two lines, however faint, the test is considered positive.
False positives are rare and often the result of user error. There is a time limit on all pregnancy tests – usually about ten minutes. If you allow the test to sit for too long, exposure to air may cause the chemicals in the strip to show a false positive. False positives may also occur if you are using some psychiatric medications, diuretics, and antihistamines.
Invalid tests are usually the result of improper storage. All pregnancy tests come in an airtight wrapping, designed to protect the chemicals in the test from air exposure. If the wrapping is not sealed or the test has been exposed to high heat (such as while sitting in a hot car) then the chemicals may break down and lead to an invalid test.
To achieve the most accurate results, consider the following tips:
- Wait until the first day of your missed period. Being patient may be difficult but it will help you to avoid the frustration of multiple false negatives or very faint lines.
- Test first thing in the morning. Urine is the most concentrated first thing in the morning, before you have anything to drink. Early morning tests will give you the most accurate results.
- Don’t check the test too soon or too late. It can take up to three minutes for a positive test line to show up. Set a timer and do something else to help ease any anxiety you may feel during the wait. But don’t wait too long. After ten minutes, the test is considered invalid. Occasionally, a false positive may show up after this time limit.
- Try a different store. If you frequently purchase invalid tests from the same store, consider shopping at a different Walmart. Whoever is shipping or stocking those tests might not be taking care to ensure they remain sealed and avoid high heat. Check all packages for tampering before purchase and report your concerns to the store manager.