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I clearly remember the day, stood tackling the ironing mountain while my husband was tidying up the front room now that both boys were in bed. Quiet and calm had descended upon us like an old friend, my mind clear for the first time since having our youngest baby boy. Then suddenly, in a moment of clarity, the question struck me. When had I last had a period? Well my face must have been quite a picture, as hubby dropped what he was doing, quite concerned, "what's wrong?" he asked. I really don't think he was prepared for the answer!
My maternal history has been quite full on over the last 6-7 years, my first pregnancy took four months before I concieved and following the birth of my son Oakley I had a string of miscarriages. So I consider myself quite the pregnancy test 'expert' - the amount I've done has to be in the twenties, purely because I would buy cheap tests due to the shock of the prices and then as the lines looked so faint I would give in and get the dearer, better known branded tests just to make sure! When I fell pregnant with Logan, my second son I had learnt my false economy lesson and just bought a clearblue digital
test. I mean, it just says 'pregnant' or 'not pregnant'. Can't get much clearer than that!
Anyway, back to my shock. After much deliberation, we realised that the last few months had just been too much of a whirlwind with Logans birth and Christmas to deal with and neither of us could put a date on remembering when my 'monthly gift' had last been seen and my hubby kindly offered to get a test the next day, so I asked him for one of my trusty old Clearblue digitals. Especially as he was paying! (they cost about £10 for a single or £14 for a twin pack)
At last it was the morning and when he finally came back from the chemist I noticed my Clearblue had evolved and now had a handy conception indicator. Perfect, since we didn't have a clue of any dates!
Hubby had to get to work, but was desperate to know the results, so I rushed to the bathroom, tearing off the cellophane as I went. The clear and detailed instructions are inside the pack, but the pictures and summary on the actual packet are easy to follow.
The test itself is made of chunky white plastic with a blue cap one end and the rectangular display screen conveniently located towards the other. On removing the cap, the absorbant tip is both longer and wider than on most tests I've seen, making it easier to get 'mid stream' if this is your preferred method. If it is, you need to hold the tip downwards in your urine stream for 5 seconds. My preference was to collect some urine in a clean pot and to hold the tip of the test in the liquid for 20 seconds. After either method, you are advised to replace the cap, place the test on a flat surface and then wait. After a couple of seconds a little timer started flashing on the screen which shows the test is actually working. It took a further 3 minutes to actually give my result. Felt more like half an hour!
Pregnant! After the shock (and realisation that my delicate tummy obviously hadn't been caused by all the rich christmas food after all) I finally took notice of the conception indicator. 3+, meaning more than 3 weeks since conception. Now this may be a little confusing, especially for first timers, as the professionals time pregnancy from your last period, which is usually 2 weeks before conception. So the easiest rule is as follows:
Test: 1-2 wks Professionals: 3-4 wks
Test: 2-3 wks Professionals: 4-5 wks
Test: 3+ wks Professionals: 5+ wks
These three results are the only results the test gives. They are also given on the strength of the pregnancy hormone in your urine which can change from woman to woman as can the menstrual cycle, so it's worth bearing in mind that they might not be that accurate to you.
The pregnant/ not pregnant result itself is 99% accurate, but only when taken on the first day of your missed period. It can be taken up to 4 days before, but the results can be as low as 55% accurate, so for the money the test costs it's worth waiting those few extra days.
So was the test accurate for me? I was booked in for an early scan where I thought based on the test I was about 8 wks pregnant. I was actually 12 wks, but as 3+ (5+) is the highest number of weeks this test gives, it was infact correct! So yes, accurate and very easy to use. They lose a star as I still feel they are a little overpiced and the weekly conception indication could follow professionals which wouldn't be so confusing, but I do recommend it. Although obviously not for me, this is definitely, DEFINITELY, the last time I will be needing a pregnancy test kit!