Wednesday, November 6, 2013

TTC Post: Clearblue Advanced Digital Pregnancy Test

This post is geared toward our TTC readers and may include information that is not helpful for some of our readers.  If you aren't in a great place right now, please feel free to skip this post.  We want our readers to take care of themselves first!

There has been a lot of buzz recently over these new Clearblue Advanced Digital Pregnancy Tests.  They recently became available in the US, although they've been around in Canada and Europe for awhile.  Basically, it's similar to a traditional digital test, but with the added feature of predicting how many weeks it has been since ovulation.  The readout will say "Pregnant" or "Not Pregnant" and if it is a positive result, it will be accompanied by either "1-2", "2-3" or "3+" (weeks, that is).  These test can be useful in pinning down ovulation date, but can be confusing in terms of estimating a due date. This is because the result does not mean a tester is (for example) 2-3 weeks pregnant, at least not in the way that a doctor would judge them.  It means it is estimated to have been that long since ovulation.  Doctor's typically date a pregnancy from the first day of your last period, so by the time a woman is 3 week past ovulation, they are most likely closer to 5 weeks pregnant, thus putting their due date approximately 35 weeks from that time.

While the POASA (that pee-on-a-stick-addict) in me is excited that these tests are available in the US now, I also know that there are limits to this information, and it isn't quite so cut-and-dry.  Since this test works by detecting the level of HCG in the urine, it can be easily skewed by things like an ectopic pregnancy (which produces higher HCG levels sooner), multiples, and the time which an egg implants.  For example, if implantation occurs fairly early, like 7 days past ovulation, the HCG levels in the blood will be higher sooner than if implantation does not occur until 12 days past ovulation.  With my second son, my HCG levels at 14 DPO (and we knew the ovulation date was accurate due to a trigger shot) was only 12, indicating that the egg had only implanted a few days prior, perhaps as late as 12 DPO. So there is some ambiguity there.

Do I think this is a good tool?  Yes!  But I caution women to read the instructions carefully and if they have concerns about their results to consult with a physician.

The article discussed in this post can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, yes these have been in Canada for a while. Quite a while. I think the tough part about them is that, like you said, HCG levels can vary due to various things...I wouldn't trust them. And, considering how very expensive they are, I really don't think it's worth it putting out the extra $$ for something you can't really be sure of. But they are cool, and being the first of their kind I'm sure we can expect much more accurate, and interesting things in the future.


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