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to think the usefuness of home pregnancy tests is outweighed by the grief they cause?

(90 Posts)

as most people have-i have used pregnancy tests and found it much easier tha going to the doctors.

However i am reading so many threads where people are testing all the time at different times of day and different times in their cycle and getting upset and stressing and i am wndering if they ar worth the heartbreak?

in my mums day you didn't go to the doctors until you had missed 2 periods and by then it was pretty certain.

now we are testing before we are even late.
apart from making the test manufacturers rich, who is this benefitting?

people who in past times would never have known they has miscarried-just had a heavy period at the usual time-now have the heartbreak of that knowledge. People with 'chemical pregnancies' get the grief of that-when previosly they wouldn't have known.

what do you think?

lucykate Thu 24-Apr-08 10:56:29

i agree with the op, and i've been through it all myself, 2 mc's etc. back when we were ttc i think i was quite restrained with my testing compared to some threads that appear on mn, but still, it is their choice i suppose.

in my mums day (early 70's), you had to wait until you'd missed 3 periods before the gp would do a blood test, no over the counter tests available then.

notnowbernard Thu 24-Apr-08 10:57:20

They are a PITA

Have been on both sides of the fence: frantically searching for a line that is not there and shitting myself about a line that I think is there but actually is not <thank God>

blueshoes Thu 24-Apr-08 10:59:29

If someone has difficulty falling pregnant, even a chemical pregnancy is reassuring. At least it means that the egg met the sperm and it worked up to that point.

You can get cheap tests on eBay. Surely it is for people to decide what they want to do with them and when they want to test? Before I had dd, I tested early. Once I had dd, I tested only on the expected day of period or later. But I don't go on about it with a single soul, much less mn. It is just for my reference.

I think anyone who buys Clear Blue or Response or any of the those spenny tests from Boots is nuts though. You can get early pregnancy tests for a fraction of the price.

ClairePO Thu 24-Apr-08 11:00:52

I obsessively tested early in the first few months of ttc but now I no longer buy tests, this month I have stopped temping in the luteal phase. All I was doing by wondering about what my temp would be/thinking about testing in the morning was stressing myself out.

Am now resolved not to test until late, last month I held out longer but still tested a day or so early.

I can quite understand those who want to know earlier but I think the heartache of seeing a + then getting period would be very difficult for me to bear.

With first pregnancy I tested when I realised I was a week late and had a lovely dark line come up straight away, that is what I want to see, not a squint at it 'is it a BFP or a BFN' faint line.

Lissie and her 'step away from the first repsonse' thread will keep us strong.

MissKubelik Thu 24-Apr-08 11:02:11

as someone who has experienced an ectopic pregnancy, I think home pregnancy tests are invaluable. They saved my life. I was fobbed off by doctors on several occasions and it was only because I kept getting positive HPTs that I went to A&E and finally had the ectopic confirmed, followed by life-saving surgery.

In years gone by, when women had to wait until they had missed two periods, there must have been a hell of a lot more deaths due to undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies.

But, I do agree that it is easy to become obsessed. It took 15 months to conceive my second - now only 7 weeks pg, so it's all very fresh in my mind! - for the first 6 months or so I spent a fortune on tests. Then I wised up and stopped buying them - only using them occasionally when my period was actually late or I had some specific symptoms. Like Twiglett, I discovered that the crushing disappointment was not worth those few moments of excitement.

wannaBe Thu 24-Apr-08 11:07:13

see for me it's not the fact that home pregnancy tests exist, it's the fact they encourage you to test early which I think is wrong. It breeds obsession.

minster Thu 24-Apr-08 11:07:35

No a chemical pregnancy versus a clinical pregnancy is simply one that fails before it is big enough for there to be ultrasonic evidence of the embryo - around about 5 weeks - an early miscarriage.

I hear that thing about failure to implant all the time & frankly it's bollocks! Implantation failure is somthing completely different & is only diagnosed after IVf i.e. where you know that embryos have been created & placed in the uterus but a pregancy doesnt result - the test is negative becuase the embryos don't implant & therefore don't produce HCG.

An embryo only produces HCG after it implants - if you have a positive pregnancy test then you have HCG in your body (either you've been injecting HCG or there is an embryo producing it).

PinkTulips Thu 24-Apr-08 11:10:45

i tried for 2 years for dd and only took 2 tests in all that time, one at about 7/8 weeks that came up neg although i was pretty certain and ended in MC a few days later and one when my period was 4 weeks late and sods law started while i was waiting for the result angrygrin

when i did get preg with dd i went to the doc at 9 weks and neither he nor the hospital could get a pos and ended up scanning me as it was presumed i had MCed

with ds i did a test at about 9/10 weeks that got a faint positve (my only one ever!)

i've had lots of what i presume are early MCs but tbh am happier not knowing for sure by testing

If it brings you comfort to test, fair enough but i honestly prefer not knowing til it's close to the safe period due to my history of losing pregs and low hormone levels, obviously i know as i can feel the changes and know i'm late but until it's confirmed it's not real to me IYKWIM?

I don't think it's about the tests, I think its about an obessive mindset that the test manufacturers can exploit. The mindset would exist with or without the tests. The real question is why are they so expensive? Why can't you get cheap basic test strips in Boots? Why do you have to fork out a tenner for the wretched things?

I also totally agree with something Belgo said earlier

"A negetive test result would make me feel sick fot the rest of the day. I much preferred my period starting as a way of knowing I was not pregnant - at least then you can start hoping for your next cycle. "

Sometimes I hate the option of early testing. I've done 3 tests in 11 months of TTC - two when I was due on that day, which was one of those chemical pregnancies as it turned out, and 1 this month, which was negative and I wish I hadn't done as I felt crappy all day and then chose not to believe it anyway. I'm still waiting for my period, but won't test again now until the weekend, because the negative tests make me feel a million times worse than my period arriving does.

yes, I agree that it's irresponsible to encourage women to test early - the '4 days before your period' is based on a 28 day cycle with a 14 day LP, isn't it. So with a 26 day cycle and a 12 day LP I'm not going to be getting a +ve at that stage. But that's not on the packet, and it's not in the information slip inside, either. Just hand over your money ladies. It hasn't given yuo a +ve? Never mind, buy another...

I think this is a useful thread - and started with the right intention - to show women how heartbreaking the rollercoaster of early testing can be.

But it is a personal choice, and one that I think women should have. I don't agree that it is about being grown up,just that we each learn abot our own responses to it, and decide from there. Some women will always test early as it will always outweigh the anxiety of waiting alone.

And they are not expensive...they are ten a penny on ebay!! (well, 10 for a £1 grin)

AitchTwoOhelicopterfraek Thu 24-Apr-08 11:24:59

i think that pg tests are pretty important for women who have ectopic pregnancies actually, and i find this whole 'you're better off not knowing' a little patronising tbh.

it's not for you to say, it's a matter of personal choice. those of you who say it breeds obsession etc are also claiming to have ttcd for a long time so... er, don't you rather disprove that theory or is it your position that you are better than people who do test early and do get obsessed?

And taking into account minster's post - chemical pregnancy is, simply, early miscarriage.

Who is going to argue that women shouldn't know that they have miscarried, early or otherwise? OKay, so some will be saved the heartache of knowing compared to a stressful, long cycle of 'what if's'.

But how does that fit into the system of "3 strikes and your out" of miscarriage investigations, where women have to have had three before referral?

ClairePO Thu 24-Apr-08 11:31:05

Aitch - it's not about thinking you're better its about learning what is best for you, I found testing early made me feel awful because it didn't tell me anything and didn't reassure me either way. It's all about deciding what is best for you surely, like you say a personal choice.

HairyToe Thu 24-Apr-08 11:33:38

I'm not sure what the answer is in general terms but my experience is (and no criticism to anyone here or MN in general) reading the TTC boards here is what 'made' me POAS obsessed! Pregnany tests have existed for quite a while now yet in both my previous pregnancies I didn't even dream of testing till my period was late. This time around however I got 'seduced' by all the early testing malarkey and joined in. I had one month of spending a ridiculaous amount on tests (I started off on the cheapie ebay ones then decided they were obviously rubbish blush so moved on to the dreaded Clearblue. I got a BFP, then a BFN, then a BFP, then a BFN... then my period arrived a day late. So whatever the definition of a CP is I think I had one. And I'm ashamed to say I worled out I had spent nearly £50 on tests beforehand trying to reassure myself. Dumb dumb dumb.

I found the whole experience much worse than just getting my period. I learnt my lesson and swore at that point that I would never test agin till my period hadn't actually arrived.

TheHedgeWitch Thu 24-Apr-08 11:33:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I agree with Aitch though, in terms of the tone of some posts. That is what I was trying (unsuccessfully) to articulate.

You don't 'graduate' from early testing to 'sensible' testing. You either know you can balance the anxiety/excitement or you don't.

I am a hardcore early tester!!

<<flexes muscles>>

AitchTwoOhelicopterfraek Thu 24-Apr-08 11:35:43

great, but this is a thread patting people on the head and claiming that the grief caused by hpts outweighs their usefulness... it might do for some people but not for others. it's hardly going to be a personal choice if the tests aren't available and we have to go to our docs after a couple of missed periods. i'd be dead for a start. hmm

EffiePerine Thu 24-Apr-08 11:40:52

Well, I think women should be able to test for pg themselves. but I don't see that testing early is beneficial at all - my worry is that the number of people testing warly when TTC is normalising early testing, whereas the norm used to be testing when your period is late ... if you think you SHOULD test early while TTCing you're opening yourself up to a whole lot of (often unnecessary) stress and heartache.

Oblomov Thu 24-Apr-08 11:45:31

We can't blame pregnnacy tests for this.
It is becasue we are so sesperate to know. But that is our problem as ladies/society and not the fault of the kit itself.

wannaBe Thu 24-Apr-08 11:55:15

but, if these tests didn't claim to be able to give you a positive result before your period was due then people wouldn't spend as much money on them. They are only 50% accurate before your period is due, so half the time you're not going to get an accurate result, and will either, go out and buy another two/three/four tests, or your period will arrive and you'll be gutted, and will have spent an unnecessary 8 quid.

IMO early pregnancy tests have not been invented to reassure women, they have been invented for the manufacturers to make more money. If tests said "only accurate from day of missed period" less women would put themselves through that heartache in the first place.

50% accurate is not accurate.

but who all thinks that they will be one of those 50%??

50% is not bad odds, considering...

anniemac Thu 24-Apr-08 12:24:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Disenchanted Thu 24-Apr-08 12:27:46

I think its just down to individual women.

I test early, I have to, I can't help it.

My friend waited till she was 2 weeks late until she tested, that would have killed me!

AitchTwoOhelicopterfraek Thu 24-Apr-08 12:36:05

i have always had a positive test before or on the day my period was due, dd was 9dpo. and yes, i know when i ovulated.
50% is even money by the way, that's good odds, and ime it's higher than that. from what i understand of hpts they are obliged to understate their accuracy because they can't guarantee that their production methods will put the same amount of reactant on each strip.
the fact is, if you're pregnant and you know when you ovulated and had sex, you'll probably get a positive before your period but sometimes won't.
if you're not pregnant you definitely won't. it's not being pregnant that causes the pain, not the tests themselves.

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