Have you missed your period? Have you been trying to conceive and anxiously waiting for the “good news”? Or did you have unprotected sex accidentally and fear you might be pregnant? Finding out if you are pregnant can be a life-changing event and you definitely do not want to get it wrong. Whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the Dollar General Pregnancy Test can validate your hopes or allay your apprehensions.
What is the Dollar General Pregnancy Test?
The Dollar General Pregnancy Test is a pregnancy kit available at the Dollar General stores which are one of the most profitable chains of variety stores in the US, famous for providing a wide range of products at very low rates.
It is also known as the DG Health One Step Pregnancy Test Cassette or the Quick-Check Home Pregnancy Test. It is manufactured by the ACON Laboratories, INC.
How is it different from most of the other pregnancy tests?
Unlike most of the other pregnancy tests which can cost you 20 to 50 bucks, it costs only $1! So you are probably less likely to regret spending on it even if your pregnancy test results do not meet your expectations. It is a good combination of price and quality. Though it is not extremely sensitive, it is 99% accurate.
How does it work?
Similar to most other home pregnancy tests, the Dollar General Pregnancy Test is a qualitative test that detects the presence of pregnancy hormone hCG in urine.
What is hCG?
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hCG is a hormone secreted by the placenta of a pregnant female.
When does your body start secreting hCG?
During ovulation, the ovaries release an egg that can fuse with sperm. Once fertilization has occurred, the embryo travels to the uterus. It implants usually 8 to 10 days after ovulation in most successful pregnancies, according to research by A J Wilcox, D D Baird, and C R Weinberg.
This is the time when the cells surrounding the embryo start secreting hCG. Thus it is too soon to try to detect hCG before 8 days past ovulation (DPO). The levels start doubling every 72 hours and reach their peak in the 8–11 weeks of pregnancy. Then they decline and level off.
When does hCG appear in urine?
The hormone first appears in the blood, so it can be detected earlier in the blood, about 11 days after conception. But this requires drawing blood and testing in the laboratory. So it may be painful and expensive.
Fortunately, only a few days later, hCG starts appearing in the urine. All you have to do is to pee on a pregnancy test strip 12 -14 days after conception.
Can you rely on the Dollar General Pregnancy Test?
Here comes the million-dollar question! The price tag can be enticing but you surely do not want to mess up the results. It might have crossed your mind that buying a cheap pregnancy test will compromise the accuracy.
Is the Dollar General Pregnancy Test accurate? Surprisingly, yes! While not all Dollar General stores’ products are recommended, the Dollar General Pregnancy Test certainly is. It is 99% accurate despite being so cheap. This may be because the only part that matters is the chemical-treated paper that will change color with hCG, and it is really cheap to produce. It is mostly the packaging and branding that increases the price of branded pregnancy tests.
If you are unsure about any pregnancy test, you can check it in the FDA Over the Counter Database of IVD Tests. The FDA regulates the pregnancy tests and ensures their accuracy and sensitivity. So you can confidently buy the Dollar General Pregnancy Test.
However, according to the FDA, the accuracy of a pregnancy test depends on how well the instructions are followed and results are interpreted. This is why getting wrong results has something to do with the user most of the time, rather than the product.
How sensitive is the Dollar General Pregnancy Test?
The sensitivity of a pregnancy test depends on the concentration of hCG it can detect. A more sensitive test can detect lower levels of hCG; and thus it can detect pregnancy earlier when hCG levels are quite low.
A Dollar General Pregnancy Test is quite sensitive, though it may not be as sensitive as some of the other expensive tests. It is able to detect 25 mIU/mL hCG in the urine.
How early can the Dollar General Pregnancy Test detect pregnancy?
The Dollar General Pregnancy Test can detect pregnancy as early as the first day of your missed period. However, the ideal time to check is 3-7 days after your missed period.
If you are anxious to take the test earlier than the day of your missed period, you can use other highly sensitive pregnancy tests which can even detect pregnancy even 5 days before your missed period; but not the Dollar General Pregnancy Test.
In case you do not have regular periods, you can take the test 2-3 weeks after having unprotected sex.
When to perform the test?
When you are pregnant, your body starts giving you signs. But many women get these signs before the menstrual period (PMS), so they overlook them. You should perform the Dollar General Pregnancy Test when:
- you have had unprotected sex
- your birth control method fails (e.g. you miss a pill or your condom breaks)
- you notice the signs of pregnancy. These include:
- Missed Periods
- Abdominal cramps
- Breast tenderness
- Nausea, headache
- Swelling in the vaginal area
- Frequent urination
- Mood swings
- Food aversion
Also Read: When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?
According to the survey by the American Pregnancy Association on the earliest sign of pregnancy, 29% of women reported missed periods, 25% nausea, and 17% change in the breast.
However these symptoms may be due to many other reasons, so it is very important to confirm pregnancy with any pregnancy test such as the Dollar General Pregnancy Test.
How to perform the Dollar General Pregnancy Test?
Follow all the instructions given on it to ensure accuracy. There is an expiration date on the packet. Do not forget to check it before buying one.
What do you need to perform the test?
- The Dollar General Pregnancy Test
- A clean dry cup
What will you find when you open the packet?
Use the notches to tear it open. When you open the foil pouch, you will find:
- A pregnancy test cassette which has a sample well (labeled S) and a testing window with two marked points C (control) and T (test)
- A dropper
- A moisture-absorbent that you can discard.
No special patient preparation is needed. A random clean-catch specimen is collected in a clean dry container. However, rinse the cup with water before using it. Because a dirty cup or soap/detergent may interfere with your test results and invalidate them.
Best time to perform the test?
The Dollar General Pregnancy Test can be performed at any time of the day. But you can increase the accuracy of your results by using the First-Morning Urine (FMU). It has the highest concentration of hCG because it is not diluted.
If you cannot perform it in the morning, you can recreate your morning pee by not drinking for at least 4 hours and holding your urine. Drinking water can dilute your urine and affect your results.
- Pee in a clean dry cup. You cannot hold the testing cassette in your urine stream, like some other pregnancy tests.
- Place the test cassette horizontally on a flat surface.
- Using the dropper, pour three drops into the sample well of the testing unit.
- Start the timer. You can see the urine traveling up the testing window.
- Wait for the time mentioned in the instructions for the appearance of red lines which is usually 1-3 minutes. You can wait one minute longer if no line appears.
- Do not pay attention to any results that appear after 10 minutes.
Storage and Handling
- Store at room temperature between 2°C to 30°C, and do not freeze.
- Keep it out of the reach of children.
- Don’t attempt internal use.
- Don’t use it after the expiration date printed on the foil pouch.
- Open the test foil pouch only when you are ready to take the test.
How to read and interpret the results?
A single line opposite the C i.e. the Control line must appear to validate your results. It indicates that your test has worked properly.
If two red lines appear, one opposite the C in the upper region (the Control line) and another opposite the T in the lower region (Test line), it indicates that you are most probably pregnant.
Faint Positive Result
If a very faint line appears opposite the C, it indicates that you might be pregnant but the hCG levels are low. It is called a faint positive result. You will need to perform the test again after a few days.
The appearance of the Control line only indicates that you may NOT be pregnant.
If no line appears, it indicates that the testing kit may be expired or the test has not been performed correctly. Repeat the test but do not use the same kit. A pregnancy kit cannot be reused.
Can you get false-positive results?
Can you not be pregnant despite getting a positive result? Unfortunately yes. You may get false-positive results due to the following reasons:
If you do not follow all the instructions accurately, you may get false-positive results.
Defective Pregnancy Test
Make sure you read the expiration date before using it.
The time you are required to wait for your test results is very important. If you wait longer, an evaporation line can appear, and you can interpret it as a positive result.
It refers to a very early miscarriage that occurs at the fifth-week gestation. The fusion of egg and sperm occurs but the embryo never fully implants in the uterus. So you may have hCG in urine and you may get a positive result. There is bleeding around the time of your menstrual period as a result of miscarriage, which is perceived as menstrual bleeding.
Some medicines increase your hCG levels. So you can get false-positive results if you are taking them. They include:
- Antiepileptics (barbiturates)
- Anti-anxiety (diazepam/ alprazolam)
- Anti-allergy (promethazine)
- Antipsychotic (chlorpromazine, clozapine)
- Medicines used in Parkinson’s Disease
However, medicines that do not contain hCG have no effect on the test results. Oral contraceptives, antibiotics, painkillers, and alcohol do NOT affect the results.
You may be getting hCG shots as a part of your fertility treatment. So hCG levels can rise in urine 2 to 3 weeks after the shot. In this case, you should go for a blood test.
Ovarian cysts also cause a rise in hCG.
Can you get false-negative results?
False-negative results are quite common. They can cause stress and anxiety in women who are trying hard to conceive.
Testing too early
This test is not designed for early detection. You may have to wait for 2 to 3 days after your missed period.
Not using the test properly
You may be too excited to read the instructions carefully. But make sure you follow them to get accurate results.
Reading too early or late
You have to strictly follow the time mentioned on the pregnancy kit to read the results.
Diluted urine can result in false-negative results. Avoid drinking too much water before taking the test.
The hCG levels are lower in obese women. An inverse relation between BMI and hCG levels has been shown by research.
Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy outside the uterus. Research has shown ectopic pregnancy to be associated with low hCG levels, which may not be detected by the General Dollar Pregnancy Test. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition and must be detected.
Also Read: How Long Does It Take Birth Control To Work?
You took the test: Now what to do?
If you get a positive result
In case you get a positive result, repeat the test after a few days to be 100% sure. Now it is time to go to the gynecologist, confirm your pregnancy, and get prenatal care.
If you get mixed results
Mixed results may indicate pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, or chemical pregnancy. In any case, go to a gynecologist for blood tests and Ultrasound exams. Get treated in case of ectopic pregnancy.
If you get a negative result
Repeat the test after a week. If you still get a negative result and no periods, consult a gynecologist. Performing blood tests and ultrasound exams will confirm pregnancy.
If you get continued negative result and no period
If your blood tests and ultrasound exams have confirmed that you are not pregnant but you are still not having your period, consult a gynecologist to find the cause of amenorrhea.
Why your period might be late if you are not pregnant?
Several other factors may contribute to amenorrhoea or delayed periods.
- Low body weight/ obesity
- Over-exertion/ too much exercise
- Birth control
- Thyroid issues
- Early peri-menopause
- Chronic diseases such as diabetes or celiac disease
Pros of the Dollar General Pregnancy Test
- Easy to use with simple instructions
- Can be performed without a doctor’s aid in the privacy of your home
- 99 % accurate
- Built-in control window that helps you find out if you have performed the test correctly
- Suitable for use at any time of the day
- Does not require measuring or mixing anything
Also Read: How Old You Have To Be To Buy a Condom?
Cons of the Dollar General Pregnancy Test
- It is not extremely sensitive; it can detect pregnancy on the day of the missed period or after it. Some other tests can detect pregnancy before this time.
- Sometimes, it may take up to 3 minutes to display the result.
- Its design is not as impressive or comfortable as some of the more expensive pregnancy tests which even come with a handle.
- It cannot tell the week of pregnancy like some other pregnancy tests.
Not having a digital display: A boon or a bane?
Most women find it difficult to interpret the lines. Undoubtedly, it is more convenient to read “pregnant” or “non-pregnant” on a digital display than interpreting the control and test lines. However, Christina Hernandez Sherwood says in her article “Why I’ll always use dollar store pregnancy tests” in the Chicago Tribune that she’ll prefer shades of gray rather than black and white.
She tells about her pregnancy which resulted in a miscarriage. She used a pregnancy test that displayed “pregnant”. A few days later, her pregnancy symptoms disappeared; so she retook the test and it again displayed “pregnant”. She argues that if she had used the dollar store pregnancy tests, the line would have got fainter the second time she performed the test. And this would have given her the idea that the levels of hCG in her body are decreasing.
If you are looking for a reliable and cheap way to confirm your pregnancy, the Dollar General Pregnancy Test is definitely a good choice. However, make sure you follow the instructions properly and take the test at the right time. But whether you get a positive or a negative result, you should be mature enough to rule out the false-positive and false-negative results, by going to a doctor and having other confirmatory tests done!
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