I recently reviewed Dollar Tree’s personal lubricant, so naturally, let’s take a look at what you can expect to need a couple of months after that: a pregnancy test. But typical tests are ridiculously expensive, despite all being designed largely the same, and made of pretty much the same (plastic) materials. So are the name brand tests that much more accurate to justify the 10x price hike? Not at all.
We’ll set the stage somewhere around March, 2016. My wife felt like she might be pregnant, but considering I was strongly anti-kids and she didn’t want any either, wanted to ignore the possibility as long as possible. When the feelings not only didn’t go away, but got even stronger, that’s when she knew she had to be sure; like any budget-minded gal, she decided to grab a dollar store test first, just to confirm (or, in this case, hopefully deny) her suspicions.
Long story short, her suspicions wereconfirmed. She was pregnant, something we had somehow managed to avoid through 8 years of marriage highlighted by pretty consistent fucking. It had been so long that we kind of just assumed that she couldn’t even get pregnant, which is probably the mindset that lead to that little accident. Oops. But, understandably, she wanted to be sure that she was getting an accurate reading, so she went and bought a name brand one. And, of course, the more expensive one only confirmed what the dollar store version had already told her. And for, like, $10 more.
When she finally broke the news to me, over the phone and while I was at work, bawling to the point that she was almost incoherent, I expected the worst: Did she cheat on me? Did a family member die? Was someone gravely injured? I guess my mind went to such terrible places that, when she was finally able to spit the news out in an audible sentence, I was actually somewhat relieved. I didn’t get pissed, I didn’t get mad…it was kind of weird even to me, despite it being news that I honestly never wanted (or expected) to hear. And now, here we are, four calendar years later, with a three-year-old child who we would gladly trade for the world on certain days (“Terrible Twos” are a fallacy; “Shitty Threes” is a more accurate thing, despite not having the same catchy ring), but who has brought us more laughter, fun, and cuteness than we ever thought possible. Who knew?
Anyway, the moral of this story is that dollar store pregnancy tests always seem to get a bad rep, and at least part of it is for good reason. After all, a lot of the things to be found inside dollar stores are cheap junk. But there’s one little piece of info that seems to elude the general public (and that, honestly, I had never really considered up until now): pregnancy tests are FDA-regulated, meaning they have to be FDA-approved in order to end up on store shelves. And while that probably doesn’t amount to much in real world value—after all, the FDA is the same agency that regulates the allowed amount of rat shit that winds up in the factory-assembled foods we eat—that does at least mean one thing: they have to be pretty accurate in order to end up on store shelves. (This is also a good time to remind everyone that no consumer test is 100% foolproof; even expensive tests can give wrong answers from time to time.)
So is it worth spending more on a name brand test? The answer depends on how soon you need the results: typically, the more expensive brands do give you results a few days earlier than you might get with the cheaper ones. That’s about the only thing differentiating one test from another…well, besides the logo on the front and ensuing wallet hit, that is.
Overall: 9/10. It’s not the most sensitive test on the market, meaning some of the more expensive tests are able to detect pregnancies a little while earlier, but in terms of overall accuracy, it’s up there with the best of them. How do we know this? Because any test sold through official channels must be FDA-approved. And we know how in-depth the FDA gets when it comes to protecting its citizens (did anyone note the sarcasm)! At any rate, my wife took one of these to confirm her suspicions of pregnancy four years ago now, and then re-verified it with a much more expensive name brand, which (surprise!) told her the exact same thing.
And that’s the story of how our son was made.