How Much Is a Pregnancy Test: A Helpful Guide
Dr. Angel Rivera
How much a pregnancy test costs depends on what type of test it is and where you get it done.
Tests done at the doctor’s office will run you a lot more than at-home pregnancy kits. Plus, some brands may charge as much as 10 times the price of a generic test.
But does it really make a difference if you pay more for a pregnancy test?
In this guide from USA Rx, we’ll explain why the more expensive pregnancy tests aren’t necessarily worth it and what you can do to save money when buying your next one.
What Are the Different Types of Pregnancy Tests?
There are two types of pregnancy tests: urine tests and blood tests. They work similarly — by detecting levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), known as the pregnancy hormone, in your body.
This is a growth and development hormone that your body starts to release shortly after conception.
A blood test can be done at the doctor’s office. In the early stages of pregnancy, it has a slightly more accurate result than a urine test.
But one downside is that it requires a visit to a healthcare professional, which can be a major inconvenience when you want to find out if you’re pregnant ASAP.
A urine sample test is most often done at home. It tends to be a much quicker way to confirm a pregnancy, giving you the results just several minutes after taking it.
Because it can be purchased over-the-counter, you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to get it.
However, it takes slightly longer for the needed amount of hCG for accurate testing to build up in your urine than in your blood.
For this reason, in very early pregnancy, a urine home test may give you a negative result when, in fact, it should be positive.
You can avoid this “false negative” result by waiting until your first missed period to take a urine test.
How Much Is a Urine Pregnancy Test?
A urine test is typically sold in drugstores, grocery stores, and even dollar stores. They work by having you place a few drops of urine on a designated spot or dipping the test strip into your urine stream.
After a few minutes, you should see whether or not you have a positive pregnancy test.
A urine pregnancy test can cost as little as 99 cents to as much as 20 dollars. Some pregnancy test kits even offer multiple tests in one, which can provide you with a bulk discount.
On average, a single urine pregnancy test costs about 10 dollars.
Some tests cost more (even though they work in the same way) because they can make it easier for you to read the results.
Classic pregnancy test results use two red vertical lines to tell you if you’re pregnant. Reading these results can be challenging for some people.
However, the more expensive tests clearly state “pregnant” or “not pregnant” on their display.
Some more expensive brands claim that they can provide results “up to 2 days sooner” than generic brands. However, there is no evidence to support this.
The accuracy of your test results depends mostly on how soon you take the test after conception, with accuracy increasing the longer you wait.
How Much Is a Blood Pregnancy Test?
A blood test is done at the doctor’s office. If you have health insurance, pregnancy tests are typically covered.
If you are paying out-of-pocket, then a blood pregnancy test should cost about 50 dollars. However, the price may be more or less, depending on your specific healthcare provider.
For most women, it is enough to know that hCG levels are higher than normal, which can confirm a pregnancy.
For others, a blood test can reveal important information about the pregnancy. For instance, women with a miscarriage can take a blood test spaced just days apart. If levels of hCG drop, it can indicate a loss of pregnancy.
In addition, a blood pregnancy test is accompanied by a visit to the doctor. This can help to pick up on a potential pregnancy complication that may not be noticed without a doctor’s expertise.
That said, for women who just want to initially confirm their pregnancy, a blood test is generally not absolutely necessary.
An at-home urine test can just as easily accomplish this without the co-pay or waiting period.
That said, it’s highly recommended to schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN to confirm a positive pregnancy test and begin prenatal care.
Can You Get a Free Pregnancy Test?
You can get a free pregnancy test from your local health centers, a faith-based pregnancy center, or a Planned Parenthood clinic.
These organizations can also connect you with free or lost-cost family planning services, such as ultrasounds, OB-GYN referrals, and adoption counseling.
A quick internet search should provide you with organizations in your area that provide free pregnancy tests.
How Can You Save Money on a Pregnancy Test?
The best way to save money on a pregnancy test is to buy the cheapest option available.
Most dollar stores sell urine pregnancy kits that will run you just one or two bucks and provide results that can be just as accurate as the more expensive tests.
If you plan on taking several pregnancy tests, then you can order a bulk package online to save money.
Another way to save money on a pregnancy test is to take it at the right time. If you take a pregnancy test too soon, you may get a “false negative” — a result that says you’re not pregnant, even if you actually are.
To avoid this, try waiting to take a pregnancy test until after your first missed period.
An at-home pregnancy test can be as cheap as one dollar and work just as well as pregnancy tests that run all the way up to 20 dollars.
However, if you want a pregnancy test that most clearly displays the results, then paying a little bit more may be worth it.
Regardless of which pregnancy test you use, make sure to see your doctor soon after getting a positive result.
Getting early prenatal care can ensure that you and your baby’s wellness is in the best shape from day one.