First Response Early Response (FRER) What the Manufacturers don’t tell you!

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So, a line is a line? No matter how faint and regardless of color intensity. Well, at least that’s what we have always been told by our Doctors, friends, family and even certain websites. If you Google it – it must be true! I was absolutely a firm believer in this myself, until recently. Some well known name brands of HPT’s (Home Pregnancy Tests ) will give you the specific concentration of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) the pregnancy hormone secreted once the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterine lining – the average Test ranging from 25miu to 40miu. And then there are some, that won’t. 

 

Image: www.first response.com Graphics: Pee-On-A-Stick-Freak

Image: www.firstresponse.com Graphics: Pee-On-A-Stick-Freak

 

Nowadays, several brands advertise that their tests can detect pregnancy 6 days sooner! Wow how technology has changed a lot since these tests first came out. Specifically one of the most well known, First Response Early Response. Also known as, “FRER.” It’s a (Pink Dye Test) and most of us have recommended it to someone else at some point or another, especially if you’re actively TTC (Trying To Conceive). It’s always been our go-to brand! Known as one of the most reliable.

 

Well recently in our lovely little Facebook Group, the sensitivity actually came into question. There have been consumer studies that have suggested that although it’s sensitivity is 25miu – it can detect as little as 12.5miu, or even as low as 6.5miu. Talk about being sensitive! Most of us going through that TTC journey, (as stressful as it can be) tend to track our CM (Cervical Mucus ) our CP (Cervical Position ) and of course our BBT (Basal Body Temperature ). Which is known as Charting! And since we now can pinpoint exactly when Ovulation occurs through Blood Work and a higher Shift in our temperatures, we now also have a better idea as to when we can start testing for pregnancy. Of course the closer you are to your missed period, the more reliable the results will be. Our LP (Luteal Phase) generally remains the same from cycle to cycle and is about 12-14 days on average for most women – although it can range anywhere from 10-16 days realistically. Implantation usually occurs anywhere between 6-12dpo. So with that being said, most on average usually start testing around 8-9dpo and continue until they get their BFP (Big Fat Positive) or until the dreadful Period rears her ugly face. That can usually be predicted with a drop in temps as Estrogen is responsible for the first part of our cycle known as the FP (Follicular Phase) and in order to sustain a healthy pregnancy, progesterone is needed and will dominate the second half once Ovulation occurs. Because Progesterone is a heat inducing hormone, it causes the temperature rise once Ovulation occurs.

 

Now the only thing about testing early, is you need to have a highly sensitive test! If you are in fact pregnant, you can get a ton of false negatives using 40-50miu tests that early on, as it may take several days after implantation occurs to produce enough HCG to register positive on a test. That’s usually when First Response comes into play! Being one of the most sought after tests and known for their accuracy and (again) reliability.

 

Image: www.first response.com Graphics: Pee-On-A-Stick-Freak

Image: www.firstresponse.com Graphics: Pee-On-A-Stick-Freak

 

They are (Midstream Tests) and fairly easy to use. You should always read the instructions thoroughly before using any HPT to avoid misinterpreting the results or even to prevent common user errors. With these, you can put the absorbent tip inside your urine stream, or you can collect a urine sample in sanitary clean cup. I usually opt to collect mine in a clean cup, so if I notice the sample isn’t concentrated enough, I can dump it and try again later – as to avoid wasting a test. They also just came out with a newer model, and it resembles the Clearblue Easy Blue Dye Test!

 

 

Image: www.first response.com Graphics: Pee-On-A-Stick-Freak

Image: www.firstresponse.com Graphics: Pee-On-A-Stick-Freak

 

It advertises a 50% wider tip, Easy to Read Window and a longer handle. Unfortunately I haven’t had an opportunity to try one, but I’m sure it’ll make going pee a bit more fun! Ha Ha….

 

Now, for the bitter sweet news. I am very shocked and dissapointed with what we have found out recently. The admin in our group, who also runs her very own blogging site (Love Echoes Forever ) and a truly amazing one I might add – decided to call the First Response Manufacturer directly to inquire about the sensitivity of their HCG tests, which also may include their Digital Gold.

 

 

Image: www.first response.com Graphics: Pee-On-A-Stick-Freak

Image: www.firstresponse.com Graphics: Pee-On-A-Stick-Freak

 

In regards to their digital, it’s still a bit inconclusive as from Consumer Studies and information we have found on other various websites, the sensitivity for that specific test is indicated at 18miu. I was a bit shocked with the outcome of their Pink Dye Test, which is a bit more common. So here is a quote, from Monique.

 

“OK, the number I called is the number they have on their insert.

 

1-800-367-6022

 

I chose all the options for the First Response Early Results test. Then after listening to all the information, I chose 0, to speak to customer service.

 

I talked to Betsy. She told me the information on sensitivity level is proprietary information. But the test is quantitive not qualitative & any amount of of hCG in your system can result in a second line.”

 

So, what does that mean exactly?? Well…. (in a nutshell) – It’s actually very similar to getting a blood test done, which many of us do whenever we get a positive result on a HPT. Now there are two different types of HCG blood tests that your PCP, OB, or even RE can order. The most common is a Qualitative Test, which is common to most urine tests. You need a certain concentration of HCG in your system in order for that test to come back as Positive. It simply says, YES you are Pregnant, or NO you are not. Now a Quantitive Test will give you specific numbers. No matter how much or how little HCG you have in your system, that test will give you a count. Anything below 5miu is considered non-pregnant levels of HCG. Anything usually at 5-25miu will require a redraw, and anything above 25miu is considered positive for pregnancy.

 

Now with that being said, the First Response Test doesn’t have a specific concentration needed! I believe it is Quantitative which means that ANY AMOUNT of the hormone found in your system, will cause a 2nd line to produce. Even amounts that are technically considered to be Not Pregnant, which would be anything under 5miu.

 

(A debate also entails that it could be Qualitative with a threshold of zero)

 

The unfortunate thing about that, is there are other factors that can cause SOME levels of HCG to be circulating throughout our system at all times. Not saying that applies to everyone. But for some, yes.

 

– Pre Menopause can cause elevated levels of HCG 

– Any medication(s) containing small trace amounts of HCG 

– Some Fertility medications 

– The HCG Trigger Shot 

– Certain Cysts 

– Even certain Cancers 

 

Now, for the majority of those who are NOT actively TTC, this probably won’t effect them as much since they typically wouldn’t test until after their period was late. Normally by that time, you’ve accumulated a high enough concentration to form a nice, dark, unmistakable line. So in this case, the test can still be considered reliable.

 

As for those of us who on the other hand are ACTIVELY TTC, that’s where the problem comes in. We tend to test early, and that means (again) that an expected FAINT line which would normally be acceptable that early on in pregnancy, could very well be a FALSE LINE! Which in the end can cause tons of false hope and can be truly heartbreaking! So honestly, this truly upsets me. I am starting to believe, “A line is a line no matter how faint or the color intensity,” is going to truly become a thing of the past soon. Other brands will certainly want to keep up with the competition and I truly believe more and more manufacturers will start to convert their tests that way. 

 

This is my advice to anyone who attempts to use a First Response, treat it as an OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kits) where when you see the line is equal to or darker than the control line, it’s considered positive! And my other advice, follow up with a Blood Test!

 

Last but not least – ALWAYS read the manufacturers instructions thoroughly before taking a test!

 

Image: www.first response.com

Image: www.firstresponse.com

 

Image: www.first response.com

Image: www.firstresponse.com

 

Image: www.first response.com

Image: www.firstresponse.com

 

Image: www.first response.com

Image: www.firstresponse.com

 

Image: www.first response.com

Image: www.firstresponse.com

 

Image: www.first response.com

Image: www.firstresponse.com

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Will Lemon or Lime Juice create a false positive result on a HPT?

If you happen to have a Facebook, you may be familiar with our TTC (Trying To Conceive) Group we have on there, basically tailored around the fascinating world of Pee Sticks! Well, we decided to conduct a little experiment with Lime and Lemon Juice to see if perhaps, (as rumor has it) either would create a false Line?!

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Is the Sugar Content in certain drinks responsible for causing FALSE POSITIVE RESULTS?!

Leave it to me, to come up with ideas like this! (Ha ha) Really seems to be my forte. I recently conducted an experiment to see if (Soda, Juice or Tea could cause a FALSE POSITIVE RESULT) on a HPT. (Home Pregnancy Test) and to answer that question, Yes! One specific liquid did in fact score a false result. So there has been some speculation about whether or not the sugar content inside the drinks or liquids were responsible for producing a 2nd Line on our lovely little pee sticks – and I decided to put that theory to the test!

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Can Soda, Juice or Tea give a FALSE POSITIVE RESULT on a Pregnancy Test?

After flipping through a ton of website pages and results from our beloved Dr. Google – I have come across some speculation on the possibility that certain liquids (aside from Urine) can cause a false positive on a HPT! (Home Pregnancy Test) and it made me really curious. Needless to say, I decided to conduct a little experiment myself to see if Soda, Juice or Tea could yield a possible false result!

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How to take a Clearblue Easy Digital HPT

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With so many different HPT’s (Home Pregnancy Tests) on the market today, it’s Sometimes difficult to choose which one specifically might be best. There are different sensitivity levels, different types, and different ways to use them!

You can choose from a wide variety of Midstream Tests, Cassette Tests, Test Strips….. And of course with how our technology has now advanced, Digitals! The digital Tests work much the same way, but instead of two Lines that can be hard to interpret – it can tell you in words on a screen that says, “Yes,” “No,” “Pregnant,” and then there’s the dreadful, heartbreaking result, for  those of you actively TTC (Trying To Conceive), “Not Pregnant.” The Clearblue Easy even has a weeks estimator that can tell you how far along you are! Which by the way, I’ll be demonstrating the basics on how to use one of these with this clever brand.

It’s always best to use FMU (First Morning Urine) whenever testing for HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) the Pregnancy hormone produced and metabolized in our urine within a few days Following implantation, especially during early Pregnancy. Now I will say however if you’re opting to test early, a digital test usually requires a higher concentration of the hormone to yield a positive result. You may opt to try testing first with a slightly more sensitive test before using one of these that may need a concentration of up to 50miu. You can view (Home Pregnancy Test Brand Sensitivities) ⇦ THERE.

I normally opt to collect my Urine in a clean, sanitary cup rather than putting the wic in my Urine stream. One reason being – it can possibly create errors if Urine splashes on the test and also if you notice your Urine isn’t Concentrated enough you can dump it and try again later, so you don’t end up wasting a test! Diluted Urine can also yield a false Negative result if not enough HCG is present.

Once you Take the test out of the wrapper, it will then start to activate it. (Always Read the instructions carefully before taking a pregnancy Test to avoid any errors).

If you opt to put the tip into your urine stream, you’ll want to hold the screen facing downwards to avoid any splashing, while continuing to hold it in your Urine stream for 5 seconds.

If you collected urine in a clean cup, simply Dip it in there for 20 seconds. (Again, this only pertains to a Clearblue Easy Weeks Estimator – different Tests specify different amounts of time for this so read your instructions carefully).

Put the cap back on and lay it flat with the screen facing upward. You’ll notice that if done correctly the time clock on the screen will start flashing. It should Take about 3 mins for the test to reveal the results.

If pregnant, it can also take an additional 3 mins to reveal how many weeks you are!

For a more in-depth look you can view my instructional video on how to use a Clearblue Digital!

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How to get Urine Stains off of a HPT

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Whenever you’re testing for Pregnancy, (especially in Early Pregnancy) it’s always best to use FMU (First Morning Urine) in order to have the highest amount of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) available for detection. If that’s not possible you can always hold your Urine for a minimum of 2-4 hours while refraining from drinking any beverages!

But unfortunately with that being said, highly Concentrated Urine typically is very dark in color, in comparison to diluted Urine which is very transparent and light. Sometimes when the test is completely dry, (more often than not) after it’s been sitting out for a while – it can leave a nasty looking Urine film where it once ran across the test.

If you’re anything like most of who are actively TTC (Trying To Conceive) there may come a time when you would like to show a family member or even a friend online to seek their opinion in distinguishing a second Line – (Evaporation Line?) or perhaps you would just simply like to share the good news! Either way, a strong, yellow film can make the test very undesirable and even a bit embarrassing to show. So what can you do?

I conducted an Experiment, and this is what the Tests initially looked like the next day.

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I was supposed to make an Update on the outcome and was a bit grossed out with the way they looked. Not to mention Dried Urine can also cause an Evaporation Line to appear.

I had read somewhere that you can CLEAN a TEST simply by redepositing water on it, so I thought I would test the theory out. I used a Cassette Test and a Test Strip for this specific Experiment. I treated both of the HCG Tests as if they had never been used before and deposited 5 drops of water where the Urine would go, then proceeded to re-dip the Test Strip. I started to see the water (slowly but surely) literally wash away the Dried, excess Urine!

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I was actually very surprised that I was watching this work Because the stains were REALLY DARK.

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The trick is, you have to make sure that  the test is COMPLETELY DRY first before attempting this, otherwise there’s no way for the water to absorb and you will over saturate the test including the container (which can be a huge pain!)

In the end, this is how the Tests looked! And I gotta say, I was really impressed!

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You may want to do those a couple times before you deem this as Picture-Worthy!

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Home Pregnancy Test Sensitivities

Pregnancy TEST Sensitivities

Image: www.americanpregnancy.org Graphics: Pee-On-A-Stick-Freak

 

At the end of every cycle, (one of two things can happen) either the dreaded AF (Aunt Flo) rears her ugly head or you find you’ve missed your Period!

Some of us Chart our cycles every month by taking our BBT (Basal Body Temperature) using a special kind of Thermometer called a, “Basal Body Thermometer.” They are a bit more sensitive, and can record even the slightest body fluctuations. The next thing would be our CM (Cervical Mucus) which goes through different phases throughout the course of our cycle, as well as our CP (Cervical Position).

During the first Part of our cycle, Estrogen is responsible for gearing our bodies up for Ovulation. Once that happens you’ll notice your CM and CP getting less fertile and Progesterone (which is a heat inducing Hormone) keeps our Temperatures higher and elevated until AF shows up. Progesterone is responsible for the second half of our cycle known as the (Luteal Phase). If your Temperatures remain elevated past your ETD (Estimated Testing Day) or the day you’re expecting your Period – chances are you may be Pregnant! Estrogen is responsible for the first Part of our cycle, (Follicular Phase) so it just makes sense that our Temperature will drop within a day or two of AF.

There are all kinds of different Test Sensitivities, and you’ll find it rather easy deciding which one is right for you depending on how far along you may be in your possible Pregnancy. Usually the first day of your missed Period you can expect a reliable result, although some opt to start testing as Early as 8dpo (Days Past Ovulation). A good rule of thumb is if you KNOW you’re testing Early, you may want to rely on a HIGHLY SENSITIVE TEST that’s at least 25 mlU/ml and if you’re far enough along than usually a 40 or 50 mIU/ml should be sufficient.

Here is a List I’ve put together by Name Brand and Sensitivity!

Tests UNDER 25 mIU/ml:

– First Response Digital Gold 18mIU/ml
– First Response Early Result (Quantative Test that will pick up ANY amount of HCG per the manufacturer)

20 mIU/ml Tests:
– AimStep
– Aim Midstream 
– AimStick OTC PBO
– AimStick OTC/Accu Dip
At Home Pregnancy Test
– D Best One Step
Early Pregnancy Test
Save On Tests
– Simplicity
Tests For Less

25 mIU/ml Tests:
– AccuHome
– Answer
– Answer Quick & Simple
– Clearblue Easy (Digital) 35-50 mIU/ml
– Clearblue Easy Earliest Result
– Confirm 1-Step
– CVS Brand (Midstream)
– E.P.T. ( + or – ) Result Window
– Equate ( l l ) 2 line Result Window
– Equate ( + or – ) Result Window
– Fact Plus (Cassette)
– Fact Plus 1-Step (Cassette)

– First Signal One-Step Pregnancy Test (cassette)
– Health Check
– Health Mark
– Insta Test
– Iverness ( + or – ) Result Window
– Life Sign One Step (Midstream)
– New Choice (Dollar Tree Brand – Cassette)
– Smart Strip HCG (Fertilinet)
– Walgreens Brand (Digital)
– Puralin One Step Pregnancy Test
– One Step Be Sure Pregnancy Test

40 mIU/ml Tests:
– E.P.T ( l l ) 2 Line Result Window
– E.P.T ( + or – ) Result Window
– E.P.T Certainty

50 mIU/ml Tests:
– Clearblue Easy
– CVS Brand (Cassette)
– Early Pregnancy Test
– Iverness II
– Dollar Store Tests
– Target Brand
– Rite Aide Brand
– Drug Emporium Brand

100 mIU/ml Tests:
– Fact Plus Pro (Cassette)
– Walgreens Brand (Midstream)

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