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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How To Take A Home Pregnancy Test

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The simple basics of taking a HPT (Home Pregnancy Test) nowadays, really isn’t so simple anymore. There are different types, with different colored dyes, and even different Test Sensitivities. Some with two Lines, some with symbols, and even some that have a screen like a computer! Some you hold in your Urine stream, and some that require you to collect a sample in a clean, sanitary cup. And then once you decide what type of test and which brand – there’s still the uneasiness of interpreting the results correctly. It can definitely be nerve wrecking if you’re new to the game. So, I decided to make a tutorial on all of the different types of tests available and how to make sure you get the most accurate results!

Let’s start off with the different types. One of the most commonly used and most widely available – a Midstream Test!

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Now normally you can hold the absorbent tip in your Urine stream, but I always recommend collecting a sample in a clean, sanitary cup. If you happen to notice that your Urine isn’t concentrated enough – you can dump it and try again later. This way, you can avoid wasting a test. You would simply dip the absorbent tip in the cup and then lay it on a dry, flat surface while you wait on the results.

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A widely popular brand is the First Response Early Results, as it’s easily one of the most sensitive HPT’s on the market today that are 25mIU/ml but can detect as low as 6.5mIU/ml.

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The next most commonly used Tests available is known as a Cassette Test.

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You can often find these in your local dollar store and they’re usually pretty inexpensive. With these, it is necessary to collect a Urine sample in a clean, sanitary cup. You would use the dropper since there’s no absorbent tip and put 3-5 drops in the well, and Keep it on a dry, flat surface as you wait to interpret the results.

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Now this one is probably one of my favorites because not only are they fairly inexpensive – they are very easy to store and do not take up much space! Mostly known as Test Strips, but also known as Dip Sticks or Internet Cheapies.

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These also require you to collect a Urine sample in a clean, sanitary cup. There’s a, “Max Line,” and you shouldn’t dip the test strip past that Line in order to avoid over-saturation. Next, you simply lay it down on a dry, flat surface while waiting on the results.

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Lastly, we have the ever so lovely Digital Test! Absolutely no guessing involved with this one. The only downfall with these is that they Sometimes require a higher concentration of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) to yield a positive result, so they may not be the best at detecting early Pregnancy.

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These are widely popular and are the most accurate by the first day of your missed period. You can put the absorbent tip in your Urine stream or collect a Urine sample in a clean, sanitary cup. I usually opt to collect a sample with most midstreams, but especially with a digital. If you somehow accidentally splash the top part of the test or even the screen – more than likely you’ll get a user error and that’ll be a big waste of a test, not to mention they can be more expensive, easily burning a whole in your wallet if you’re not careful. Always read the instructions beforehand on how long to hold the absorbent tip in the Urine stream or on how long to dip it into a cup. Lay it on a dry, flat surface and wait on the results. Luckily even after the timeframe you’ll never have to worry about seeing an Evaporation Line!

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Now that we have gone over the different varieties of Tests out there, it’s time to go over the basics. If you’re one of those who are actively TTC (Trying To Conceive) or trying to get pregnant, you may be familiar with the (Charting Basics) and you may also be familiar with the different parts of your cycle. There are ways to track your cycle through, (Basal Body Temperature, Cervical Mucus, and Cervical Position)

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The Follicular Phase is the time from the first day of your period, until Ovulation occurs and is influenced by Estrogen. Estrogen is responsible for lower temps during that part of your cycle. The Luteal Phase is the time from Ovulation until the time your Period arrives and is influenced by Progesterone, which is a heat inducing hormone that keeps your temps elevated. If you get pregnant, progesterone is necessary to help sustain a healthy Pregnancy and as a result you may notice your temps continue to remain elevated because of it. If you can pinpoint your Ovulation, you can also pinpoint the time your period would be due – giving you the benefit and heads up on whether or not your period may actually be late and that may give you the advantage of a more reliable result. Although your Follicular Phase can vary greatly from cycle to cycle, your Luteal Phase shouldn’t change. A normal LP is around 10-16 days in length.

If you notice that you’re late, it’s recommended to start testing. It is optimal to use FMU (First Morning Urine) but if you are unable to do that you can also hold your Urine for a minimal of 3-4 hours while refraining from drinking any beverages. It’s really important because diluted Urine may not contain enough HCG to yield a positive result depending on the sensitivity of the test, and also how far along you may be. Ideally you want your Urine to be dark, such as the color of Apple Juice or even Apple Cider for example.

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One of the best ways to know for sure is by collecting your sample in a clean, sanitary cup. If it doesn’t look concentrated enough, you can always dump it and try again later.

Always, read the instructions carefully before taking the test to avoid any user errors. One of the biggest mistakes is reading a test outside of the timeframe and interpreting the results wrong. Pregnancy Tests are rapid, “assay,” diagnostics so it’s imperative to read them within the allotted time specified on the instructions. Anything that appears outside of the timeframe, (Regardless of color) should be considered invalid and disregarded. A Line that shows up way after the usual 5-10 minute mark, can be considered an (Evaporation Line) and although they’re usually grey or colorless – they can have a bit of Pink or Blue from time to time so don’t be fooled! Evap Lines are self explanatory, they can start to form once the Urine starts to dry on the test and it evaporates. But with that being said, (even if the test is still damp) the chemicals can still change causing some color to appear. Occassionally you can still be pregnant and have slow rising HCG that may Take longer to appear on a test. It’s not unheard of, but is quiet a rarity. I definitely wouldn’t rely on a colored Line appearing outside of the timeframe to be a true positive result! You can always wait a few days and retest if you feel you could still be pregnant. Rule of thumb: Set a timer for the 4-9 mins specified on the test, giving yourself at least 15-30 seconds to read it from the same range you would read a book. If you don’t see a Line, then throw the test away. In fact if you’re anything like me, Take the test outside, run it over a few times with your car, sweep it up and chunk the remains in a dumpster! Whatever you do, just put the pee stick down!

With that being said, once you’ve saturated the test sufficiently with enough Urine, (whether it’s a Midstream, cassette, or test strip) lay it on a flat, dry surface as the dye runs across it. A Control Line should form, indicating that the test is working properly. The chemical reagents on the Control Line will react with just about any liquid, including water. Normally if HCG is present inside of the Urine, as the Urine hits the antibody strip – the chemical reagents will react and a second Line will then start to produce. Any Line regardless of how light or dark it may be, is considered positive if it appears within the timeframe! But also be weary of the dreadful (Indent Line). It’s simply just the antibody strip and no the Tests not defective if that happens – that’s just how they’re made. Rule of thumb, if you have to break the case open and hold it up to 3 or 4 different lights than it’s probably negative. HCG doubles every 48 hours so if you suspect you could still be pregnant, wait a few days and retest! 2 lines is positive, 1 line is negative.

And with a digital you won’t have to interpret any lines whatsoever. It’ll tell you flat out and it’s unmistakable. Once you open up the foil package, that usually starts to activate the test. After the absorbent tip has been put in the Urine stream or dipped for the proper amount of time, lay the test flat on a dry surface – just as you would with any test. You will see a timer appear, and it may flash for a full 3 minutes before displaying the results. If you’re using a Clearblue Weeks Estimator, it may Take an additional 3 minutes to display how many weeks you are.

(SEE THE IN-DEPTH VIDEO TUTORIAL ON HOW TO TAKE A Clearblue Digital Weeks Estimator HERE)

Lastly, (when using a digital) if it says, “Not Pregnant,” please do not proceed to break the case open. Digital Tests work differently than the normal dye Tests and their sensor’s read the Line intensity differently. They almost will always have at least 2 Lines, because they check for LH (Luteinizing Hormone) as well as HCG. Why you ask? I have no clue, but that’s just the way it is.

For a more in-depth tutorial on how to properly and most accurately Take a Home Pregnancy Test, watch the Video below!

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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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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 Urine Concentration effects OPK Results

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Many of us often opt to start using OPK’s (Ovulation Predictor Kits) to get a heads up on when Ovulation may occur. Our LH (Luteinizing Hormone) levels normally begin to rise just hours prior, and can be measured by using OPK’s. Normally the first true positive result – when the Test Line is equal to or Darker than the Control Line, indicates that Ovulation should be taking place anytime within 12-72 hours. But when using these, how will Urine concentration typically effect those results? It’s always recommended to use highly Concentrated (afternoon) Urine between 2-8pm at the same time everyday! Well, I decided to put it to the test. I dipped one OPK test Strip in Concentrated Urine, and then dipped a second one (same brand) around the same time minus an hour and a ½ in diluted Urine. See what happens next!

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(Digital) Home Pregnancy Tests

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I’m sure by now if you’ve started your TTC (Trying To Conceive) journey, you’ve started charting your BBT (Basal Body Temperature), CM (Cervical Mucus), and possibly even your CP (Cervical Position). Some even opt to Take OPK’s (Ovulation Predictor Kits) in conjunction, to verify whether or not you’re in your Fertile Window! Once Ovulation has taken place, you can usually get a reliable result on a HPT (Home Pregnancy Test) when you’ve missed a period. Most of us are familiar with the Pink and Blue Dye Tests, but sometimes it’s great to confirm those with a (Yes or No!) – I decided to put together a Gallery of actual, “Digital,” results that you can look at that display both Positive and Negative Tests, manufactured by different brands!

Do you have a Test you would like to submit? Email, Tweet, Post or DM them to us!

*PLEASE INCLUDE whether it’s a Positive, Negative, or Evap Line!

*ALSO – If you have submitted a Test and you notice it’s in the wrong category, PLEASE let us know so we can put it in the right category as soon as possible! Thanks

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Product Review! TARGET Brand (Up and Up) Prenatal Vitamins

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There’s a vast majority of Prenatal Vitamins that are over-the-counter or can be prescribed by your Primary Care Physician.

Whether you’ve found out you’re Pregnant or you’re actively TTC (Trying To Conceive) it is highly recommended to start taking Vitamin Suppliments before, during, (and in some cases) even after you’ve given birth if you’re opting to BF (Breast Feed). 

Some of the benefits from taking Prenatal Vitamins (just to name a few) include:

Follic Acid (which is very important during the Early Stages of Fetal Development)
Iron (which helps to prevent you from becoming enemic)
Calcium (which helps strengthen bones and teeth)

So with that being said, which Brand is right for you? I’ve done some research myself on a well known Brand, (that you can find in Target) and have gotten some very good feedback on this particular Product!

One of the main things that most women complain about during Early Pregnancy is Nausea. And some Prenatal Vitamins can increase or even cause it to a certain extent. Another thing most have concern about is the actual size of the pill. (I remember those days. My prescription prenatals were monstrous to swallow!)

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Reviews suggest that the Target Brand are a whole lot easier to swallow, than some of the other over-the-counter Brands.

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This by far, seems to be a GREAT value, (they’re about $4 a bottle) and ABOVE ALL from what feedback I have gotten so far – it seems to work well with their bodies! I myself, would happily recommend this Brand of Prenatal Vitamins and give two thumbs up!

Click HERE for other Customer Reviews for this Product!

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