The basic idea is the same for all of these tests, but an advantage to the digital tests is that they have technology that makes them sensitive enough to pick up pregnancy before you miss your period and earlier than others on the market, Shapiro says. Non-digital kits detect hCG in human urine only if it is at a high enough level (around 40 mIU/mL), Shapiro explains. In the first day or two of pregnancy, it is often the case you could get a negative test with a non-digital kit if it’s not sensitive enough to pick up low levels of hCG. Digital tests, however, are sensitive enough to pick up as low as 15 mIU/mL of hCG and detect conception 10 days after ovulation.
Additionally, digital tests take the guesswork out of reading a strip. “Not pregnant” or “pregnant” will appear on the screen, as opposed to squinting to decipher a line, two lines, a plus sign, and so on.
Digital pregnancy tests also tend to be more expensive than non-digital tests due to their advanced technology. While non-digital tests begin at around $8, digital tests are usually over $20.
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