Which pregnancy test is best? The answer depends on when you need to know

HOUSTON – Women wanting to get pregnant often buy pregnancy tests in bulk online or at the dollar store to get cheaper tests, and it turns out some are more accurate sooner than others.

However, that early result doesn't always get doctor approval.

Some doctors have gone as far as to say they hate early detection tests because women come into their offices just a couple of weeks into the pregnancy with high hopes and many times a sad outcome.

"One in five pregnancies... end in miscarriage," said Dr. Amy Schutt, reproductive endocrinologist at the Family Fertility Center at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women. "So, when we have tools like these tests to check very early for pregnancy, we can pick up or detect more commonly those early, early miscarriages."

Schutt said she actually takes that information to be helpful. "That can actually lead to evaluation or diagnosis that can help you keep a pregnancy in the future."

Even though pregnancy tests may market their product with promises that they can tell you days sooner than a missed period if you're pregnant, Schutt said by the time of a missed period almost every brand (at any cost) can give an accurate result.

That means you can spend as little as you want, if you can wait.

She said it's likely only the more expensive, name brands will detect a pregnancy sooner than a missed period. That's because those are able to detect a smaller amount of the pregnancy hormone.

The exact percentage of the pregnancy hormone that a test needs to identify pregnancy is on the inside instructions. You're looking for something that says it can detect 25 mIU/hCG or lower. That means it can detect even a small amount of hormones in your system.

You can check how brands rank against each other when measuring the hormone on Early-pregnancy-tests.com.