What Does a Pregnancy Test Cost?

Pregnancy tests are a modern marvel of diagnostic testing and thankfully, they are very low-cost (or free)—and easy to find. Learn more about how much pregnancy tests cost and where you can obtain one.

Pregnancy test with positive results.

Kristen Curette & Daemaine Hines / Stocksy

When you're trying to conceive, you might quickly notice that pregnancy tests, though widely available, can add up quickly when you need to keep buying them. Luckily, they don't have to cost you an arm and leg. Through public programs such as the Affordable Care Act and community health clinics, as well as online retailers, pregnancy tests can be found for very little money.

"Home pregnancy testing allows each of us to be healthier, more informed, and make healthier choices," says Janice Lyon, M.D. FABOG FACOG retired to the Breast Cancer Prevention Awareness Campaign. "Many tests detect pregnancy as early as 7 to 10 days after conception, which can be as early as 21 to 24 days after the first day of the most recent menstruation."

How Much Does an At-Home Pregnancy Test Cost?

At-home pregnancy tests screen urine for the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), which is produced by your body about a week after the egg is fertilized. An at-home test can detect this hormone as soon as the first day after a missed period. The price range for an at-home pregnancy test can range from as little as $ 0.88 to as much as $20 or more. According to Good RX Health, the average price of an at-home pregnancy test containing two test sticks is around $15.

"You can get the strips instead of the cartridge tests. This is a thin testing strip you dip in urine. You can purchase a pregnancy test at the dollar store. You can find multipacks online for even 50 cents each," says Allison K. Rodgers, M.D., a clinical advisor for Juno Diagnostics.

How Much Does a Blood Pregnancy Test Cost?

A blood pregnancy test usually costs $50 and is covered by many types of health insurance. The Affordable Care Act requires that pregnancy tests, including blood pregnancy tests, must be considered an essential health benefit and covered under health plans. Depending on the plan you have, there may be out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles or co-pay fees.

"This can vary depending on the location. Urine pregnancy tests are quite reliable when pregnancy levels (HCG) get to a high enough level approximately from the time of a missed period. The self-pay price without insurance is typically about $50 for blood tests. With insurance, it should be a covered benefit," says Dr. Rodgers.

There are two types of blood pregnancy tests available by health care providers. The first is called a quantitative blood test, which measures the precise amount of hCG present in the blood. The other type of blood test is called a qualitative blood pregnancy test, which only detects the presence of hCG, but not the amount. (Like at-home pregnancy tests, qualitative blood tests deliver a positive or negative result.) Although blood pregnancy tests are 99% accurate, they are not commonly used because they require a blood draw at a lab or doctor's office, they take a long time to get results, and they are expensive.

"A blood pregnancy test is harder to come by than a urine test. It's much easier to get a urine pregnancy test, and the blood pregnancy tests are only slightly better than a urine pregnancy test. It's unusual for us to recommend a blood pregnancy test because urine pregnancy tests are so good, and usually, a blood pregnancy test is a waste of money," says Dr. Lyon. "The urine pregnancy tests are almost as reliable. We rarely have to resort to a blood pregnancy test."

According to Medline Plus, one reason why you may want to opt for a quantitative blood pregnancy test is that it can detect an exact amount of hCG, which can be valuable information. That information can tell a doctor several things:

  • The age of the fetus
  • If the pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy
  • Help identify specific problems, such as Down syndrome and other chromosomal defects

Can You Get a Free Pregnancy Test?

Dr. Lyon explains that anyone can get a free test in a variety of ways. "Suppose one cannot afford a pregnancy test: in that case, one may go to any local free or Medicaid clinic for a free pregnancy test or go to a local library and use a public computer to search for "free pregnancy test near me" (or anywhere you may have access to a computer or the internet)."

Other places to quickly get a free pregnancy test include:

  • Local crisis pregnancy centers
  • Public health clinics
  • Planned Parenthood

"Most of these facilities provide need-based fee schedules, some with no charge to patients on a need basis," says Dr. Lyon.

What Are Some Ways to Save Money on Pregnancy Tests?

Ways to save money on pregnancy tests include buying in bulk, opting for cheap off-brand pregnancy tests, or testing at facilities where pregnancy tests are free or very low-cost such as a public health centers or clinics, like Planned Parenthood.

"Several manufacturers package in bulk from 2 to 30+ test kits, and Amazon sells in bulk. For most patients, we only use a pregnancy test kit a handful of times throughout their life. Individuals rarely need bulk quantities, but having them in bulk at medical facilities is always great," says Dr. Lyon. "The pregnancy test is the most important and cost-effective preoperative and pre-prescription test in medicine."

Are Low-Cost Pregnancy Tests Reliable?

The at-home pregnancy tests, including low-cost pregnancy tests, are up to 99% accurate. Since they were introduced to the mass market in 1976, they have become a modern marvel of self-use diagnostic testing. However, according to research, the 99% accuracy rate is lower when human error comes into play. For example, some low-cost tests don't have a convenient plastic stick to house the test strip, which makes it easy to hold while using. It is possible to use a pregnant test incorrectly and receive false positive or false negative results. That said, the tests themselves, when used appropriately and according to manufacture instructions, are 99% accurate.

Can I Check If I Am Pregnant Without a Pregnancy Test?

While you may be wondering if signs and symptoms alone can determine pregnancy, the truth is you cannot accurately check if you are pregnant without a pregnancy test. "Many symptoms: breast tenderness, nausea, increased temperature may be related to other factors. The only way to know for sure is to get a pregnancy test," says Dr. Rodgers.

If you are sexually active and have missed a period, then the best way to determine if you are pregnant is by taking a pregnancy test.

That said, one can check for pregnancy with an ultrasound. However, this is not typically done without a positive pregnancy test.

To learn more about how to find low-cost or free pregnancy tests, birth control, and other health care matters, check out the Planned Parenthood website to find a resource near you.

Other Things You Should Know

While the cost of pregnancy tests vary, there are other things you can do to offset the expense:

  • FSAs and HSAs may be used to cover the cost of at-home pregnancy tests and blood pregnancy tests.
  • Occasionally, insurance will reimburse for an at-home pregnancy test.
  • You can and should shop around. This includes looking online (and in print publications) for discount codes and coupons.
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Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. Strips of Hope: Accuracy of Home Pregnancy Tests and New Developments. 2014.

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