The Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test isn't the most sensitive test on the market, digital or manual, but users like that its "pregnant" or "not pregnant" results are clear and concise. It's most accurate four days after a missed period.
Most accurate after a late period. The Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test claims to be 99 percent accurate when used on the day your period is due, but one independent study reports that it's only 51 percent accurate on that actual day and 100 percent accurate four days later. Users find it to be most accurate at 15 days past ovulation, around the time a period is expected to begin in an average 28-day menstrual cycle.
Consumers frequently complain about false positives with the Clearblue Digital test, and others say they can still see the "not" faintly even when they get a "pregnant." So although this test is marketed as the most definitive to read, correctly reading the results may still be confusing. Based on a close read of most user posts, the problem may be due to testing that's done too early for optimal accuracy.
Don't trust early testing. The manufacturer says the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test can detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels as low as 25 mIU/ml. However, one independent study indicates that it can detect levels as low as 2.9 mIU/ml in a low percentage of cases. Clearblue recommends using the test on the first day of a missed period, but adds that "53 percent of pregnant women get results five days sooner" when testing four days before a missed period. It's important to note that these results can't be trusted: Independent research shows the test to be only about 3.8 percent accurate at picking up an hCG concentration of 2.9 mIU/ml four days before an expected period.
Uses words to give results. The Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test indicates pregnancy with the words "not pregnant" for a negative or "pregnant" for a positive. Pretty straightforward, right? Maybe not. A number of users say you can see a faint "not" even when the test is positive, which causes confusion. Several others say they saw the word "pregnant," then took another test that showed "not pregnant."
The latter issue may indicate defective tests or the common phenomenon with pregnancy tests of seeing what one wants badly to see. On the whole, most women say test results are extremely straightforward; Clearblue Digital appears to be the choice of those who don't like trying to puzzle out a faint second line.
To use the test, just urinate on the tip for five seconds or dip it in a clean cup of collected urine for 20 seconds. A built-in timer in the shape of an hourglass tells you the test is working and counts down to the three minutes to read the test, although results may show up sooner. The Clearblue Digital activates as soon as it's opened, so it shouldn't be opened until it's ready to be used.
1. Clinical Chemistry
Review Credibility: Very Good This clinical study evaluates the urine samples of 120 known pregnant women to evaluate the claims of early pregnancy detection by six brands of tests. Researchers conclude that Clearblue Digital's claims of being 99 percent accurate on the day of a missed period are misleading. Study results show that it's 51 percent accurate on that day and 100 percent accurate four days after a missed period.
Review: The Utility of Six Over-the-counter (Home) Pregnancy Tests, Laurence A. Cole, August 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good With about 3,300 pregnancy test results here, the Clearblue Digital earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 after more than 100 reviews. Users say the results are very clear and the words are easy to read without trying to squint at symbols or lines. An interpretation of the submitted statistics indicates the test is most accurate at 15 days past ovulation, approximately the day a period is expected to start for most women. Before that, you're most likely to get a false negative if you're pregnant.
Review: Brand: Clearblue Easy Digital, Editors and Contributors to CountdownToPregnancy.com, As of April 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good The Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test gets 3.1 stars out of 5 after about 160 reviews. Most women say it's very accurate, even for early testing. Some complain of false positives, but most seem to occur in very early testing after a known miscarriage, or reference the Clearblue Plus instead.
Review: Clearblue Easy Digital Pregnancy Test - 3 pack, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2013
Review Credibility: Good The Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test is rated 3.5 stars out of 5 in about 10 reviews here. It gets good feedback in general, but a couple of users say they got false negatives or false positives. Others say it's very accurate and easy to read.
Review: Clearblue Pregnancy Test, Digital, Contributors to Drugstore.com, As of April 2013