How to Get a Free Pregnancy Test

Positive Pregnancy Test
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Once you think you are pregnant, you typically want to know for sure right away. The trouble is, store-bought pregnancy tests, while less expensive than a doctor's visit, can still cost more than you have in your wallet. A free pregnancy test is not hard to come by in many cities. You have a few locations to try. The vast majority do urine pregnancy tests

Places Where You Can Get a Free Pregnancy Test

Some obstetrics or family medicine practices offer free pregnancy tests to prospective new patients. Or consider these options.

Local Health Department

Many city or county health departments offer family planning services. This typically includes a free pregnancy test for those who cannot afford to pay. Some may offer it on a sliding scale if you do have some monetary resources.

Faith-Based Crisis Pregnancy Center

These faith-based services, usually run by local churches, offer free pregnancy tests. They have a goal to prevent abortion and will help people find alternatives such as medical care, housing, and information on adoption. You can search for a faith-based crisis pregnancy center. (These locations have been found to give erroneous information, so be forewarned when getting medical advice.)

Planned Parenthood

These clinics are medical facilities offering free pregnancy tests (or for a fee on a sliding scale). Planned Parenthood also offers birth control and other reproductive services, including gynecologic exams, ultrasounds, adoption referrals and abortion counseling, based on the center. You can locate a center here.

What Strings Are Attached to a Free Pregnancy Test?

Just because something says "free," it does not mean it is truly free. There may be strings attached to the test you receive. This may be a hook to get you to receive your prenatal care with the location you had your test, or a chance to give you information about pregnancy that may or may not be accurate. (Ask if the person who is caring for you is a volunteer or a paid medical professional like a doctor or a nurse with training in pregnancy from an accredited university or school.)

What If You Need a Blood Pregnancy Test?

There may be times when a blood pregnancy test is needed. Typically this is in cases where there are some complications or questions that are not answered. For example, if your practitioner thinks that you're having a miscarriage or could possibly have an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, you may need to get a blood test.

Typically, a single blood test doesn't give as much information as your doctor or midwife will need. This means you may need to return in a few days to have the blood test repeated. In this case, your caregivers are monitoring the level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG, known as the pregnancy hormone) in your body. You will likely need to visit a medical provider, not a crisis pregnancy center, for such tests.

How Much Does a Pregnancy Test Cost?

If you can't find a free pregnancy test, you can get one for as little as a dollar at a dollar store. If you are of childbearing age and are sexually active, keep a few of these inexpensive pregnancy tests in your medicine cabinet. Then you have one handy when you think you need one, without having to go make a purchase if money is tight or you can't get to the store. While these tests do expire, it's typically years before the expiration date. Regular drug store tests run around $12 to $15 for a single test and just a few dollars more for a two-pack, but the dollar-store versions are no less accurate or effective.

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