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Causes of Pregnancy Test False Positive / Negative

Just like any test, a home pregnancy test is not infallible. With an average 97-99% rate of accuracy home pregnancy tests are incredibly reliable, but that doesn’t mean that once in a while there won’t be a false result. However, by understanding the reasons for most false positive and false negative pregnancy test results you can usually avoid them, or at least know that you may need to see your doctor for confirmation.

False Negative Tests

All home pregnancy tests are designed to detect the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. This hormone increases regularly during the first few weeks of pregnancy, so it is a sure fire way to find out if you are pregnant. However, if you test too early you may receive a negative result, as the hormone in your body is not high enough yet. This is why most tests are designed to, at the earliest, test for hCG the day you miss your period, or about 14 days after conception.

Some home pregnancy tests can now be taken a day or two before your missed period, but if you do happen to get a negative result it is important that you test again if you do not get your period. All women’s bodies are different, and some may just not be producing enough hCG at the time the pregnancy test is taken. This is why you should always buy at least a two pack of pregnancy tests!

False Positive Tests


There are a few different reasons why you may receive a false positive result on a pregnancy test:

Early Miscarriage

Some studies show that over 50% of first pregnancies end in miscarriage. Sounds high doesn’t it? The fact is that many women may not even know they are having a miscarriage as the pregnancy fails right around the time of their period. However, since hCG was produced before the miscarriage you may still get a positive pregnancy test.

Reaction Time

The chemicals used in a pregnancy test are very sensitive, and if you the instructions are not followed properly you could end up with a false positive. Above all, make sure you take the test at the right time of day (some call for early morning), and don’t let it sit too long!

Fertility Drugs

If you are taking certain fertility drugs, the drugs increase the amount of hCG in your body which helps you to conceive. Because the level of hCG has increased in your body, pregnancy tests can occasionally react positive in response to this increased hCG, while in fact you are not pregnant. For this reason you will need to attend your doctor to confirm your situation.

Interference

Any drug that you may be taking, if it contains hCG will likely interfere with your pregnancy test results. This is particularly true for women taking hCG as a fertility treatment. Make sure that this drug is out of your system before taking a home pregnancy test, or at least see your doctor to follow up on a positive test result.

 

   

 

 
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