Can pregnancy test be wrong?

Are you pregnant? That’s why you took the test. Right? But, can you trust your result? You’re asking, “Can pregnancy test be wrong?” The answer is “Yes.” Continue reading to find out why and how you should respond.

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Can pregnancy test be wrong?

Pregnancy tests work by detecting the amount of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin, that comes out in your urine.

Although women normally have some HCG in their system, that amount increases after conception. After a certain amount of time, your HCG increases to a level that most frequently correlates with pregnancy.

How accurate are pregnancy tests?

Read the “fine print” on the package that contains your pregnancy test. You’ll see that it says “99% accurate from the day of your expected period.”

If you test on the first day of you expected period, use a fresh test, precisely follow your pregnancy test instructions, and properly read your result, you can expect to have a reliable “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” result.

How can pregnancy test be wrong?

The following factors can explain how can pregnancy test be wrong:

You used an expired test.

Before using your pregnancy test, the panel on the box that contains your pregnancy test.

You can also check the outside of the sealed foil pouch that contains your pregnancy test to find the device’s expiration date.

If you use an expired test, you can expect to get erroneous results.

If you discover that you’ve used an expired test, call the telephone number on your pregnancy test’s box to ask for either a refund or a replacement test unit.

Do not use an expired pregnancy test. If you discover, after the fact, that you’ve used an expired test, disregard your result.

Get a fresh test, verify the expiration date and test again.

You made a testing error.

To improve your chance of getting an accurate result, you must precisely follow every set of the instructions that came with your pregnancy test.

Common errors are:

  • Slashing urine above your test’s absorbent tip.
  • Pointing the absorbent tip upward (not keeping your test level).
  • Reading your test result too early.
  • Reading your test too late. Results can change as your pregnancy test sits. Never trust a result after 10 minutes.
  • Misinterpreting your result. Carefully compare the result on your test with the images in your pregnancy test directions.
  • Mistaking an evap line as a pregnancy test result line.

You tested too early.

As already noted, women naturally have HCG in their system. Some women have naturally high HCG levels and some have naturally low HCG levels.

False positive result.

If you happen to be one of the potential mothers who have naturally high HCG, and you test with an “Early Result Pregnancy Test,” you may trigger a false positive result.

False negative result.

If you normally have a low level of HCG in your system, you may receive a false negative result while testing early.

How to reduce the risk of false results.

After testing for pregnancy once, always, test again with a fresh test several days later to confirm your result.

Also, we recommend that you always confirm your pregnancy test result on the day of your expected period.

What next?

You asked us, “Can pregnancy test be wrong?,” and our answer was “Yes.”

We’ve tried to help you understand some of the sources of error in pregnancy testing and how you should minimize the possibility of having a false result.

If you still have questions about your pregnancy test result, your pregnancy, or your health, immediately discuss your concerns with a physician or a similar qualified healthcare professional.

CPG-Health does not provide medical advice.

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