What Causes False Negative Pregnancy Test

You’ve most likely heard “I didn’t know I was pregnant” stories that went something like this: A woman declares she took an at-home pregnancy test that came back unfavorable, but, lo and behold, she truly was pregnant — and the pregnancy progressed without her knowledge. It’s a frightening thought, but you shouldn’t fret about it occurring to you. Incorrect negative pregnancy tests do not actually happen, as long as you’re taking the test correctly. However there are some reasons that you could get an unfavorable reading when you’re really pregnant — so this is what to prevent:

What Causes False Negative Pregnancy Test

Taking the test too early

Even if you’re champing at the bit to understand whether you’re expecting, wait until you’ve missed your duration to take the test. “Home pregnancy tests are a qualitative test and determine whether hCG — the pregnancy hormonal agent human chorionic gonadotropin — exists in your urine,” describes Stephen Rechner, M.D., the Division Chief of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. “A detectable amount of this hormone is generally not seen until after the first missed out on duration.”

After your duration was due, the accuracy of your home pregnancy test is 97 percent, states Sean Daneshmand, M.D., an ob-gyn based in San Diego and the founder of the nonprofit organization Miracle Babies. The remaining 3 percent may merely need a bit more time. Due to the fact that women’s menstruations can vary, those women might not have enough hCG for the test to get yet. “If you get a negative pregnancy test, you should wait a few days and attempt it once again,” says Dr. Rechner.

Also read: What Color are Evaporation Lines on Pregnancy Tests

HCG levels in your blood increase quickly if you truly are pregnant — they must double around every 48 hours — so you need to be able to rely on the negative test result if you took the test about a week after you missed your duration.

Most women find out they’re pregnant about 4 to six weeks after the first day of their last duration, states Dr. Daneshmand.

How Accurate are Pregnancy Tests?

Using an ended pregnancy test

Be selective when you purchase your pregnancy test. Examine the box to make sure it hasn’t passed its expiration date, in which case it probably will not work properly, says Dr. Daneshmand.

Taking the test incorrectly

Follow the directions that come with your pregnancy test thoroughly to be sure you’re taking it the proper way. Dr. Rechner recommends taking the test first thing in the early morning, as the concentration of hCG in your urine is generally greatest then.


Last modified: April 3, 2017

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