How Common Is A False Negative Pregnancy Test And What Causes It?
Using Home Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests are one of the most common methods used to determine pregnancy. They work by measuring the amount of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) present in the woman’s urine. When detected, hCG is a reliable indicator indicating that you are pregnant. With most standard home pregnancy tests, it is recommended that you wait until you have missed a period so that your results will be more accurate. If you are unable to wait for that to happen or need to know sooner, you may perform the test at around 12 days after the time you believe you may have conceived. Most commercially available tests have around a 97% accuracy, provided the instructions are followed correctly and the results are read in a timely manner. Many pregnancy test kits contain at least two pregnancy tests so can test again if you are unsure of the result or just want to see the positive result again.
What is a False Negative Pregnancy Test?
A false negative test indicates that you are NOT pregnant when, in fact, you are. This can lead to quite a bit of confusion and anxiety. To avoid this error, you must be aware of the possible causes for this result.
What Causes a False Negative Result?
1. Testing To Early
One of the most common reasons for a false negative result is testing too early. In order for a pregnancy test to show accurate results, you have to give your body time to produce the levels of hcg (pregnancy hormone) that the pregnancy test needs in order to trigger a positive result. Most of the tests on the market today will show a positive result around the time your period is due which is why it is recommended that you wait until you have actually missed your period before testing. Even the tests that advertise the ability to test 3 or 4 days before your period might not give accurate results at that time due to the variation in when implantation, and subsequent production of hcg, can occur in each woman.
2. Not Following Test Directions
In your intense desire to find out if you are pregnant, you rip open the package as soon as you get home, pee and soak the test. Did you look at the instructions before you did that? There is a chance that you didn’t and that could negatively affect the the reliability of the test results. Some tests will tell you how long to dip or urinate on the test. Wetting the test for too little time or for too long can create unreliable results.
3. Reading Test Results at The Wrong Time
Be sure you read the test results within the time range listed in the pregnancy test instruction. If you read the results too early, well you could have missed a positive because you weren’t patient enough to allow the full reaction time to pass. Reading the results after the time period has passed can also cause stress and inaccurate results. Can anyone relate to seeing a very faint line on the test 2 hours after tossing a pregnancy test, with what you thought was a negative result, in the trash can?? Well, while it might be a positive, you should never consider it a positive at that point. Any changes in the test that you see after the time frame outlined in the test instructions has to be considered invalid. Test again with a new test and follow the directions well this time. Using a timer will help avoid any time related invalid results.
A negative result on a home pregnancy test COULD mean that you are not pregnant, that the test was performed too early, or that there was a problem with the technique or timing. If you suspect that you are pregnant and that you received a false negative, wait for a few days and test again. If you obtain different results with other home pregnancy tests, it is highly recommended that you contact a healthcare professional and have more specific tests done to get a definite answer.