How Common is a False Negative Pregnancy Test? 

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A pregnancy test that you take at home is extremely effective. In fact, when you take it correctly, they are something that are nearly 100% accurate. However, it is still possible to receive a false negative pregnancy test in some situations.

How does a Pregnancy Test Work?

When you take a pregnancy test, you will be testing a urine sample. The test will then analyze this sample and look for a certain hormone. This hormone is called hCG and is something that is typically pregnant when you are pregnant.

This hormone begins developing when a woman first becomes pregnant and will grow as she progresses in her pregnancy. Early on in a pregnancy, it is possible for a pregnancy test to not recognize a pregnancy because the hormone levels are so low. In these instances, it is possible to be pregnant but to receive a negative reading on a pregnancy test.

how-does-pregnancy-test-work

When does a False Positive Occur?

The most common time for a false positive pregnancy test to be shown is when either the test is faulty or if a woman has what is known as a chemical pregnancy. With a chemical pregnancy, the egg will become fertilized, but the embryo will fail to implant and become a pregnancy. Unfortunately, this is something that occurs in about 25% of all pregnancies. So, if women were to take pregnancy tests extremely early on in a pregnancy, this is the result they would receive.

Another issue that can occur revolves around medications and health conditions that the woman is taking. For example, it is possible for a woman to actually take hCG as a fertility drug, in the hopes of becoming pregnant. Usually, this is something that is done along with fertility treatments.

Since the drug can stay in a woman’s system for some time, you will need to talk to your doctor about the best time to take a pregnancy test if you have been taking this drug. Usually, you are told to wait two weeks after a fertility treatment in order to determine if you are really pregnant or if you are receiving a false positive.

In order to be certain you are pregnant following a positive reading, it is always best to take a second test a few days after take the first. This can help eliminate the issues related to a faulty pregnancy test as well as those related to a chemical pregnancy.

Luckily, a false positive on a pregnancy test is rather rare, so you should be able to trust them the majority of the time. However, it never hurts to be certain about the results by repeating the test a few times. You can also confirm a pregnancy through your doctor’s office.

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