Can A Pregnancy Test Be Wrong?

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When you are trying to make a baby with your partner not everything is lovely. It is very stressful to find out the right pregnancy test. Then it is all the more mentally draining to find whether the results of the pregnancy test are reliable. We often wonder, can a pregnancy test be wrong?  

So here we have got you everything the brands don’t talk about when they showcase their pregnancy tests:

Can a pregnancy test be wrong?

When rockets by NASA can fail then a pregnancy test is no exception. They can certainly give wrong results. We have compiled a list of reasons, why a pregnancy test gives a wrong result, to help you avoid them.

Reasons for a wrong pregnancy test result

If the pregnancy test doesn’t give a result or invalid result it is a wrong pregnancy test result.

  1. A pregnancy test can be wrong if the kit is defective. If the pregnancy test kit is broken or defective it won’t give a valid result. Since the pregnancy test will be improper the test results also will be invalid or false.

  2. A pregnancy test can be wrong if it has expired. Again, in this case, the test will not give a correct result. The pregnancy test will be wrong because the hCG strip antibodies have expired. Once the shelf life is up then hCG strip will not be able to detect the hCG hormone.

  3. A pregnancy test can be wrong if hCG strip is folded. When the hCG strip is folded the detector particles bind to each other. Hence, it will not detect the hCG in urine. So the pregnancy test results will be wrong.

  4. A pregnancy test can be wrong if it was refrigerated. Pregnancy test kits should not be kept in a refrigerator. If you keep them inside a cold refrigerated then the hCG strip will harden and might crack. This gives a wrong pregnancy test result.

  5. If you hold the pregnancy test strip for more than allowed time in the urine stream or dip it for long, it will give a wrong pregnancy test result.

  6. If you keep the pregnancy test kit upside down or hold it with strip towards the floor, it will give a wrong pregnancy test result.

  7. Touching the hCG strip with hands will give a wrong pregnancy test result.

  8. Reading the results after allotted time has passed will give you a wrong pregnancy test result.

  9. Using a diluted urine sample gives a wrong pregnancy test result.

  10. Taking your pregnancy test at times other than early morning may give you a wrong pregnancy test result.
Can a pregnancy test be wrong?
Can a pregnancy test be wrong?

Can a positive pregnancy test be wrong?

If you get a faint positive result then it is not a wrong pregnancy test result.

In other cases, it is called a false positive pregnancy test result. False positive is a wrong pregnancy test result where you get a positive result even though you are not pregnant.

Reasons for getting a wrong pregnancy test result called ‘false positive’

  1. A wrong pregnancy test can be falsely positive if the woman is suffering from PCOD. When a woman is suffering from PCOD ‘polycystic ovary syndrome’ her ovaries have cysts. They are small clumps of undifferentiated tissue which hamper the functioning of ovaries. These cysts will produce hCG even though you might not be pregnant. The hormone will come in your urine and will be detected. This gives a wrong result by the pregnancy result.

  2. Some prescriptions can give wrong pregnancy test result. Rifampin for Tuberculosis, sulfasalazine, and Pyridium given for UTI give urine a red-orange color which gives a wrong false positive pregnancy test.

    Some medical prescriptions can give rise to the basal hCG production. Antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics and other medical prescription which promote diuresis (frequent urination) can give false positive pregnancy test results.

  3. Chemical Pregnancies give a wrong pregnancy test result that is a false positive. A chemical pregnancy is a condition when you’ve conceived technically but the pregnancy is not sustainable. This may happen in the case of ectopic pregnancies (when the embryo is implanted at places other than womb). In this case, again hCG will be produced but the pregnancy will be spontaneously terminated. So for that time, the result will be correct but with respect to later stage, it will be a wrong pregnancy test result.

  4. IVF or other infertility therapies can cause a wrong pregnancy test. For treating infertility a woman is given a shot of ovulating hormones that cause superovulation. This process might spurt your hCG levels but you are not pregnant yet. So this again will be a case of a pregnancy test giving a wrong result.

  5. Urine coloring agents can make a pregnancy test wrong. Foods such as saffron or beetroots, blackberries or rhubarb give urine a color. If woman conducts test after eating these food items, then pregnancy test will give false positive results. This time the evaporation lines will have a pinkish red color. Then it will look like a positive result. All this can make a pregnancy test go wrong.

  6. Human errors can also give a wrong pregnancy test result and give a false positive result. Mistakes, like reading after time, not following instructions, using an expired kit, can give a false positive pregnancy test result.

  7. Urine diseases or Urinary tract diseases can cause a wrong false positive result. Kidney diseases like calculi (stones) or urinary tract infection UTI make the urine colored and even cause blood to come with urine. In this condition, the pregnancy test results will be wrong. The evaporation lines will show like positive results.

Can a pregnancy test give a false negative result?

A pregnancy test can show a false negative result. A false negative pregnancy test means that you are pregnant but the kit shows you that you are not.

Reasons for a False negative pregnancy test result

  1. Low hCG levels in the body can give a wrong false negative pregnancy test result. An important thing to remember about a false negative test is that it is not necessarily a fault of the pregnancy test. If you take the test too early when the body has not produced enough hCG, the kit will show a negative pregnancy test result. 

  2. Physiological problems related to hCG production can give a false negative. Every individual is different. We may produce different amounts of hCG at different rates after conceiving as not all of us are the same. There may be a case when the woman’s body doesn’t double the amount of hCG within 48 hours. Hence even if you’ll take the test on the right time you can get a wrong pregnancy test.

  3. Chemical Pregnancy can give a wrong pregnancy test result that is a false negative. Chemical Pregnancy is a short lived pregnancy. If the pregnancy test kit is of good quality which considers other factors other than just hCG level, it can give a false negative result for chemical pregnancies. But technically as you are pregnant, the pregnancy test will be wrong.

  4. Human errors can always give wrong pregnancy test results. Human errors such as touching the hCG strip, placing the kit in a wrong way, taking the test after drinking tea etc. can give a wrong false negative pregnancy test result.

Hence there are many reasons for getting a wrong pregnancy test result. A doctor’s advice is a must after taking the home pregnancy test.