What gives a false positive or negative result?

As accurate as pregnancy tests have gotten these days – they are not infallible. There is still the rare occasion when a pregnancy test will give a false result. There are two types of false results: FALSE POSITIVE A false positive result is when the pregnancy test says that you are pregnant, but you are actually not […]

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As accurate as pregnancy tests have gotten these days – they are not infallible. There is still the rare occasion when a pregnancy test will give a false result. There are two types of false results:

FALSE POSITIVE

A false positive result is when the pregnancy test says that you are pregnant, but you are actually not pregnant.

Although rare, a false positive can happen for a bevy of reasons.

  • Blood or protein is present in your urine.
  • The test is picking up on drugs in your system such as tranquilizers.
  • Problems with your ovaries.
  • The test itself is faulty and throws a faint line when it should not.

You could also have a “false” positive. This is a case where you really are pregnant, but it is a non-viable pregnancy.  An ectopic pregnancy or a chemical pregnancy will both result in a positive test, but unfortunately there is no way to carry these pregnancies to term.

In a Glow community survey, answered by 55,000+ women who are trying to conceive, 18.7% said that they had gotten a false positive test result at some point of their respective journeys.

FALSE NEGATIVE

A false negative result is when the pregnancy test says that you are not pregnant, but you are actually pregnant.

A false negative pregnancy test is much more common. And can happen because:

  • You took the test too early – so there was simply not enough hCG in your urine to show up on pregnancy test. You can remedy this by waiting a few days and testing aga
  • Your urine was diluted. Meaning that you had drunk too much water or other liquids prior to taking the test. You can remedy this by testing using your urine first thing in the morning.

In a Glow community survey, answered by 1,000+ women who are trying to conceive, 65% said that they had gotten a false negative test result at some point of their respective journeys prior to getting their positive results.

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