Dr. Apoorva Pallam Reddy, Gynaecologist at Mathrutva Fertility Centre, Bangalore, India explains the possibility of false negatives in a pregnancy test. She advises on the most accurate test to detect pregnancy in very early stages and the reasons why some pregnancy tests give false results.
The home pregnancy kit detects the presence of hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin), the pregnancy hormone in the urine. The sensitivity of the test kit to hCG levels in the urine varies from brand to brand. Home pregnancy test kits can give false results.
“The only sure shot way of confirming pregnancy is by detecting the blood beta hCG levels. It is a simple blood test to confirm pregnancy. If you are getting negative or mixed results after repeated tests, it is always advisable to consult your gynaecologist.”
There could be several reasons that can give a misleading result:
- Not following the instructions properly: You may get mixed results if you do not follow the instructions included with the test kit correctly.
- Testing too early: The chances of getting a false negative test are very high if you are testing for pregnancy in its very early stages. The level of hCG is more likely to get detected after a week of missed period.
- Short waiting time: Not waiting for sufficient time required to develop the result could be one of the reasons for false results.
- Checking with dilute urine: The first urine of the day is the most concentrated urine with significant levels of hCG. If you are testing with random urine or drinking lot of fluids before the test, your pregnancy test result can vary.