3 Causes of False Negative Pregnancy Test
False negative pregnancy test is common. In fact, a study by American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that almost one third of women taking pregnancy tests get a false negative pregnancy test result.
You may wonder why false negative pregnancy test happens, and the pregnancy test manufacturers claim that home pregnancy tests are 90-99% sensitive. The study we mentioned earlier reported that the prevalence of false negative pregnancy test is a great concern and manufacturers should revise the pregnancy test instruction. It’s now time to learn the causes of false negative pregnancy test…
Causes of false negative pregnancy test
1) Taking the pregnancy test too early
The AJPH study results found that most women who took the pregnancy test too early had false negative test results. Home pregnancy tests work by detecting the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine. In early pregnancy, the hCG levels are still very low. It takes 6-10 weeks after fertilization for hCG levels to rise to the maximum.
Some pregnancy test manufacturers claim that their pregnancy test kits are 90-99% sensitive. This is not always the case. In fact, the AJPH study recommended that manufacturers should advise women to take pregnancy tests at least two weeks after missing a menstrual period.
Thus, if you take a pregnancy test too early, there’s a high chance that you’ll get a false negative pregnancy test when in a real sense you’re pregnant. It’s good to wait for at least two weeks to allow the hCG levels rise to detectable levels.
2) Improper method of pregnancy test testing
Every pregnancy test kit has the manufacturer’s instructions inserted inside. The instructions provide the specific instructions that must be followed to obtain an accurate pregnancy test result. The instructions specify how to hold the pregnancy test. A woman should hold the pregnancy test stick with the absorbent tip facing downwards.
The instructions also specify for how long the absorbent tip should be dipped in the urine stream. It is usually 3-5 seconds when holding the strip in a urine strip and 20-25 seconds when dipping in urine collected in a urine cup.
Thus, if you make a mistake or do not follow these important instructions, chances are you’ll get a false negative pregnancy test. There may not be adequate urine in the absorbent tip to reflect an accurate pregnancy test.
3) Failure to check the pregnancy test result as recommended
The pregnancy test manufacturer’s recommendations are important.
When taking a pregnancy test, there is usually a lot of anxieties. I’ve heard women saying that the 3-5 minutes wait seems like days. You may read the pregnancy test result too early or after the recommended time. Failure to check the pregnancy test result at the exact response period will lead to invalid results, and this may be a false negative pregnancy test.
It’s recommended that you get a timer or stopwatch when taking the pregnancy test to ensure you check the results at the exact pregnancy test reaction time. This will allow you to avoid false negative pregnancy test.
When taking a pregnancy test next time, it is good you consider this information. If not, you’ll get a false negative pregnancy test.