Can I Trust a Home Pregnancy Test?
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, much of medicine has become virtual. Patients are speaking with their healthcare providers over phone and video on a regular basis. Office visits are primarily reserved for blood work, imaging, and necessary procedures. Increased time at home has led many patients to ask, “Can I trust a home pregnancy test?” or “How common are false negative pregnancy tests?”
Are home pregnancy tests accurate?
Patients often wonder if a home pregnancy test can ever be inaccurate. The answer is yes, but not too often. A false positive test is a positive result when the patient is not actually pregnant. False positive home pregnancy tests are unusual, but there are some rare medical conditions where a patient might get a false positive. Additionally, certain fertility medications (specifically HCG trigger shots) can cause false positive pregnancy tests for several days after the injection is administered.
How common are false negative pregnancy tests?
False negative pregnancy tests are more common. These occur in situations where someone IS actually pregnant, but the test reads negative. Often a home pregnancy test is done too early or sometimes the patient’s pregnancy hormone level is below the detection threshold of the home pregnancy test. If a patient misses a period and has a negative home pregnancy test, it is reasonable to repeat the test a few days later.
At Fertility Centers of New England (FCNE), we provide virtual consultations worldwide. Our goal at FCNE is to help each of our patients achieve a successful, healthy pregnancy. If you have further questions about fertility testing or treatment, please contact us to set up your virtual consultation.
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