Can pregnancy test be wrong?


You have searched for this article it can mean only two things. Either you are worried that you are pregnant or you are happy. In first scenario you might be praying that the result should be negative, and in later you want to confirm pregnancy before announcing to your hubby. A delayed menses beyond 7 days should prompt one to do a urine test, which is not without false positives or false negatives.  We will discuss about pregnancy test in a while after we know the signs of early pregnancy.

Signs of early pregnancy

Normally menstruation occurs on an expected day plus minus few days. Delayed menses is the first sign of pregnancy. An apprehension of pregnancy due to unprotected intercourse can result in delayed menses by few days or weeks. But if you have variable menstrual cycle or do not remember your last menstrual date you may experience more anxiety. Nevertheless delayed menses or suspicion of pregnancy should prompt one for a home urine test as early as possible, especially if pregnancy is unwanted. A spotting or slight bleeding around an expected day does not rule out pregnancy, since it can occur due to implantation of embryo inside the uterus. Other symptoms of early pregnancy include nausea especially in the morning, feeling of bloating, increased frequency of urination, tiredness and tender breasts.

Home pregnancy test and interpretations

A simple, convenient and very cost effective test for pregnancy can be done at home using a pregnancy test kit available easily at most of the pharmacy stores. Don’t be shy when you ask for urine test kit or pregnancy kit. If you wish your partner can get it for you. It detects the presence of a hormone HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) in your urine. Ovaries start to secrete HCG when the embryo implants on the uterus. HCG is then excreted in urine. It can be detected in urine 6 to 14 days after fertilization. A positive urine test needs a specified level of HCG in urine. Collect morning first urine in a clean container free of soap, since soap can interfere with test results. Using dropper provided in the kit, put 1 or 2 drops in the ‘well’ of the kit. Wait for specified time and check the colored lines that appear. Interpret as mentioned in the literature.

Most pregnancy test kits can give results on first day of missed period. You can do it on the first day of your missed period, if you have regular periods and you know the date. If you’re not sure about the expected date or you do not have regular periods, you can do a pregnancy test 21 days or three weeks after you had unprotected sex.

A negative pregnancy test may mean that either you are not pregnant or HCG level in urine is not sufficient enough. To rule out false negative, you will need to repeat the same test after a week. If you are too excited to wait for a week, you can get a blood test done in a lab.

A positive pregnancy test indicates pregnancy or high level of HCG due to some medications or some diseases.  A woman on infertility treatment most likely be receiving HCG injection, resulting in false positive test. Sonography finding of a viable embryo inside uterus is confirmatory of pregnancy. Embryo sac with foetal pole is defined as a viable embryo. Visualisation of embryo sac without foetal pole also needs repeat scan after a week or so.  A positive home pregnancy test should prompt one to visit Obstetrician for the next desired action, either to continue or abort pregnancy. In India, pregnancy can be medically terminated up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, with the consent of pregnant woman. For those who wish to continue the pregnancy need to follow instructions of Obstetrician in addition to taking iron and folic acid supplements.

Pregnancy is one of the happiest moment in a couple’s life, provided it is planned and ends with new beginning of parenthood. So play safe and have happy times!

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