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Can Spotting Make A Pregnancy Test Inaccurate? Experts Weigh In

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Am I pregnant? The answer to that question is so paramount that second guessing and waiting seems excruciating. If you have been trying to conceive, spotting or bleeding can be the evil villain you face every month. Knowing that spotting could be a sign of implantation bleeding, you may want to take a pregnancy test to be sure one way or another, but can spotting make a pregnancy test inaccurate?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, at home pregnancy tests pick up the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine or blood, which is present soon after the embryo attaches itself to your uterine lining. It might break down some blood vessels in the uterine wall and cause implantation bleeding or spotting, which usually happens 10 to 14 days after ovulation.

ClearBlue, one of the biggest brands of at home pregnancy tests, tells Romper in a Facebook message that spotting shouldn't be an issue. "Pregnancy tests work by detecting the pregnancy hormone, hCG, in urine. Bleeding or spotting from the vagina will not affect the result of the test," the brand noted.

Dr. Eva Martin, CEO of Elm Tree Medical, Inc., also tells Romper that pregnancy tests shouldn't give you a false positive or a false negative. "The pregnancy test is looking for hCG, which will be in your blood and urine when you're pregnant, and not in your blood if you're not pregnant," she says.

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When you test is also a factor in the results you will get. According to Mayo Clinic, even though an early urine pregnancy test can show positive results as early as three to four days after implantation, it is more likely to show a positive result about a week after your missed period, when the hCG levels in your urine are higher. At this point, implantation spotting would have occurred already.

If you are skeptical of the pregnancy test results due to spotting, you may consider testing again, or going to your doctor's office for a blood test, which can provide definitive results. If you believe you are pregnant, and are experiencing cramping or spotting, it's a good idea to contact your physician, to rule out any complications. Hopefully, when asking the question, "am I pregnant," you'll get the answer you are hoping for.