You may have heard a tale or two of a woman who didn’t know she was pregnant until she was going to bathroom and saw a head coming out of her hoo-ha. Although this scenario is a bit extreme, it is possible for women to be unaware of a pregnancy. Some of these women may have seen a false-negative on a pregnancy test and taken that result as a finality. Yes, it is possible to get a false-negative reading. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, more women are likely to have a false-negative reading than a false-positive. Which means it is possible that an at home test is telling you you’re not pregnant when you really are.
Pharmacy shelves stock plenty of options for home pregnancy tests, but it’s important to remember that all pregnancy tests have one job: search for human chorionic gonadotropin. Better known as hCG, this is the hormone a woman’s body produces when she becomes pregnant. Levels of hCG can be found in blood and urine tests between 11 and 14 days after conception takes place. According to the American Pregnancy Association, hCG levels double every 72 hourson average, reaching a peak in the first 8 to 11 weeks of pregnancy. A test will show a negative or positive result based on how low or high the levels of hCG register.
So what does this have to do with false-negatives? Well, most of the time a false-negative happens when something interferes with the test detecting hCG. Understanding what can cause bogus results will keep you on track to more accurate readings. Here are some factors to consider if you believe you have received a false-negative result.