Tag Archives: test

Initial Pregnancy: False Negative

The flipside of the coin from our last post (Initial Pregnancy: False Positive) is a false negative. Receiving a false negative is much less common and can only be attributed to a couple factors.

The most obvious reason for a false negative is that the test was taken too early. hCG starts to build up in your system but not in high enough quantities to be read on a pregnancy test until just a few days before your missed period. Since women ovulate differently, it could be that you just need to wait a few days and take another test.

Following the instructions to use the most concentrated, early morning urine is important here too, because diluted urine just won’t have the same concentration of hCG. Again, if you think you are pregnant, wait and take your test in the morning. Having an accurate test is well worth waiting another twelve hours.

Possibly, the test is a dud. This happens in all things, one or two tests off the production line just weren’t made the same as the others and the sensitivity is off. Our advice is the same as above, retest in a few days, using a different brand or at least a different lot number from your original test.

Less common reasons for a false negative could be an ectopic pregnancy that just isn’t creating enough hCG, or a threatened or spontaneous miscarriage.

If you are convinced you are pregnant, but you can’t get a positive home test, reach out to us. We can look over your situation and have you come in for a blood test. It has a better accuracy rate, and we’ll be discussing in more in detail tomorrow.

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Initial Pregnancy: False Positive

We hear this question all the time. “I just took an at-home pregnancy test and it shows that I’m pregnant! Is there any chance it could be wrong?” This question comes from women on both sides of the fence, those hoping that the test could be inaccurate, and those hoping so badly to get pregnant that they don’t believe the evidence before them.

Because of this, we have developed a checklist of questions to make sure that the positive you are seeing is a true positive pregnancy…

Are you absolutely sure you took the test according to the package directions and did not leave it too long before checking?

We ask this question because each test has its’ own guidelines to follow when testing. Almost all tests suggest using your first morning urine, and reading the test within 7-10 minutes after testing. If the test is left too long, lines can appear from the urine evaporating and look like a positive marker.

Have you eaten beets, carrots, saffron, anything urine-colored recently?

This is the same idea to the evaporation lines. Food-dyed urine can appear as a positive marker line in the test box, although it will not turn blue or pink.

Have you recently had a miscarriage?

We hate to think this, but if a woman is insistent that she can’t be pregnant, that is one of our most useful questions. After a miscarriage, it can take some time for your body’s hormones to revert to normal. This means that a pregnancy test could be reading your hCG from the last pregnancy.

Are you taking any medications?

There are several prescriptive medications that can trigger a false positive on a pregnancy test. Fertility medications are among the highest culprits, followed by diuretics and anti-anxiety meds. We can help you sort through your medications and determine if one might be causing a false positive, or you can do your research. Just know it’s a possibility.

How are you feeling otherwise?

With this question, we’d like to know if you are experiencing any other signs and symptoms of pregnancy or if there may be an illness or disease that is providing the positive. Urinary tract or kidney infections, PCOS, and ovarian cancer can also trigger a false positive.

With those questions, it’s helpful to determine whether a positive is most likely a true positive. This is why we call a pregnancy test a probable sign of pregnancy. They are not foolproof and nothing is 100% positive until we hear that little heartbeat or see the little peanut floating around. Pregnancy tests will also show positive for a chemical (extremely early pregnancy that never implanted) or an ectopic pregnancy (a fertilized egg that attached inside the fallopian tubes). Neither of these pregnancies will lead to a healthy baby, but they are still considered pregnancies nonetheless. To rule these out, Doppler or ultrasound technology must be used.

So, depending on how you answered the questions, congratulations. Your positive is most likely a true positive and we’d love to hear from you.

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Pre-Conception: Homemade Pregnancy Tests

Did you know there are several ways listed across the internet to make your own pregnancy test at home? We’ve done our research, as you should too, and we’ve come up with a list of the most common homemade pregnancy tests. While we agree that making your own laundry detergent is amazing, homemade soaps are luxurious, and don’t even get us started on those crafted herbal baths, we think that manufacturing pregnancy tests is best left to the professionals. Most homemade tests are difficult at best to interpret for results, but if you have the ingredients and no other way to test, give it a go. We’d love to hear how it works out for you.

The Dandelion Test

To prepare for the dandelion test, you will need to gather a handful of fresh dandelion leaves. Strip them from the stem and bring them inside. Try to do this early in the morning, or late in the evening, when the leaves have no been in direct sunlight for a few hours. Continue to protect the leaves from sunlight as much as possible. Place the leaves into a container and saturate them with a cup of your urine. Wait 10 minutes and then check the leaves for reddish blisters. If they have not appeared, wait another 10 minutes and check again. The reddish blisters indicate a possible pregnancy. There is no definite length of time to continue to check the leaves looking for red spots. Our guess is, until you get tired of having a container of urine and dandelion greens on your kitchen counter.

The Bleach Test

Another somewhat vague test, this one could actually be quite dangerous to you and your unborn child. This method recommends mixing bleach and your urine together in a container and waiting to see if there is a reaction, possibly foaming or fizzing. There is not a recipe for exact quantities, although some sites recommend half and half of the liquid components. If you have ever made the mistake of cleaning the bathroom with bleach and ammonia at the same time, you know that the chemical reaction is extremely toxic and the fumes are noxious. You will get a similar amount of fumes with this test. If you choose to perform it, please, please, please, do it outside where it is well-ventilated and do not hold your face over the container trying to watch for a little fizz.

The Sugar Test

The sugar test is not quite as sweet as the name suggests. To perform this test, you will want to put several spoonfuls of common granulated sugar into a container and first thing in the morning, urinate directly into the sugar. The warmth of the urine should dissolve the sugar, much like your morning coffee. If the sugar clumps instead of dissolving (without stirring, mind you), there is the possibility of a pregnancy. Hmmm… not sure the validity of this test, but we do know that you should keep the sugar away from your vaginal area because sugar promotes yeast and yeast infections are miserable, pregnant or not. Also, be sure to dispose of your concoction before anyone mistakes it for a cup of sweetened apple juice.

The Toothpaste Test

This one may be one of the most confusing. The common directions found across the net are to purchase a tube of toothpaste, the plain white paste kind, and to mix it in a container with some of your morning urine. Again, no good definition for quantities used. If there is a positive pregnancy, the toothpaste may turn blue, or it may foam up, or it may foam up as a reaction to the urine itself. It’s unclear how long you should wait for a reaction, or exactly what reaction you may get. Might we suggest that you save your toothpaste for your teeth.

There are several other homemade pregnancy test recipes that you could find online, but none more accurate than what we have described above, which is to say, not terribly accurate at all. While common household ingredients may be readily available, pregnancy tests can be found at your local dollar store or pharmacy. If you need confidential testing, or finances are an issue, please reach out to us. It’s our goal to get you the testing that you need without you using all the toothpaste in your house.

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Pre-Conception: When Can I Test??

If you have been actively trying to get pregnant, it is SO hard to wait until you can take a test and find out if you are indeed carrying a small human in your uterus. But, we can guarantee that if you take a test too early, it will be negative, no matter what is really going on at a cellular level.

Let’s look at the two most common methods of pregnancy testing, the first is an over-the-counter urine pregnancy test and the other is a blood test performed by your provider. Most women prefer to find out in the privacy of their own home and choose to purchase a urine pregnancy test at the pharmacy counter.

If you choose a urine test, you really should wait until the first day of your missed period to get accurate results. Yes, there are some brands that claim to be so sensitive, they can test as soon as five days before the first day of your period, but they don’t know your body, your ovulation cycle, and your hormone production rates. At five days before a missed period, the tests are only about 60% accurate in negative results. You may be pregnant, but not making enough hCG to make the test turn positive. Two days before a missed period, the test’s accuracy raises above 90% and the day before that missed period, it raises to 97% accuracy. As hard as it is to wait, knowing a few days earlier will not make a difference to your baby if you are already eating, drinking, and taking supplements to prepare for pregnancy. Save your hard-earned money and take your test the day before or of the first day you expect your period.

If you choose a blood test, you can begin the testing around 8-9 days after you believe you conceived. This is a little earlier than a urine test, but not significantly so. Most providers would then prefer for you to return within a few days and test again, so they can see that your hCG levels are rising, suggesting a healthy pregnancy. Depending on when you ovulate, this could be as soon as day 22 of your cycle, six days before you expect your period to begin. Your provider should be able to help you identify an estimate of your cycle if you have not been charting, and help you determine the best time to perform the test.

If you think you might be pregnant, and would like to take about the difference in testing, or schedule a blood test, give us a call. We are patiently waiting right along with you for those two pink lines.

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