You are currently viewing Confused About an Invalid Pregnancy Test? Here is What You Need to Know and Next Steps

You’re in the washroom, standing in front of the basin, waiting anxiously for the strip you just peed on to show the results. Your emotions running high because with just one positive result, your entire life can change. The time has gone, you pick up the stick and the little window shows just the T band or no band at all. You start to panic, read the instructions, just to find out you have an invalid pregnancy test result.

There are 2 types of pregnancy tests-urine tests and blood tests. Urine tests can be done at home using pregnancy testing kits available in almost all pharmacies and supermarkets. Whereas, blood tests are to be done in laboratories.

How do pregnancy tests work?

All pregnancy tests work on the same fundament. They are designed to detect the hormone in your urine called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hCG. This hormone is only present when a woman is pregnant because it is created once a fertilized egg implants in the uterus which usually takes 6 to 12 days after conception.

The result of the test may appear as a line, color, or a symbol such as a “+” or “-” sign. Digital tests reveal the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant”.

What does ‘invalid’ mean on a pregnancy test?

 An invalid result means that the test has not worked or that the device was faulty. It is indicated if there is no result in the display window or if the result is inconclusive.

What can cause the results to be invalid?

There are several reasons of why your test could be invalidated, some of them are:

  • The device was defective or expired.
  • There was insufficient urine on the test to determine whether you were pregnant or not pregnant.
  • You didn’t follow the directions on the package.
  • You’re misreading the test results.
  • You’ve let the test wait too long.
  • Some other liquid or substance contacted the strip prior to testing.

The pregnancy tests may sometime show false results. That means showing either a negative (not pregnant) result even when you are pregnant. The causes of this can be:

  • You took the test too early for the pregnancy to be identified.
  • If the hCG levels are too diluted.
  • If the hCG levels are too high.
  • If you’ve miscalculated your menstrual cycle and take the test just before your period, that’s when hCG levels are too low to be detected.
  • If you’ve used the pregnancy test incorrectly.

Or the test can show a positive result even when you are not pregnant. The causes of this can be:

  • You recently underwent miscarriage or abortion.
  • You’re consuming medicines which may include hCG.
  • You might have a medical condition that may inflate the hCG levels.
  • You might be misreading the lines.
  • You might have ectopic or a chemical pregnancy.

What to do after an invalid test?

Getting an invalid pregnancy test can be frustrating. Try taking another test, perhaps using a different brand that is simpler to use. Follow all the instructions carefully and keep the test in your urine stream for the advised amount of time to ensure that there is enough urine for a result. If you still get an invalid result, contact your doctor.

Can I use the invalid pregnancy test again?

Reusing an invalid pregnancy test would not be a good idea, using the test kit again would not give an accurate result. All test kits use hCG strips which can only be used once.

When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?

Performing a pregnancy test on the wrong time can increase the chances of errors. Some tips to get accurate results for pregnancy test include:

  • Taking the test after your period is late.
  • Do the test at least 21 days after you had unprotected sex.
  • Perform the test on the first morning urine.
  • Do not drink too much water before doing the test.

How often are pregnancy tests wrong?

Many home pregnancy tests claim to be 99 percent accurate, but researchers estimate that up to 5 percent of pregnancy tests give false negative reports.

Whether it is intended or unplanned, pregnancy is an extremely emotional time. But the most crucial thing is to test early if you have any worries that you could be pregnant. This will ensure that you receive the mental and physical care you require and deserve. Take the test as soon as you suspect your period has missed for the best results.

Perform it during your first morning bathroom or hold the test for many hours or to boost the concentration of the hCG hormone that the test monitors. Prepare yourself well before taking the test for any result you might get. Repeat the test at least 2 to 3 times to obtain an accurate result and do not hesitate to visit your health care provider regardless of what result you get.

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