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- Pregnancy tests*
- How do pregnancy tests work?
- Are there different types of pregnancy tests?
- How do you do a home pregnancy test?
- How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
- How soon after a missed period can I take a home pregnancy test and get an accurate result?
- My home pregnancy test says I am pregnant. What should I do next?
- My home pregnancy test says I'm not pregnant. Might I still be pregnant?
- Can anything affect home pregnancy test results?
My home pregnancy test says I am pregnant. What should I do next?
If a home pregnancy test is positive and shows that you are pregnant, you should call your doctor right away. Your doctor can use a more sensitive test along with a pelvic exam to tell for sure if you're pregnant. Seeing your doctor early on in your pregnancy will help you and your baby stay healthy.
My home pregnancy test says I'm not pregnant. Might I still be pregnant?
Yes. So, most home pregnancy tests (HPTs) suggest women take the test again in a few days or a week if the result is negative.
Each woman ovulates at a different time in her menstrual cycle. Plus, the fertilized egg can implant in a woman's uterus at different times. So, the accuracy of HPT results varies from woman to woman. Other things can also affect the accuracy. Sometimes women get false negative results when they test too early in the pregnancy. This means that the test says you are not pregnant when you are. Other times, problems with the pregnancy can affect the amount of hCG in the urine.
If your HPT is negative, test yourself again in a few days or one week. If you keep getting a negative result but think you are pregnant, talk with your doctor right away.
Can anything affect home pregnancy test results?
Most medicines should not affect the results of a home pregnancy test (HPT). This includes over-the-counter and prescription medicines, including birth control pills and antibiotics. Only medicines that have the pregnancy hormone hCG in them can give a false positive test result. A false positive is when a test says you are pregnant when you're not. Sometimes medicines containing hCG are used to treat infertility (not being able to get pregnant).
Alcohol and illegal drugs do not affect HPT results. But do not use these substances if you are trying to become pregnant or are sexually active and could become pregnant.
SOURCE: Womenshealth.gov. Pregnancy tests fact sheet. Last update: 3/20/2009