What Causes a False Positive or Negative Pregnancy Test?

Are you doubting the accuracy of your pregnancy test results? Home pregnancy test are convenient and can quickly be administered, but there are many variances that could give you an incorrect result.

  • A false positive pregnancy test means the test says you are pregnant, but you are NOT. [1]
  • A false negative pregnancy test means the test says you are NOT pregnant, but you are.
  • A faint line pregnancy test means you may be pregnant, but a more sensitive/accurate test is needed.

What causes inaccurate pregnancy test results?

  1. Insenstive Pregnancy Test
    Not all home pregnancy tests are created equal, even if the packaging claims 99% accurate results. The manufacturer isn’t telling you that a test is more or less effective depending on how many days past a missed period you are.Pregnancy tests detect the hCG hormone levels in your body – the hormone that your cells secrete to become the placenta. Your hCG levels will increase rapidly shortly after implantation, and continue doubling every 2-3 days for the next 10 weeks. [2] Thus, in the early stages of your pregnancy, your hCG levels are at their lowest – and the most sensitive pregnancy test can detect the first signs of pregnancy.The most sensitive pregnancy test, and most effective at accurately detecting pregnancy earlier, would be one that detects hCG levels at the lowest mIU/ml (in milli-International Units per milliliter of urine). [3] So, a pregnancy test that is advertised as “20 lowest hCG detected”, is more accurate than one advertising 50.If a pregnancy test is showing faint positive lines, this could be the result of a lower quality pregnancy test being unable to detect lower hCG levels. Or, it could be a more sensitive pregnancy test triggering false positive lines because of other factors, such as the below.
  2. Improper Testing
    Following the instructions exactly is important for an accurate result reading. Set a timer before reading the results – don’t guess at the elapsed time since you took the test. Being off by 30 seconds could give you a false/negative positive or faint line results.Know that testing at least a week after a missed period will provide more accurate results, although this will greatly depend on the lowest hCG levels your pregnancy test can detect.Taking a test in the morning is also helpful, as your urine is more concentrated. Keep in mind that consuming large amounts of water before taking a pregnancy test can alter your results.
  3. Medication Interference
    This is not something you can easily determine without consulting your doctor, but keep in mind it could potentially influence a false positive or negative. Medications that could effect your test include benzodiazepines, phenothiazine, promethazine and others. Urine contaminated with blood or protein can also trigger a false positive. A laboratory-quality test may be your best option for accurate results.
  4. Medical Conditions
    Although very uncommon, it’s still possible to get a false positive because of hCG-producing medical conditions. These could include choriocarcinoma (rare form of cancer usually found in the uterus), breast, ovarian or testicular cancer.
  5. Defective Pregnancy Test
    It’s not common, but it’s not out of the question either. Make sure your home pregnancy test is not expired before using. And if you question the results, even on a non-expired test, it’s OK. Even with the highest quality control, there can be a defective test here or there. Try taking another test, or reach out to a local clinic for a laboratory-quality pregnancy test.

False positive and negative results (and faint lines) are not common, but they do happen. If you are unsure of your results, getting a laboratory-quality test is recommended.

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Sources
[1] http://www.babymed.com/pregnancy-testing/false-positive-pregnancy-test-result
[2] http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-tests#1
[3] http://www.parentingweekly.com/preconception/preconception_information/home_pregnancy_test_accuracy.htm

 

Pregnant? Considering your Options?

Facing an unexpected pregnancy is hard. Fear, confusion and anger are just a few of the feelings you might be experiencing.

Am I Really Pregnant?
If you’re questioning whether you might be pregnant or not, consider these common pregnancy symptoms:

  • Missed or late menstrual cycle
  • Tender breasts
  • Nausea (with or without vomiting)
  • Fatigue or unusual tiredness
  • Spotting
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Appetite change
  • Thirstiness
  • Food or odor aversions
  • Frequent urination
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Minor aches, pains or discomforts
  • Headaches
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing teeth
  • Being unusually emotional or teary

If you have any of the above pregnancy signs, you should get a pregnancy test to confirm if you are pregnant or not. Blue Ridge Women’s Center offers them for free – just request an appointment.

What are your Options?
If you are pregnant, you have three choices for you and your baby – parenting, making an adoption plan or abortion. Consider them for a moment:

laughing baby playing with mother1. Think about Parenting
Although parenting might seem overwhelming at the moment, take the time to explore your options fully and consider parenting your little one. This new little life could be the joy of your life.

At the Center we provide pregnancy counseling, pregnancy tests, pregnancy confirmation by ultrasound, parenting classes, life skill programs, baby items, maternity clothes and more to help you in your parenthood journey. You won’t be alone! We can also direct you to community resources and support groups.

 

Attractive young woman thinking on floor, looking aside, pen in2. Consider Making an Adoption Plan
Developing an adoption plan can empower you to create a positive future for your child, where all his or her needs can be met. You can choose a family for your child, and have some level of an ongoing relationship with your child, if you wish. This is called an open adoption. You can also choose a confidential adoption, where you will remain 100% anonymous before, during and after the adoption.

Although we do not facilitate adoptions at Blue Ridge Women’s Center, we can provide you with resources and information to explore adoption options for your baby.

 

3. Is Abortion the Answer?
Abortion procedures vary by method, depending on which trimester you are in. Abortions have both short-term and long-term risks to consider. Before seeking an abortion, gather all the facts so you can make an informed decision. Ask yourself questions as you consider abortion:

  1. What do I think about abortion? Was it different before I was pregnant?
  2. How does abortion fit with my values?
  3. Does an abortion seem like the easier option, even if it doesn’t fit my values?
  4. Can I live with an abortion, long term?
  5. Is someone pressuring me to have an abortion?
  6. What do I really  want for my baby?

Note: If you are a pregnant teenager who is under age 18, keep in mind that your parents are required by law to be notified before you receive an abortive procedure – whether by pill or surgically.

We do not provide abortive procedures at Blue Ridge Women’s Center, and thus are not required to inform anyone when you make an appointment. Everything is confidential. We are committed to providing you with all the resources and information you need to make the best decision for you and your baby.

What You Can Expect at Blue Ridge Women’s Center

100% Confidential
Our Roanoke clinic takes client privacy seriously; we will never share your information. Our focus is to help you navigate your choices, discover the truth about each one, and make the best decision for you and your baby.

Safe & Non-judgmental
We understand that sometimes life is hard, scary and confusing. Our counselors will help you sort through the challenges life presents. You have the right to know the truth about each of your options. Regardless of the decision you make, our counselors will always be there for you.

Non-discriminating
At the Center, we believe in providing services to everyone in our community, regardless of their age, sex, race, religion or income. There is no minimum age requirement to make an appointment at our clinic.

No Cost to You
Due to the generosity of the community, all of our services are provided at no cost to you. No strings attached. We provide a variety of services including pregnancy consultation, pregnancy confirmation, pregnancy dating by ultrasound, STD testing, parenting and life skills classes, and more.

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The Morning-after Pill & Other Emergency Contraceptives

Emergency contraceptives, which are a form of birth control, are referred to by many names including the morning-after pill, “the pill”, Levonogestrel pill, Plan B One-Step®, Next Choice® and Ella®. The purpose for the morning-after pill is to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, or after the birth control method has failed.

According to Mayo Clinic, morning-after pills contain either levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step®) or ulipristal acetate (Ella®). [1]

How it Works
The morning-after pill works one of three ways, depending on when it is taken after unprotected sex: [2]

  1. Delayed ovulation (normal menstrual cycle is altered)
  2. Inhibited ovulation (the egg will not be released from the ovary)
  3. Inhibit implantation of the newly formed baby (irritating the lining of the uterus -endometrium)

Remember that fertilization, the moment when an individual child with it’s own DNA is formed, takes place in the fallopian tube. The newly-formed baby then travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus, where he or she attaches to the womb lining to receive nourishment and continue growing and developing. This process, the baby traveling from the fallopian tube to the womb, can take 5-7 days. During that time, the morning after pill could prevent the baby from attaching to the uterus lining, thus ending the baby’s life due to a lack of nourishment.

Side Effects [3]

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Stop of menstrual bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps

Risks
There are scientifically-proven risks of levonorgestrel, [4] the active ingredient in Plan B®, including:

  • Significant weight gain (on average 15 pounds)
  • Depression
  • Ovarian cyst enlargement
  • Gall bladder disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • Death

Diabetic women should be especially cautious about Plan B, because 1.85  million  women of reproductive age (18-44) have diabetes according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), and approximately 500,000 do not know that they have the disease. [5]

Although birth control pills are widely consumed and are available without a prescription, they have more dangers, risks and side effects than most realize. [6]

Effectiveness
How effective the morning-after pill is depends on when it is taken, your body weight and a couple other factors. Keep in mind other medications can have an interaction with the morning-after pill or other forms of non-emergency birth control. The effectiveness rate of the morning-after pill is 62-95%, depending on which one you take. Morning-after pills are not a sure, foolproof pill. They have risks and side effects.

Morning-after Pill FAQ’s | Ella FAQ’s

Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy?
Blue Ridge Women’s Center has over 30 years of experience addressing the challenges related to unplanned pregnancy. Our consultants can give you the time you need to discuss your situation, explore all your options, and connect with support services throughout the community.

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[1] Mayo Clinic

[2] Drugs.com

[3] Drugs.com

[4] Population Research Institute

[5] Center for Disease Control (CDC)

[6] Heartbeat International

Please note that any information provided by the Blue Ridge Women’s Center is for reference only and does not constitute professional advice, nor can it replace regular consultation with your physician or other appropriate professionals.

Early Pregnancy Signs & Common Symptoms

Although the earliest signs of pregnancy vary among women, some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Missed or late period
  • Tender breasts
  • Nausea (with or without vomiting)
  • Fatigue or unusual tiredness
  • Spotting
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Appetite change
  • Thirstiness
  • Food or odor aversions
  • Frequent urination
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Minor aches, pains or discomforts
  • Headaches
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing teeth
  • Being emotional or teary

Many of these symptoms are not just unique to pregnancy – just because you’re experiencing some of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pregnant. The only way to know for sure is to get a pregnancy test.

The Blue Ridge Women’s Center provides free pregnancy testing using laboratory-quality urine tests, which can detect pregnancy 7-14 days after conception.  If you test positive, free pregnancy dating by ultrasound is also available at our Roanoke clinic. All services are confidential and non-judgmental.

There’s no better place to face unplanned pregnancy than in the supportive environment of the Blue Ridge Women’s Center, with a wealth of resources at your fingertips. We also offer nurse verification, consultants to work through your options with you, and a wide range of classes designed to help you meet the challenges ahead with confidence!

Just fill out the form below to request an appointment.

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Questions or additional comments:

Sources
Mayo Clinic – Symptoms of pregnancy: What happens first
National Institute of Health (NIH) – What are some common signs of pregnancy?

Please note that any information provided by the Blue Ridge Women’s Center is for reference only and does not constitute professional advice, nor can it replace regular consultation with your physician or other appropriate professionals.

Free Online Pregnancy Test & Quiz – Am I Pregnant? | 10 Common Signs

Am I Pregnant? Quiz

You can conduct a preliminary, at-home pregnancy test online to determine if you might be pregnant. Use our free, online quiz to determine if you should take a pregnancy test.

  1. Are you late, or have you missed a period altogether?
  2. Experiencing spotting or cramping?
  3. Are your breasts tender?
  4. Are you experiencing fatigue or unusual tiredness?
  5. Is morning sickness or nausea an issue?
  6. Have you noticed a change in your appetite? Heartburn or indigestion?
  7. Are you experiencing minor aches, pains or discomforts?
  8. Do you have abnormal headaches?
  9. Have you noticed bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth?
  10. Are you more emotional or teary than normal?

If you answered “Yes” or “Maybe” to any of the pregnancy quiz questions, you could be pregnant.

However, not all women experience these common signs of early pregnancy, particularly in the first few weeks. If you answered “No“, but think you could be pregnant, it doesn’t hurt to get a pregnancy test to confirm if you’re pregnant or not.

At the Blue Ridge Women’s Center, we provide free pregnancy testing and free pregnancy dating by ultrasound at our Roanoke clinic – it’s 100% confidential and non-judgmental.

Just fill out the form below to request an appointment.

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Please note that any information provided by the Blue Ridge Women’s Center is for reference only and does not constitute professional advice, nor can it replace regular consultation with your physician or other appropriate professionals.

What are your True Choices?

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When a woman faces unplanned pregnancy, the clamor of voices can be so loud and the pressures so urgent that she wants a place away from it all where she can reflect on her circumstances, her feelings, and her concerns. At Blue Ridge Women’s Center, we have years of experience addressing unintended pregnancy and working with women to navigate its challenges successfully. Our consultants and support services are here for you, too.

There are several options available to you, more than you may realize.

If you have a positive pregnancy test, you have three choices to consider: abortion, parenting, and adoption. It is your decision to make. Blue Ridge Women’s Center is here to equip you to find the strength and resources necessary to make your best choice.

Consider requesting an appointment today and talk with one of our trained consultants regarding your true choices.

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Our Services

SliderImageBSINCE 1984, more than 16,000 women have trusted Blue Ridge Women’s Center with their most personal concerns. Unplanned pregnancy. Relationships. Reproductive health. With pregnancy testing, pregnancy dating by ultrasound, pregnancy consultation, classes for women and couples, and other support services, we specialize in the well-being of women and their families. And thanks to generous community support, it’s all available at no charge to you!

At Blue Ridge Women’s Center, you’ll find free medical and support services tailored to your concerns, including:

Make an Appointment

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Hope after Abortion | Post Abortive Counseling

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Have unresolved feelings about your abortion experience?

You don’t have to struggle alone.

An experienced abortion-recovery consultant can help you work through your feelings and find healing, individually or with a small group of other women.

You can request for someone to contact you by using the form below. Or send an email to us at [email protected] or call 362-4357 x 110. Everything is 100% confidential.

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All information and requests are treated confidentially.

I would like to talk with someone individually regarding a past abortion.

I would like to register for the next Hope After Abortion class.

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Embracing Hope after Pregnancy Griefs

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Some pregnancies carry grief with them, whether it is through a miscarriage, a fatal prenatal diagnosis, a special medical concern for the baby, or many other difficult circumstances. Hope can be embraced, but walking the road of grief can be painful. You are not alone in your struggle.

If you would like to talk with someone further regarding your story, please contact us by completing the form below or call the center at 540-362-4357.  All information is confidential. We look forward to speaking with you.

Details for the 6-week course are:

If you want to earn points in our PLSP program, please sign up to attend orientation first.  Otherwise, please fill out the form below:

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