Q&A: Can My Home Pregnancy Test Be Wrong?

Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, Could the test be wrong?

Alexandra Sowa, M.D., a doctor of internal medicine and a mom, answers one of her most frequently asked questions: How accurate are pregnancy tests? She also shares when to take them to increase your chances of getting an accurate result.

Question: How accurate are home pregnancy tests (HPTs)? I've had two positive HPTs but I am experiencing cramping. Is this normal? Could the test be wrong?

Answer: I would recommend asking your ob-gyn for the blood test known as a quantitative beta hCG. This is the most reliable pregnancy test. It is unusual for a urine test to be wrong, but occasionally it does occur.

As for the cramping, many women do complain of cramping in early pregnancy, similar to mild menstrual cramps. This is not unusual, and not anything to worry about.

Home pregnancy tests can sometimes show a negative result and you can still not get your period. There are many causes for missed periods. Commonly, this can occur secondary to problems with hormones.

The best thing to do is to visit your doctor and have an examination and blood test. The usual therapy will be to get hormone pills from your physician that contain progesterone. Most women will start their periods within several days of taking these pills.

Whether you're at a Walmart or some fancy resort on vacation, I'm sure you can agree that seeing a positive pregnancy test is the most exciting moment of all! Check out the strangest places these women found out they were becoming a mom.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

American Baby

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