How Accurate are Pregnancy Tests?

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.

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[MUSIC] One of the questions I get most frequently asked in my practice is, how accurate are pregnancy tests? The accuracy and the early predictability of a pregnancy So test depends on brand. Ideally, you're going to wait until after you missed your period to take a pregnancy test. This is when the chances of getting an accurate result are at their highest. It is more common to get a false negative than it is to get a false positive. In fact, a false positive test is very uncommon. Common. Now the reason that you might get a negative test, even if you are pregnant usually happens when people take the test too early. One way to improve your chances of getting an accurate result is to use the first urine of the morning. This way it's not dilute, and there might be the highest concentration Of the beta HCG. If you get a weak positive test, you're pregnant. This actually happened with my first pregnancy. Even I'm a doctor and I thought that can't be positive. Well, it was positive. You see a line, it's a positive pregnancy test. To confirm that it's actually positive and to put your mind at ease, Just wait a little bit of time and then we take the test and by a little bit of time I don't mean a few hours take it to the next day or two days later. Now if you see a positive sign on that stick remember to call your doctor and make an Appointment for 4-5 weeks later. This will bring you to about 8 weeks pregnant, when most OB-GYNs want you to have your first visit. So I hope that answered some of your question on how accurate pregnancy tests are and when to take them. [MUSIC]

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