Is my home pregnancy test result accurate? Early Pregnancy

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woman holding home pregnancy test
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In general, home pregnancy tests are considered pretty reliable. Some brands are said to be up to 99 percent accurate when taken a week after a missed period. Here, a doctor explains whether or not you can be confident in your test results -- and moms share whether or not their own results were accurate.

False Positives Are Rarer Than False Negatives

"[A woman with a positive home pregnancy test] can be fairly confident that she is pregnant. However, a blood pregnancy test should be done to confirm and then repeated 48 hours later to detect a normal rise in the level of hCG [a hormone produced during pregnancy].

"It is very uncommon to have a false positive result on a pregnancy test unless the woman had undergone fertility treatment and was injected with hCG or had a defective home pregnancy test or [if it] was read after a...

"[A woman with a positive home pregnancy test] can be fairly confident that she is pregnant. However, a blood pregnancy test should be done to confirm and then repeated 48 hours later to detect a normal rise in the level of hCG [a hormone produced during pregnancy].

"It is very uncommon to have a false positive result on a pregnancy test unless the woman had undergone fertility treatment and was injected with hCG or had a defective home pregnancy test or [if it] was read after a prolonged period of time.

"False negatives can occur if the test was done too early or the urine was very diluted. In those instances, the pregnancy test should be repeated and if [she's] still not sure, then a blood test is needed for confirmation." -- Sunny Jun, MD, cofounder and comedical director of CCRM San Francisco

Home Pregnancy Tests Tend to Be Super Accurate

"My pregnancy tests have all been accurate. Even the dollar-store ones!"

In Rare Cases, a Blood Test May Be in Order

"I brought every brand of pregnancy test available and with both children they came up negative. Apparently my body doesn't produce a high enough level of hormones, so I needed to find out by blood tests."

Some Test Positive Before Feeling Symptoms

"My pregnancy tests were extremely accurate! When I was pregnant with my son, I had no signs. I took a home pregnancy test per my doctor's orders and it said to wait two minutes for the results. I saw that big plus sign within 20 seconds of peeing on the stick. I thought it was a defective test so I ended up taking four more. All the same results: plus sign in 20 to 25 seconds!"

Negative? Test Again in a Few Days

"The first three pregnancy tests I took all said negative, when I was in fact pregnant. A few days later, I took a fourth test and it was positive! The doctor said that I must have not had enough hCG in my system to show a positive those first three times."

Some Women Know Before Taking a Test

"I never needed a test. I would start throwing up upon conception -- no lie. Every. Time."

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