False pregnancy test results – mums’ stories

If you've had a false early pregnancy test result, you're not alone. As we launch our #WaitToWee campaign, four women trying to get pregnant share their stories...

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For a long time I had a huge amount of guilt and blamed myself

“The first time I took a pregnancy test I tested the day my period was due. The box said that it was over 99% accurate from the day of my missed period so I expected it to be accurate. [MFM says: The confusing thing here is that when the test states ‘the day of your missed period’ it actually means the day after your period is due – so the test was taken one day before it was 99% accurate]

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“The test was negative and I was a little disappointed. But I honestly believed that this meant that I wasn’t pregnant. As it was Christmas, I wrongly trusted the result that I was not pregnant and then had a few drinks.

“I started questioning whether the test might have been wrong when I was about 3 days late, as I started getting pregnancy symptoms. I re-tested when I was 5 days late and got a strong positive result.

“This pregnancy sadly ended in miscarriage. For a long time I had a huge amount of guilt and blamed myself, wondering if the drinks I’d had that day had anything to do with it. I know rationally that many women drink in those very early days before they find out and they have healthy babies but in my time of grieving it was hard to see that.

“I know I was ultimately responsible for choosing to have some drinks that day but that was based on what I truly believed was an accurate test. I would never have had a drop of alcohol if I knew I was pregnant.

“My big issue with this test was in the leaflet advice. The leaflet says that you don’t need to use first morning urine, and you can test at any time of the day. From my experience I would now always use first morning urine, when the urine is more concentrated.

“I’ve also learnt that I would never trust a negative result again – not until my period arrived.”

Anna*

“I was really scared and thought I was going to miscarry”

“The first test I did to see if I was pregnant was with an Asda own brand early pregnancy test – it was five days before my period was due and it came back positive. Because it was an own brand I wanted to test again with a more reputable brand.

“I saw the claims on the First Response box that said you can test early and ‘99% accurate’ and so I bought it. It was also more expensive. I thought that because it was a premium product it would be more accurate.

“I took the test in the morning using my first morning urine – I made sure that I read the instructions – but I got a negative. I immediately panicked; I was really scared and thought I was going to miscarry.

“I was sure that the more expensive brand was right and that I must have experienced a ‘false positive’ on the ASDA one (either that or an early miscarriage). I started looking up ‘false positive’ on Google, which wasn’t a good thing to do but I was so confused.

I don’t recall reading the information inside that said it wasn’t 99% accurate if you test four days before you’re period is due – I’m sure it’s there somewhere but it wasn’t obvious.

“I left it until the day my period was due and tested again with another premium brand – and the positive result was there.

“After that I went to my doctor – I was still really confused and felt irrational and panicky. On top of the negative tests I wasn’t having any pregnancy symptoms – I didn’t feel sick or really tired. The doctor didn’t test me again, they just said that if I’d had a positive test I was pregnant.

“It did reassure me but I was still really stressed. I did another test at 5 weeks, and right up until my 12 week scan I was convinced that I was going to miscarry. I wasn’t showing at all and that added to the sense that something was wrong. Luckily it was all OK and I now have a beautiful daughter.”

Megan, mum of two children 4 and 1

“Nobody knows about all this – it’s a secret world of raised hopes and disappointment”

“I’ve been trying for a baby for over 7 months now. I was buying pregnancy tests when I saw one on offer that said you could test 4 days before your period was due and I thought, “I’ll give that a go.” I used it straight away and I could see a positive line. I was so excited. I’m pregnant! It’s finally happening!

“The line wasn’t very strong, though, so I used another early pregnancy test the next day and it was negative. I was so confused. Was I pregnant or not? So I stopped using the tests and just waited till my period was due – and I got my period. The disappointment was worse, much worse, because I’d had my hopes raised by that positive test.

“I wish the early tests didn’t exist. If they didn’t exist, we wouldn’t test early and this wouldn’t happen. We talk about it a lot on MadeForMums: we know we should wait till our period’s due but so many of us can’t resist testing early. Nobody knows about all this – unless you’re trying for a baby, it’s a secret world of raised hopes and disappointment.”

Julie*

“Negative, positive, negative, positive – and I was pregnant!”

“My first test was negative. I didn’t believe it, so I did another one the next day – it was positive. I did another one – negative then did a Clearblue Digital and it was positive. Then my GP did a test and yep it was positive.”

Jennifer*

*Some names have been changed

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