Can you get a false positive on an expired pregnancy test?

You may be wondering if an expired pregnancy test can result in a false positive. Pregnancy tests work by detecting the hCG hormone, which is usually only present if you’re pregnant. False positives are extremely rare. If you use an expired pregnancy test and it’s positive, chances are you’re pregnant. Although rare, it’s also possible to get a false-positive result with an expired pregnancy test, if the test has been exposed to heat or moisture. A false-positive is when you get a positive result, but are not actually pregnant. There are several other reasons besides the expiration date why you may receive a false result on a home pregnancy test.

Are pregnancy test accurate after expiration date?

As you might expect, a home pregnancy test isn’t guaranteed to be accurate after its expiration date. If the chemical is no longer able to detect hCG — even if it’s present — it makes sense that you’d be more likely to get a false negative with an expired test.

What triggers false positive pregnancy test?

It’s possible to have a positive pregnancy test even if you aren’t technically pregnant. This is called a false positive. It’s sometimes caused by a chemical pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy occurs if a fertilized egg, known as the embryo, is unable to implant, or grow, very early on.

Is it possible to get a false positive pregnancy test?

While less common, you can also receive a false positive, when the test says you’re pregnant but you’re not. It’s possible that you can still get an accurate result from an expired pregnancy test — especially if you’re more than a few weeks into your pregnancy and your hCG levels are really high, Blumenthal says.

Can a pregnancy test be wrong if it is expired?

Always use a test that isn’t expired. A false negative means that the pregnancy test showed a negative result, but you are actually pregnant. Research reveals that up to 5% of pregnancy tests yield a false negative result. A false negative is much more common than a false positive and can happen for a variety of reasons, including the following:

Can a pregnancy test be wrong and still be accurate?

You might get your period a few days after a positive pregnancy test and assume you had a false positive result. However, it could be that you were pregnant but miscarried very early on. “It’s not that the test is wrong—it was completely accurate at picking up the hormone [hCG],” Dr. Williams says.

How long after a negative pregnancy test can you test again?

If you think you might be pregnant even after receiving a negative result, wait five to seven days and retake the test. It may also be a good idea to buy a new pregnancy test that’s well ahead of its expiration date.

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