Pregnancy Tests – Avoid These Common Mistakes

It can be nerve-wracking to take a pregnancy test. Some manufacturers have even come up with ways of distracting women while they’re waiting to read their test results.

In fact, there’s a Bluetooth pregnancy test that comes with an app designed to calm women while they’re waiting for their test results. For women who don’t wish to listen to calming music or watch videos of cute pets, the app has an “educate me” section to distract them while they’re waiting.

A positive test result may bring great joy to some couples or it may mean a drastic change for some couples who were not planning to get pregnant. A negative test result may be devastating for couples who have been trying without success for several months or it may be one that causes a sigh of relief.

However, some test results are unclear, causing the user to wonder whether they’re pregnant or not. If you’ve taken a test and it was positive on your first try but negative on the second, then there must be something you’re doing wrong with your pregnancy test.

This post will examine the things that women could possibly be doing wrong with pregnant tests.

Common Mistakes that Women Make with Pregnancy Tests

Testing Before Your Missed Period

If you test too early, you may get a false negative pregnancy test. This is because during the very early stages of pregnancy, human chorionic hormones may not have reached levels that can be picked up by an at-home pregnancy test.

To avoid testing too early and getting a false result, you should tract ovulation, not your expected period day, which varies in length based on the day ovulation occurred.

You have a range of tools to help you track ovulation, including a basal body thermometer, an ovulation predictor kit, or a fertility tracker such as Clearblue Fertility Monitor or Ava bracelet.

You can also avoid testing for pregnancy too early by simply waiting until the day of your missed period. If the test is negative but you’re experiencing symptoms of pregnancy, you should consider waiting for one more week before taking another test. If you’re unsure, you should consult your doctor so that they can confirm with a blood test.

Failing to Read the Instructions on the Package

We all know that it’s pretty straightforward to take a pregnancy test, right? You just need to pee on a test strip or stick, then wait for a few minutes to read the results. So, many women don’t bother to read the instructions on the box. This is not a good idea!

If the manufacturer says read the results within five minutes, then do it within the time allotted to read the results. If you wait too long before reading the results, you may get evaporation lines and wonder whether you’re pregnant or not.

Also, most manufacturers advice that you use first morning urine for accurate results. Unfortunately, many women think that if they fail to test using first morning urine, they can just perform the test at any other time of the day.

While you can take a pregnancy test at any other time of the day, there are a few things you can do to avoid getting a false negative result. Manufacturers advise women to hold urine for at least four hours and avoid drinking a lot of liquids prior to taking the test.

Failing to Store Your Pregnancy Test Properly

Many women keep their pregnancy tests in the medicine cabinet in their bathroom. But bathrooms happen to be one of the most humid and moist places in our homes.

Unfortunately, moisture can damage the test window on a pregnancy test, and this can cause you to have an inaccurate result. Also, if your pregnancy test gets wet, you might get evaporation lines and be obliged to perform another test.

Failing to Check the Expiry Date of the Pregnancy Test

Some pregnancy test brands include more than one test in the box. After using one test strip or stick, most women will just  ditch the rest in a drawer or closet, where they’ll be forgotten until when needed again.

In a situation where you’re anxious to find out whether you’re pregnant, you may forget to check the expiry date on the test. And even if you do notice that the test has expired, you may be tempted to use it because you’re too impatient to go to the drugstore to buy a new one.

Unfortunately, pregnancy tests have an expiry date and you shouldn’t expect an expired a pregnancy test to work as designed. To avoid getting inaccurate results, it is worth buying a new pregnancy test either online or at your drugstore.

Shaking the Pregnancy Test Stick

A pregnancy test is not a mercury thermometer. You won’t get more accurate results by shaking or moving the test stick. On the contrary, you may shake off the urine sample off the stick and increase your odds of getting a false negative result.

After dipping the sample end into urine, set it on a horizontal surface and wait for the result.

Taking a DIY Pregnancy Test

Hello, toothpaste pregnancy test! Yes, this famous test made the headlines in 2016. Women who didn’t want to spend at least one dollar on a pregnancy test were trying the toothpaste pregnancy test.

There is nothing to indicate that toothpaste can detect human chorionic hormone in urine, so it’s uncertain where this idea of the toothpaste pregnancy test originated.

It would therefore make sense to use it for its intended purpose and get an actual pregnancy test to avoid a disappointment.

Read more tips about how to avoid an invalid pregnancy test.


I’m Princila, founder of Check Ovulation and a proud mom of two. I’m an alumna of James Lind Institute. After working in clinical jobs, my passion for writing took its toll, and I ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. I also have a passion for healthy food, which prompted me to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. (I still haven’t completed the courses thanks to my busy mommy schedule!). When I’m not writing/editing scientific and medical manuscripts or taking care of my family, I use my free time to research, learn, and write about healthy living. I have also authored a few books in the self-help niche using the pen names Princila Murrell or PN Murray. Protection Status