What Causes an Invalid Pregnancy Test: Decoding the Mystery

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret

What causes an invalid pregnancy test? In this informative article, we explore the various factors that can lead to an invalid result when taking a pregnancy test. By examining scientific research, consulting medical professionals, and considering common scenarios, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of why a pregnancy test may yield an invalid outcome. Understanding these causes can help you interpret test results accurately and ensure reliable and conclusive findings.

Main Causes of Invalid Pregnancy Tests

Too Early Pregnancy Tests

As you all know that a fertilized egg implants in the uterus the placenta produces a hormone called hCG. It is easy to detect pregnancy when the hCG level starts to rise at some point.

So, taking a pregnancy test too early can give you false results. Thus, you have to take a rest for a few days. Do not take pregnancy tests until you miss your period, because this will help you to get good results.

Inappropriate Practice

Pregnancy test often gives incorrect results if you use them in an inappropriate way. It is necessary to follow the instructions that the doctor gives. Before using the strip, you have to read and follow all these instructions.

Expired Kits

If you use pregnancy test kits that have expired or broken and are not using the right volume of urine. Then it will definitely show false results. So, to get rid of all this situation you have to use a specific amount of urine and a new pregnancy test kit.

Diluted Urine

Due to excessive hydration and frequent urination, the hCG level in urine becomes diluted. It is also the main cause of negative test results. For accurate results, you have to use early morning first pee to check your hCG level because it is less diluted.

Put On A Little Amount Of Urine On The Strip

It is necessary to soak the test strips completely in with urine if you want to get accurate results. As you all know that urine level is not enough. So, the result will be unreliable due to the difficulty in detecting hCG levels.


There are many drugs for fertility treatment that can affect the result of pregnancy. The hormone that’s known as hCG rises due to such medicine for pregnancy. So, the result after taking the medicines shows an hCG level high but without the growth of the embryo. So, it gives false positive test results. These medicines affect the hormone hCG that’s found in urine to detect pregnancy. So, it is best to wait until after taking specific medication then you can go for a pregnancy test to get results.

Health Conditions

Some medical issues can affect accurate pregnancy test results. Ectopic pregnancy is one of these ailments. It refers to when fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. Specific hormone hCG produces during an ectopic pregnancy. So, the quantity is lower than in conventional pregnancy, which can lead to false results.

Ovarian Cysts

There is another medical condition that becomes the cause of invalid pregnancy tests. That is ovarian cysts. These sacs fill with fluid. They can form on ovaries and produce hCG which can cause false positive results.

Thus, you should consult your doctor if you have ovarian cysts. They examine you and decide whether you need more testing or not.

Various Medical Procedure

Various medical procedures also have a great impact on the result of pregnancy tests. You have hCG in your system. But if you have gone through miscarriage or abortion then it shows results in a false positive way.

Likewise, if you have had IVF, your hCG level might be high. It could cause an invalid pregnancy result if you take it soon after the operation.

How Do You Avoid a Pregnancy Test Error?

It’s understood that if a pregnancy test fails then it is very disappointing. , you have taken precautions to stop getting pregnancy errors. So, what could you do to make sure your pregnancy test shows positive results?

Follow Instructions

It is very important to follow these directions. The major cause of invalid pregnancy tests is failure to follow these instructions. You have to read and understand all these instructions. Here are some important directives to keep in mind;

1. Use your first urine for pregnancy test, because it is most concentrated and has high hCG levels.

2.Avoid drinking too much fluids before the test, because it can dilute the urine and lower the hCG level.

3.Make sure to wait for a specific time before taking the test because it should not be too early, not too late.

Wait after Missed Periods

To get accurate pregnancy test results it is important to wait until you miss your period. As all of you know, it takes many days and weeks for the hormone hCG to develop and rise to a specific point. Because hCG is created bit by bit when pregnancy is detected.

Check the Expiry Date

You should check the expiry date of the pregnancy test kit for correct results. If you check the results from the expired kit, then the result may be invalid. It is better to throw away a kit that has expired and use a new strip for the next test.

Store the Test Kit in a Proper Way

To get accurate test results you have to keep the pregnancy test kit away from sunlight and moisture. You have to put it in a cool and dry place. Furthermore, it is critical to keep test kits away from substances and chemicals. For positive and accurate results keep it in good condition and use it.

Use a New Pregnancy Test Kit

An invalid pregnancy test kit cannot be used again and again. You have to use a new test kit next time. If you get an unclear result, you have to discard the old pregnancy kit and use a new one.


Can an Invalid Pregnancy Test Be Negative?

Yes, of course, if pregnancy test results return negative then still it can be invalid. False test results can occur due to different reasons as we have discussed above. Like outdated strips, too early testing, and not following these instructions.

Thus, it is very important to verify the results as you find the first one is incorrect. You have to use first-morning urine to check the hCG levels. Otherwise, wait until after missed periods, after taking a sample read the results.

Can an Invalid Pregnancy Test Be Positive?

No, an invalid pregnancy test cannot have positive results, because it is always unclear. You have to use your first-morning urine after you missed your periods. You have to carefully follow all the instructions that are available on the labels. It’s advised to take another pregnancy test to confirm the results if you get an incorrect positive result.

Does an Invalid Pregnancy Test Mean You Are Pregnant?

An invalid pregnancy test result does not always mean that you are pregnant. These results are not trusted and are unreliable. There are many factors like using expired test kits. And do not follow the directions given by healthcare providers.

So, if you find false positive results then you have to take another pregnancy test to confirm the next one. To get the most accurate results you have to follow the directions. And as well as consult with the doctor for confirmation.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it’s important to get to know about common reasons for an invalid pregnancy test result. These factors include early testing, diluted urine, inappropriate application, drugs, and many other medical problems.

It is important to understand and read the instructions. If you want to stop these invalid pregnancy test results, then wait for missed periods and use first-morning pee. At last, you have to consult a medical officer if you are curious to know about pregnancy procedures.

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "mamallove.com" and "cashsavvytips.com", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

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