How accurate are drugstore pregnancy tests?
Q: How reliable are the over-the-counter pregnancy tests? I can’t confirm whether I’m pregnant with them. The first one was positive and the one I took the next day was negative. Is there any way to reliably determine if you are pregnant, or must you get a blood and urine test from a doctor?
Submitted by Erika in Westminster
A:Craig L. Bissinger, M.D.
Home pregnancy tests can be 99 percent accurate if you wait long enough to take them. Waiting a week after missing a period should be enough time to ensure an accurate result. A negative result may mean that you took the test too early, you didn’t follow the instructions – or that you’re not pregnant.
In your case I would get a blood pregnancy test. Your inconsistent findings may be attributable to your own error in taking the test, an inaccurate test kit or an early miscarriage. In questionable cases, a blood test can answer the question. These tests are accurate and can determine pregnancy status before a missed period.