At home pregnancy tests are well-known by most women. However, while most women are perfectly aware that they can take a pregnancy test at home, many women are unaware of all the factors that go into testing accurately. Not all tests are made equal, and not all tests work the same. To ensure that your pregnancy test works to provide you with the most accurate results, you need to know what could go wrong with the test to cause it to work improperly, such as using an expired pregnancy test.
While there is no time frame for the usage of every single pregnancy test on the market, most pregnancy tests are valid for use between one and two years. What some women do not understand, however, is that this does not mean your test is good for one to two years after you purchase the test. What it means is that it is good for that length of time once it is placed in the box. Since you have no idea how long it’s been in the box, you need to check the box for an expiration date.
It is highly possible to purchase a pregnancy test that is already expired. When stores purchase tests, they place them on the shelves and leave them there until they are purchased. If they restock that shelf after a few tests have been purchased, new tests might be placed in front of older tests. Eventually, when the older tests make their way into the front of the shelf, they might already be expired or close to it.
An expired test is one you should throw away. An expired test is considered expired for a reason. The chemical used to change color when it is met with hCG, the pregnancy hormone, can lose its effectiveness after a while, meaning your test will not produce the results you want to see. Once the test is expired, it should simply head straight to the trash.
Additionally, it is important that you check the wrappers on each test in a box of pregnancy tests. Sometimes, though it’s rare, manufacturers might accidentally put a test in a box with different expiration dates. For example, the package used to wrap the individual tests inside a box might state that the tests expire this month and day, but the box states that the tests expire a different month and day. When this occurs, it’s always safe to choose the closest expiration date. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
There are some other factors that might cause your test to work incorrectly. For example, you do not have to have an expired pregnancy test to get an incorrect result on your pregnancy test. You might simply have a damaged test. For this reason, there are ways to tell if a test is valid. If you use a digital test, you will know the test works when a timer appears in the window while you wait for your result to appear. This timer lets you know that the test is working correctly. If you don’t see it, throw it away and ignore the results.
If you are using a test that is not digital, it will have to result windows. One will immediately turn pink or blue in the shape of a line when you hold it in your urine. This is a test line. If the test works, this line will appear. If this line does not appear, your test did not work correctly. Throw it away and get a new one. This could mean that the test stopped working early due to some sort of damage in the packaging, that it is otherwise defective or that it is an expired pregnancy test that expired earlier than the manufacturer thought that it would.
Knowing what to expect when you use an at-home pregnancy test is a good way to figure out if you’re doing it right or your test has somehow malfunctioned. It is always imperative that you read the instructions that come with the test thoroughly. Even if you’ve tested for pregnancy in the past, all tests are made slightly differently. This means the test you are using now might have a different time frame for holding the absorbent tip in your urine or that it has a longer or shorter time frame to see your results. Messing up the times can cause you to see incorrect results.
Since you don’t want an incorrect result on any expired pregnancy test, it is imperative that you take only tests that are accurate and not tests that are expired. Check the date on the box and on the wrapper. If that date has passed, throw the test away. If the test strip or timer does not appear, assume that the test expired too early and throw it away.