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Pregnancy tests can sometimes get it wrong

MagazineNovember 2002 (Vol. 13 Issue 8)Pregnancy tests can sometimes get it wrong

Negative pregnancy tests can be misleading, according to a recent report

Negative pregnancy tests can be misleading, according to a recent report.

A severely dehydrated woman was admitted to hospital with vomiting and vaginal discharge. She had gone nine weeks without a menstrual period. A pregnancy test concluded that she was not pregnant, but a physical examination suggested otherwise. An ultrasound scan revealed that she was carrying triplets.

Say the doctors, high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin - common in multiple pregnancies - can inhibit the antigen-antibody reaction on which many pregnancy tests are based (J Obstet Gynaecol, 2002; 22: 442).

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