Can You Reuse a Pregnancy Test?

Can You Reuse a Pregnancy Test?

Taken a pregnancy test and the control line hasn’t shown up? 🤔

Or maybe there wasn’t enough pee for your stick… 💧

Can you reuse your pregnancy test?

Well, in short, the answer is no — you cannot use a pregnancy test twice. 🙅‍♀️

We’ll explain why here and how you can avoid making any errors while taking your test!

In this article: 📝

  • How home pregnancy tests work
  • Can you retake a home pregnancy test?
  • What happens if you reuse a pregnancy test?
  • What if my reused pregnancy test is now positive?
  • Should I take a pregnancy test more than once?
  • Can too much pee on a pregnancy test make it negative?
  • How to avoid messing up your pregnancy test

How home pregnancy tests work

So, while you shouldn’t be reusing old pregnancy tests, to explain why, let’s start off with how pregnancy tests actually work.

Home tests detect hCG — a hormone that has significantly higher levels in your urine when you’re pregnant.

This happens through a chemical reaction between your urine and hCG hormones on your test.

Once the reaction has happened, it can’t happen again…

Think popcorn — once the kernels have popped, they can’t re-pop. 🍿

And this goes for all the different types of pregnancy tests, too — whether you’re using a strip, a stick, or a digital test.

So even if nothing showed up on your test, or you feel like there wasn’t enough urine, you shouldn’t ever reuse pregnancy tests. 🙅‍♀️

Can you retake a home pregnancy test?

Nope — sadly not!

Once your home pregnancy test has been taken, that chemical reaction has taken place, and the test is no longer of any use.

So, any changes to the test (such as more urine) wouldn’t tell you if you’re pregnant or not, it would simply just be an invalid test now.

So, steer clear from reusing home tests — and definitely don’t trust the results. 🙅‍♀️

What happens if you reuse a pregnancy test?

If you reuse a test, the result will be inaccurate.

Once the reaction has taken place, that test is considered as a finished test.

And, sometimes, adding more moisture (your pee) to the stick again can cause an evaporation line to appear — which looks like a positive result.

Let’s deep dive into positive results from reused tests together. 👇

What if my reused pregnancy test is now positive?

Well, that’s the thing… this can happen.

But it can also be a false-positive.

If you end up reusing a test that has gotten wet (either with a splash of water, or your urine — even when dried), this could lead to a false-positive result, as an evaporation line might appear (more on this later! 👇).

That’s why you shouldn’t reuse your pregnancy tests, because this could result in false hope and disappointment once you’ve done a fresh test.

Should I take a pregnancy test more than once?

Although you shouldn’t reuse old pregnancy tests, you may want to take more than one pregnancy test anyway to confirm things for you.

So, how many repeat pregnancy tests should you take? 🤔

Well, if you think you may be pregnant but your test result is negative, it’s best to wait a few days and then try again.

But if you’ve had a positive result and want to confirm this with more tests, there’s no set number of how many times you should test.

You can choose to take one or two more tests to confirm if you like, but after any positive result, contact your doc or midwife right away.➕

Can too much pee on a pregnancy test make it negative?

In some cases, it could!

Using too much or too little pee on your test could cause a false negative.

Especially if you’re testing during the day (rather than the morning), or testing at night (when you’re likely more hydrated), as this can dilute the hCG in your urine - causing a negative result.

How to avoid messing up your pregnancy test

Hey, we’re all human.

We all make mistakes.

Whether that’s accidentally splashing your test with water beforehand, or not peeing on the stick for long enough, we’ve got you covered.

Read the instructions 👀

As simple as it sounds, familiarizing yourself with the test instructions is super important.

Sometimes, especially if we’ve taken a few tests before, we tend to skim past the important bits.

Some tests require peeing on a stick for 10 seconds, and checking after three minutes… while others can be dipping into urine for 20 seconds, and checking after five minutes.

Make sure you’re clued up on how to take your test correctly!

Keeping the test dry 💦

If just a small splash of water has got onto your test, this could make you think, “It should be okay — let’s reuse this one!”.

But alas, unfortunately, the test is now invalid and you’ll have to get a fresh one. 😖

Even if a drop of water gets involved with the test, a reaction could start taking place.

Water is made up of different chemical elements (hydrogen, oxygen, etc), which can still react with the test strip, so the test is no longer any good for you to use.

And although water will presumably give off a negative result (we’d be a bit concerned if it didn’t 🤣), the test won’t be able to accurately test whether you’re pregnant after that reaction has happened.

Understanding evaporation lines

So, carrying on from water-gate above, if the test dries, an evaporation line can appear.

This can mistakenly look like a positive line, but it’s actually a false positive.

Although the line is clear, by adding more water (or urine) to the test, even after it’s dried, this could cause an evaporation line. 💧

That’s why you shouldn’t reuse tests — because not only will it be inaccurate, but it could give false hope to those who are TTC.

And we all know it can be hard enough as it is. ❤️

🔍 Read more: 5 Mistakes to Avoid Before Taking a Pregnancy Test

So, long story short, no, you can’t reuse a pregnancy test — it won’t give you an accurate result.

And even a splash of water on a test can affect the test, so it’s not worth the risk.

If you want to chat with other women on their fertility journeys, you’re always welcome to join us on Peanut.

We think you’ll fit right in.

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