Summary: Can you use a pregnancy test twice? This question is frequently asked by women who want to save money or misplace their instructions. The answer is not straightforward as it depends on the type of test you have and how you want to reuse it. Some tests are equipped with reusable sticks that allow multiple uses, but others are not meant to be reused. In this article, we will discuss the factors that determine if you can use a pregnancy test more than once.
1. Type of Pregnancy Test
The type of pregnancy test you intend to use is critical in determining if you can reuse it. There are two primary types of pregnancy tests: digital and non-digital tests. Non-digital tests require you to read the results manually. They indicate pregnancy by showing a line or two. Digital pregnancy tests show the results on their digital screens.
Digital pregnancy tests are not reusable. You must dispose of them after the first use. If you try to use them again, they won’t work correctly, and the results will be invalid. On the other hand, non-digital tests are reusable. The decision to reuse them depends on some factors discussed below.
If you want to reuse a pregnancy test, ensure that it is a non-digital test. Digital tests are costly, and trying to use them repeatedly will only be a waste of money.
2. When to Reuse the Test
If you have a non-digital pregnancy test that you want to reuse, choose the right time to do so. It is advisable to wait at least two days after taking the first test. Two days are enough for the hormone levels to increase significantly in case you are pregnant. If you test too soon, the results may not be accurate.
Reusing a pregnancy test immediately after you take the first test is not advisable. Doing so prolongs the window between when you took the test and the results. Any alteration that may occur after the initial reading may or may not be a real indication of pregnancy. Therefore, it is better to wait for a minimum of 48 hours to retake a non-digital pregnancy test accurately.
Avoid using different urine samples to retake the test. Instead, use the same sample that you used during the first test. This ensures consistency in the results.
3. How to Reuse your Pregnancy Test
Reusing a pregnancy test requires that you follow some necessary hygiene guidelines. After using the test, the stick may get damp or wet, and there may be traces of urine on it. Therefore, it’s essential to dry the stick thoroughly. Improper handling may lead to contamination of the next testing process.
The best way to reuse a non-digital pregnancy test is to dip it into a clean cup containing urine. Keep it in the pee for about five seconds, then remove it and shake off any excess urine. Ensure that your hands are clean to avoid any contamination.
Once you get the results, dispose of the pregnancy test in the right way. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on disposing of the test. Wash and sanitize your hands thoroughly to prevent any infections.
4. Accuracy of Reusable Pregnancy Tests
Reusable pregnancy tests are known to have a higher level of inaccuracy compared to one-time-use tests. After the first instance of testing, the level of hormones in the urine may increase or decrease, resulting in invalid results. The longer a non-digital pregnancy test sits, the higher the chances are errors will occur.
The accuracy of reusable pregnancy tests also depends on how you store them. The tests must be kept in a cool, dry place that is away from sunlight. Exposure to the sun and moisture may lead to false results.
A reusable pregnancy test should be used for convenience. If you want accurate results, you may have to invest in a new pregnancy test every time you need to test for pregnancy.
5. Reasons Not to Reuse Pregnancy Tests
Reusing a pregnancy test may seem convenient, but it comes with some risks. One of the reasons not to reuse pregnancy tests is accuracy. As mentioned earlier, the first test may reflect an increase or decrease in hormone levels. Reusing the test may lead to invalid results.
The other reason is hygiene. After the first test, the stick may have traces of urine. These are ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive. Bacteria can multiply fast if the stick is not cleaned correctly before reuse.
The last reason not to reuse a pregnancy test is the durability of the test. After the first use, the test loses sensitivity, and it may not provide accurate results. A pregnancy test that has been used more than twice stands a high chance of giving a false positive or negative result.
The question as to whether you can use a pregnancy test twice depends on various factors. If you have a non-digital pregnancy test, you can reuse it but wait for at least 48 hours and use the same urine sample as before. However, it would be best to note that reusing a pregnancy test compromises its accuracy, durability, and hygiene. If you want accurate results, consider investing in a new pregnancy test every time you want to test for pregnancy.