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How common are false test results?

Published 2024-01-10 16:53 by Nordictest
How common are false test results?

The risk of receiving a false test result is quite low as long as you test correctly and not too early. However, it's important to understand that home tests can vary significantly in terms of reliability.

When you take a strep throat test from us, it is 99% reliable, while a herpes test may have a reliability of 98%. We always make sure to provide the reliability of each test so you know in advance.

At the same time, it's important to realize your role in obtaining a test result you can trust. If you want to test for a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia, you should understand that it will take at least 7 days after infection before the chlamydia bacteria can be detected.

You can choose a chlamydia test package that includes multiple tests so you can retest if you realize the first test was performed too early. Our chlamydia tests, like our herpes test, have a reliability of at least 98%. The risk of receiving a false test result is therefore very low.

Some important factors to consider

One crucial factor affecting the test result is how well you perform the test. When it comes to tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea, where you need to collect vaginal test material or test with urine, there's always the question of whether you're doing it correctly.

It's not like when you have blood in your stool and send a test to a lab that can contact you if something seems amiss. When you have to collect the test material yourself, it's crucial that you understand how to do it correctly.

There are doctors who argue that mishandling of home tests can lead to false-positive test results, meaning you receive a positive result when it's not accurate. Even worse, getting a false negative result and not knowing that you actually need treatment and a healthy approach to intimacy with your partner can be more problematic.

Home tests vs. lab tests

There are various types of home tests. Some provide rapid results within ten minutes at home, while others need to be sent to a lab, such as our substance tests.

When we look at studies comparing the reliability of home tests to lab tests, it turns out that lab tests can be slightly more accurate. However, it doesn't mean that all home tests are always worse than lab tests.

This will depend on what is being tested and, again, how it's done. When you follow our instructions, you get the reliability we promise for that specific test. If you have symptoms, it's also important to follow up a positive test result with a doctor's consultation.

False-positive result in a home test

There are issues with all types of false test results, and we should be aware that it's not just home tests that can provide an incorrect result. If you receive a false positive result, it can lead to unnecessary stress and fear.

Even if the positive result is accurate, it can cause anxiety. Moreover, false test results can pose problems for relationships. You may have to ask a partner to get tested or inform people you'd rather not talk to. If all of this happens unnecessarily, it's understandable to feel frustrated.

Furthermore, some diseases may require immediate treatment. A false positive result could mean that you start a medical treatment you don't need. Because of this, we believe it's essential to consult with a knowledgeable doctor before starting any form of treatment.

If you don't have symptoms, you can choose to retest or schedule a lab test. But, as mentioned, consult with a doctor first. Even if you don't have symptoms, there's still a risk that you may be carrying an infection, and it's crucial to ensure the test result is accurate.

False-negative result in a home test

A false-negative result may seem like a relief if you don't suspect it's false. But if you have symptoms and receive a negative test result, it can seem strange. Here, it's crucial to understand that you may be taking the wrong test.

Various diseases can have similar symptoms. Having already ruled out a specific disease with your home test can be helpful for your doctor. However, realize that if you haven't tested correctly, there's a risk that the test result is inaccurate.

One of the most significant problems with false negative test results is that they can lead to further spreading of the infection without your awareness. Additionally, you won't receive the treatment you may need, even if you're symptom-free.

There are diseases like HIV that require an early diagnosis to prevent the development of more severe conditions. This is essential to remember. If you're pregnant and suspect a sexually transmitted disease, it's also crucial to know that an undetected infection can be transmitted to your baby and may lead to premature birth and low birth weight.

These are very important things to consider, so if you take a home test, be aware of the risks of false test results. No test is 100% reliable, but ours come very close. Just be sure to test at the right time and in the right way, and always follow up with a doctor if you have symptoms or are unsure about what to do when carrying an infection without symptoms.