What does 'invalid' mean on a pregnancy test? - Little Lullaby
Little Lullaby

What does ‘invalid’ mean on a pregnancy test?

Little Lullaby
Little Lullaby

Abs wants to know: “I’ve taken 2 tests and they have both came up with invalid. All I really want to know is what this means?”

What does an ‘invalid’ result mean on a pregnancy test?

An invalid result usually means that the pregnancy test cannot detect whether you’re pregnant or not.

This might be because:

  • The test is faulty
  • There isn’t enough urine on the test to say whether you are pregnant or not pregnant.

Pregnancy tests work by detecting a pregnancy hormone in your urine, which starts being produced about 5 days after you get pregnant. So if the test can’t pick up enough urine to detect whether the hormone is there, then you might get an invalid result.

What should I do after an invalid pregnancy test result?

Try taking another test, perhaps using a different brand that is easier to use. You can take a test at any time of the day — you don’t have to wait until morning.

Hold the test in your urine stream for the recommended time to make sure that there is enough urine for a result.

All tests are different, so it’s best to follow the instructions in the packet to make sure you get a result either way.

How can I get another pregnancy test for free?

You can get a free pregnancy test from your doctor, local family planning centre or GUM clinic.

Some young people’s services also offer free pregnancy tests and Brook centres offer free tests if you’re under 25 years old.

Advice from our Community of young mums

The young parents hanging out in our Community have some advice for Abs below. Get support from young mums and dads like Abs did by joining and chatting today.

xxSarahJanex says:

“An invalid result usually means the test is faulty for some reason and isn’t picking up the hormone. Try using a different brand or go to another shop and get another one. If it happens again then I’d suggest going to the doctor. Good luck!”

NicoleLepage suggests:

“It would mean that the test can not detect whether you are pregnant or not! You could try doing the test in the morning or go to the doctors xx”


“Normally means that there’s something wrong with the tests or it could have something to do with the time of day you take the test because your urine could be diluted. I think your best bet is to go doctors.”

lifes_a_test says:

“If it’s a digital one it will mean it isn’t working. You may have got too much wee on it or something, to avoid that pee in a cup and dip the stick in. Could try using a different brand too. If they don’t seem to work then get a test at the doctors x”

The questions and answers on this page were originally posted on Bubbalicious.co.uk in November 2011, before Bubbalicious was rebranded to Little Lullaby in April 2016.