Confirm Clearly Pregnancy Test: Clearly Worthless
|We're having a new baby! Or are we? Before you trust this new kind of home pregnancy test called Confirm Clearly, get ready for an emotional roller coaster ride.|
We all know that home pregnancy tests work by detecting a hormone, hCG, in the urine. False-negative test results are fairly common; it simply means you haven't been pregnant long enough for the hormone levels to rise to the detectable level. False-positive test results occur only when medication or illness of some sort causes hCG levels in the urine. Home pregnancy tests aren't difficult to take properly, and are accurate approximately 99% of the time.
NEW Update from Confirm Clearly: My husband is pregnant! (Includes photo)
My "Confirm Clearly" experience
About a month ago, I thought I was having pregnancy symptoms. I was still exclusively breastfeeding my 9-month-old baby, and hadn't had a period since the birth. I know it's quite possible to conceive again without ever having a period after the previous baby, and it had been 9 months since the birth, which is a very reasonable time frame for fertility to return.
So, we got a package of Confirm Clearly pregnancy tests. This brand of pregnancy tests is marketed as an easy-to-read, re-fillable pregnancy test reader. You put the test strips into the reader, test in your urine, and either a bright blue + shows up or a bright yellow -. Simple, right? And 99% accurate, according to the package and notes.
The next morning, I took the first test. The results were negative. We were disappointed, but figured that I was just imagining my "symptoms" and that if the symptoms continued, we'd re-test in a week or two. I also started taking a new vitamin supplement that week, and was feeling a remarkable amount of energy. Thoughts of pregnancy went to the back of my mind, as I stored the unused tests in the medicine cabinet for future use.
A few weeks later, my friend Crystal announced her pregnancy! My husband and I were both very excited for her. I started wondering if I, too could be pregnant. After all, I hadn't been having periods and wouldn't have anything to go by. I could be pregnant and never even know! The days passed and I kept wondering if I should re-test. I didn't want to waste a test. But I also really wanted to just see the result so I could either forget about being pregnant or else get excited!! :)
So, last Friday morning I took another test. It was positive. I was shocked! I really hadn't felt pregnant, and I was actually almost sure that the result would be negative; I just wanted the peace of mind.
I read over the Confirm Clearly instruction leaflet several times. It had worked exactly as described: first, a flashing green hourglass symbol and then a bright blue plus sign! There was no mistaking, it definitely said I was pregnant! I have used First Response and Equate (Wal-mart) brand pregnancy tests in the past with accurate results. I thought about re-testing, but decided that would be a waste of a test! Besides, false-positives only occur if you're ill, on medication, or have some sort of abnormality.
I left the test on the bathroom counter and when my husband got up, we rejoiced together and thanked our Heavenly Father for a new little blessing in our family! We told our children that there was going to be a new baby! We were so excited! We called our parents and grandparents, and decided we'd tell everyone else right away, as well. We were so excited, and I put the unused re-fill tests back in the medicine cabinet for later.
We called a couple friends, and we started emailing a few people each day, telling everyone our good news. I planned to announce it on my blog so everyone would know!
When I emailed my friend Crystal (yes, the pregnant one!) to tell her our exciting news, she wrote back asking for all the details! When I mentioned getting the test at Rite Aid pharmacy, she wrote back and said she had heard that the Confirm Clearly pregnancy tests had been giving some people false-positives.
I read her email and felt sick. I ran to the bathroom and took another test. It was negative. I knew that I was not pregnant. I immediately woke up my husband and told him. We started calling and emailing the people we had told, letting them know that we had been mistaken. I googled "Confirm Clearly pregnancy test false positive" and found shocking results. (See notes below) We told our children, "No new baby. No baby in Mommy's tummy."
I called Confirm Clearly using their toll-free number from the package instruction leaflet. I talked to a very friendly and courteous lady who said they would refund my money. I asked if there had been other complaints. She said there had been a few complaints, but not a very big percentage.
She also told me that this test uses a new technology which has only been on the market since August, 2006** and that unlike the "old" pregnancy tests***, it can give a false positive result.
I said to her, "The package says this test is 99% accurate. Is it really 99% accurate?" Her answer was that in laboratory studies, it was. This is because in their laboratory studies, they use urine samples that are either definitely pregnant or definitely not pregnant. When normal consumers start using the tests, it becomes less accurate because of the varying levels of hCG hormone.
Now, I understand that occasionally things can cause the detection of the hCG hormone without there being a pregnancy. But for no apparent resons, these "Confirm Clearly" tests are giving false-positive results. I don't think it matters if the tests did prove 99% accurate in their studies, because real consumers are experiencing a much greater rate of inaccuracy.
Why is the possibility of a false positive result (for reasons other than taking certain medication or having a "rare medical condition") not mentioned in the instructions? They do say to see your doctor if you receive a positive test result, but all home pregnancy tests say that. I realise that if Confirm Clearly were honest in their labeling, and told consumers that this is a new product and is less accurate than standard home pregnancy tests (and gives false-positives), no one would buy them.
However, I personally feel very strongly that no one should use these "Confirm Clearly" tests. If you do take them, you can NOT trust the results. Why waste your money on this "smart pregnancy test" (from the Confirm Clearly box) when two (or more) tests are needed and then a doctor's visit is needed to confirm a pregnancy? Save your money and either just see your doctor or, better yet, get a pregnancy test that isn't going to give you a positive result when you're clearly not pregnant.
These "Confirm Clearly" prgnancy tests can and are causing emotional damage to women, couples, and families. We know people who have been trying desperately to get pregnant. Imagine them seeing their first positive result on a home pregnancy test, only to find out later that it was false.
Think about the unnecessary grief and heartache caused by a false-positive test result when a woman's period returns a few days later. She thinks she miscarried and will never know whether or not she really was pregnant.
In our case, it was just 5 days of believing that we were having another baby. I can't imagine being "pregnant" for a month or more before finding out that these tests are defective.
Confirm Clearly pregnancy tests are inaccurate and emotionally harmful. Do not buy them. Do not use them. And please, PLEASE tell everyone you know about this product before one of your friends or family members starts announcing a pregnancy that isn't.
**Apparently this new technology is still being developed and, in my opinion, should not be sold as a pregnancy test for the unaware.
***I have to wonder what the problem was with "old" pregnancy tests, since I never had difficulty reading them and they didn't give false-positive results.
For more info (links open in new windows):
Real facts about false positive home pregnancy tests (this is why I believe the Confirm Clearly tests are defective and not just inaccurate!!)
Forum posts with warnings:
10 negatives test results + 3 positive results (read comment #72)