Are you pregnant and need to take a workplace or pre-employment drug test? Are you concerned your pregnancy might be detected, or that your pregnancy will affect the results? Read on for everything you need to know about drug tests while pregnant.
Can Drug Tests Detect Your Pregnancy?
You've probably heard stories of men using their wives' urine to pass drug tests and then being told that they're pregnant. In reality, though, a properly conducted drug test should not be testing for pregnancy. It's considered an invasion of privacy unless you specifically request it or consent to it.
Federal law prohibits discrimination against pregnant women. If you suspect an unscrupulous employer has used your sample for a pregnancy test, you should seek legal advice or contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Does Pregnancy Affect a Drug Test?
It's not currently clear how much pregnancy affects a drug test. Some research from the University of Kansas suggests that urine drug screening can cause a high rate of false positives for pregnant women, especially for methamphetamines and opiates.
In one particularly tragic case, a baby boy died in foster care after being left in a car by the foster mother. This all happened because of a positive drug test, despite the mother insisting that she wasn't taking drugs.
It's suggested that the changing chemistry in pregnant women somehow throws off many tests. Until scientists can better understand this, there's a chance of testers and employers not accepting pregnancy as the cause of a false positive.
Passing a Drug Test while Pregnant
Just like with everyone else, there are still ways to pass a drug test while pregnant. That said, your options are a little more limited when expecting.
Detox drinks are a popular way for many people to pass urine drug tests, but they're generally not recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. These drinks contain large amounts of creatine, vitamins, and other compounds. The vast majority of adults have no problems with these ingredients, but it's not known how they might affect a fetus or baby.
Using substitute urine is a much safer option, because it avoids the need to ingest anything. It can sometimes be hard to get hold of real urine, and you need to be sure the donor is not taking any drugs, even prescription drugs. Many prescription drugs show up on drug tests, and this will cause problems if you don't have a prescription yourself.
Saliva Drug Tests
Detox mouthwashes should also be safe for pregnant females. To be safe, be sure to spit it out, even if the instructions say it's fine to swallow it.
Hair Drug Tests
The typical approach to hair drug tests is to use some kind of hair treatment, usually in the form of a detox shampoo. These treatments are usually applied externally, so there's no reason why it would affect your pregnancy.