Home pregnancy tests detect a hormone, found in urine, which is produced by the developing placenta when a baby is growing. Picture: Wikipedia

London - Nearly 60 000 pregnancy tests have been recalled amid fears they are giving false readings that women are expecting babies.

Regulators have issued an alert over the Clear & Simple digital tests, which had been marketed as being 99.9 percent accurate and give results in five minutes.

The devices, made in China by Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech, are thought to have been sold in Britain before it went bust. Home pregnancy tests detect a hormone, found in urine, which is produced by the developing placenta when a baby is growing.

The Chinese company warned its UK distributor, Healthpoint, about a faulty batch of the test, which was "resulting in false positive results", earlier this month.

While the devices were made by a Chinese manufacturer, the brand Clear & Simple is owned by Healthpoint, which is based in Blackpool.

It said: "Of the estimated 58 000, it was found that very small numbers of the tests were producing inaccurate results. Affected stocks have already been removed from retail shelves and are in our warehouse awaiting destruction.

"The majority of users have received accurate results when using the tests." It added: "We can assure you that all other Clear & Simple tests remain over 99 per cent accurate as they always have been, and you can rely on results given."

"We are very sorry for any inconvenience and upset that this manufacturing fault may have caused."