Pregnancy tests are highly confusing. Your whole life will turn upside down if you get a positive test. But what if a test results in a false positive? A false-positive pregnancy test result occurs fewer than 1% of the time. But, when it does, the days or weeks that follow can be perplexing until you finally learn that you aren’t actually pregnant.
So, what causes a false-positive pregnancy test, and how can you reduce your chances of experiencing one? This article will go through the most common causes of false positive pregnancy tests. So, stay with us, and keep on scrolling down if you want to get more information on it.
What Can Cause False Positive Pregnancy Tests?
The false positive pregnancy tests can happen due to several reasons. It mainly occurs when the pregnancy stick falsely identifies the presence of a human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in your ovary. In some other cases, the stick accurately identifies the human chorionic gonadotropin, but the pregnancy isn’t viable. So, let’s find out the reasons behind a false positive pregnancy test;
1: Recent Abortion Or Miscarriage
During pregnancy, the HCG hormone continues to increase in your placenta as it is secreted by an embryo after it implants. However, hCG levels begin to decline over 9-35 days following an abortion or miscarriage.
Therefore, if you take a pregnancy test within this time frame, you can obtain a false positive pregnancy test result since the test still detects the pregnancy hormone and can’t distinguish if the levels are dropping.
2: Medication Errors
If a woman has trouble conceiving, her doctor may recommend fertility treatments. Some of these medications contain hCG, which aids in the release of mature eggs from follicles within a woman’s ovary.
However, a false-positive pregnancy test might occur if performed between 7-14 days of taking these reproductive medications. Therefore, it’s best to wait 1-2 weeks following the last injection or therapy to test for pregnancy.
3: Certain Medical Conditions
A false positive pregnancy test can result from a variety of medical issues. If you have any of the following medical conditions, your HCG levels may be inflated, resulting in a false positive such as;
- Kidney illness.
- Ovarian cysts.
- Infection of the urinary tract.
- Pituitary issues.
- Ovarian cancer.
- Bladder cancer.
- Lung cancer.
- Colon cancer.
- Liver cancer.
- Stomach cancer.
- Breast cancer.
There may be some other dangerous disorders that could result in a false positive pregnancy test. If you obtain a false positive test result after ruling out other possibilities, see a doctor tested for these illnesses. Your doctor may ask you to get a blood test to obtain a more accurate test result.
4: Evaporation Line Mistakes
You may misinterpret a false positive pregnancy test result if you don’t follow the pregnancy test instructions correctly. When the pregnancy stick discovers HCG, many tests display two lines or a plus or minus sign. Sometimes a faintly colored second line also reflects in the line testing. This might be an evaporation line or a sign of early pregnancy.
The findings may be falsely positive if you read the test after the prescribed period in the instructions because the evaporation line may reflect better. Follow the time instructions for the pregnancy exam precisely to avoid any misunderstanding. Each test brand has its own set of instructions, so pay attention to them.
5: User Errors
Pregnancy test kits also have an expiration date. A false positive pregnancy test result might occur when you don’t take the test the right way or use an expired test kit. You can avoid this error if you abide by the following instructions;
- Check the expiry date on your test kit before using it, and carefully follow the instructions.
- Use the tests when your urine is concentrated, such as when you first wake up. The accuracy of the test might be harmed by diluted urine caused by excessive water consumption.
- Use a pregnancy test kit as late as possible in your menstrual cycle.
- Allow the dip-stick to remain in your urine stream for the duration specified in the instructions. To maintain track, set a timer. Set a second timer to ensure that you examine your findings inside the time range specified in the instructions.
6: Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when an embryo attaches itself outside the uterus. More than 90% of ectopic pregnancies take place in the fallopian tube. As a result, the tube may burst as the pregnancy progresses. Internal bleeding can also result from such ruptures. This might be a life-threatening situation that’ll necessitate surgery.
In such contexts, even if the embryo isn’t viable, it will release hCG, which will result in a fake pregnancy test. So if you suspect an ectopic pregnancy with significant discomfort on one side of the lower abdomen and spotting, get medical attention right away.
7: Chemical Pregnancy
A chemical pregnancy is a miscarriage that occurs before the fifth week of pregnancy and when an embryo implants in your uterus but never holds on to it. You may not even realize you’re pregnant since the miscarriage occurs so early.
On the other hand, the embryo generates hCG, which might result in false pregnancy tests. Chemical pregnancies aren’t caused by the woman’s actions or inactivity, but rather by some other aspects such as;
- Tissue scarring.
- Low levels of progesterone.
- A distorted-shaped uterus.
- Abnormalities of other hormones.
- Uterine abnormalities.
- Implantation outside the uterus.
What To Do After You Get A False Positive Pregnancy Test Result?
- The False positive pregnancy test findings can put you and your family under a lot of emotional and mental hardship. Therefore, we recommend waiting one week following the expected start of your menstruation to utilize the at-home pregnancy tests.
- You may also get a transvaginal ultrasound to get a clear overview of your uterus, ovary, pelvic area, cervix, and fallopian tubes. The doctor will place the ultrasound probe inside your vagina to check if the gestational sac is okay or not.
- If you are already troubled by a false positive pregnancy test result, we recommend you visit your gynecologist as soon as possible. Only a doctor can determine the accuracy of your pregnancy.
- If you are over the age group of 35 and continue to get these false positive pregnancy test results, make sure you counsel with an infertility specialist. He will take you step-by-step on this journey to become pregnant.
- There are several women support groups where people facing the same issues as you share their problems. You can find these groups on the internet and join those communities to gain personal insight into this problem.
- If you have a trusted friend or family member who has been through the same problem of false positive pregnancy test results, talk to them. They can recommend a therapist also, which may benefit you to cope with this problem.
1: How Likely Is A False Positive Pregnancy Test?
Ans: Home pregnancy tests are likely to be 99% accurate, so that leaves the scopes of false positive pregnancy tests less than 1%. However, it can keep you confused or tense for several days and weeks when it happens.
2: Is It Possible To Have Multiple False Positive Test Pregnancy?
Ans: It is not likely to have more than one false positive on pregnancy test results. So, if you are getting multiple such results, you are not pregnant. But, it’s better if you consult a doctor, or at least talk to a trusted adult to be entirely sure.
3: Can A Positive Test Be Wrong?
Ans: Of course it can; that’s why they are called false positives. For example, if the LFTs are incorrectly placed beneath your vagina while you urinate, it can lead to false positive test pregnancy. So, it can be wrong, and that’s why you must talk to a doctor if you suspect anything.
Can you get false positive on pregnancy tests? Of course, you can. A false positive pregnancy result is triggered by the presence of hCG. If you’re taking any medications, let your doctor know because some of them might produce false positives. Once your doctor understands what you’re taking, they can assist you with the findings of these tests. If you want to know more about it, ask us in the comment box below.