The accuracy of pregnancy tests has been a matter of debate for a long time now. It is important to understand that despite the fact that pregnancy tests are currently very accurate, it is still possible for them to give a false positive. A false positive result can be a very emotionally and psychologically distressing experience for a woman, especially if she was not expecting to become pregnant. The purpose of this blog post is to provide a comprehensive overview of the potential causes of false positives on pregnancy tests and to offer advice on how to interpret results in order to minimize the chances of getting a false positive in the first place. Additionally, the blog post will focus on how to cope with a false positive result if one should unfortunately occur.
Some Medications Can Trigger False-Positives
A woman’s doctor might prescribe fertility treatments if she is having trouble getting pregnant. One of those medications is hCG, which aids follicles in a woman’s ovary in releasing mature eggs. A false-positive pregnancy test result may occur if it is performed 7–14 days after fertility treatments. Pregnancy testing should be postponed until 1-2 weeks after the final injection or treatment.
If you take any medications, let your doctor know because some medications can result in false-positive tests. Your doctor can assist you with the outcomes of over-the-counter tests once they are aware of what medications you are taking.
Depending on your symptoms and how far along the pregnancy was, a minor surgical procedure called a dilation and curettage (D and C) may be necessary to remove the tissue when this happens.
At-home pregnancy tests aren’t foolproof. It’s important to follow package directions exactly. Check the expiration date before using the test.
A doctor’s appointment must always come after a positive result from a home pregnancy test. To confirm the findings and check your hCG levels, your doctor might administer a urine or blood test.
Although they are believed to be very common, if a pregnancy test is not taken, they frequently go undetected. These early test results, when wrong, can be emotionally draining.
Some pregnancy tests detect hCG very early in pregnancy. Although reliable home pregnancy tests can be extremely accurate, they are not perfect.
Chances of a false positive pregnancy test
False positives aren’t super common, Dr. Emery says. But they’re not impossible. Some potential causes include:
You took a pregnancy test and got two lines. (Positive!) But a few days later, your period arrived in force. What gives? The most common reason this happens is an early pregnancy loss, also known as a chemical pregnancy. In this case, the test was accurate — there was a pregnancy, but it wasn’t a viable one, Dr. Emery explains.
Given that a very early pregnancy did take place, he claims, “it’s not technically false.” But this is the most typical cause of a pregnancy test appearing to be false. ”.
“A lot of fertility treatments involve taking hCG injections,” Dr. Emery says. If you’ve been taking fertility medications, that hCG might still be floating around your system.
Even if you are not pregnant, that could cause a pregnancy test to come back positive. Wait at least two weeks after your last hCG injection before performing a home pregnancy test, he advises, to prevent that mix-up.
If you were recently pregnant, you might still have leftover hCG in your system. After childbirth, miscarriage or treatment for ectopic pregnancy, the hormone can remain in your body for up to four to six weeks, Dr. Emery says. “That could lead to a positive pregnancy test when your body just hasn’t cleared the hCG yet.”
Home pregnancy tests aren’t especially hard to use. However, you must remain vigilant because a slip-up could result in inaccurate results.
You might want to take the result with a grain of salt if you, for example, wait too long to read the results or use more urine drops than the test requires. “Any results, whether positive or negative, could be false if you don’t follow all the instructions,” Dr. Emery says.
How likely are false-positive tests pregnancy?
What conditions can cause a false-positive pregnancy test?
- Chemical pregnancy. It’s possible to have a positive pregnancy test even if you aren’t technically pregnant. …
- Ectopic pregnancy. …
- Recent miscarriage or abortion. …
- User error. …
- Evaporation lines. …
- Medications. …
- Certain medical conditions.