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How to Recognize a False Positive Pregnancy Test

How to Recognize a False Positive Pregnancy Test

Knowing what false positive pregnancy result is and what its implications are

It is really frustrating to have a false positive result in any diagnosis, and it is all the more frustrating when you are anxiously waiting to conceive and then encounter a false positive pregnancy test result. But before moving ahead with false positive pregnancy test, let us see what it means and what its implications

How to Recognize a False Positive Pregnancy Test
How to Recognize a False Positive Pregnancy Test
are. A pregnancy test is a test that is carried out through the urine of a woman to check for the presence of hCG hormone that more or less confirms the pregnancy. Though most of the times the reading is correct and the fact of conception is also true, there are times when a false positive reading takes place for a lady to rejoice only to be shattered later when she knows that she has not become pregnant and the reading was wrong.

Human chorionic gonadotropin, commonly known as hCG, is a pregnancy hormone that is produced in the body of a pregnant women after fertilization of egg has taken place. Its presence in certain levels is a sign of pregnancy, and home pregnancy test kits test the presence of hCG in urine of a woman to give the result instantaneously. Most of the kits are sensitive enough to give an accurate reading after nearly 2 weeks of ovulation but some couples are anxious to know the result even earlier as they cannot wait for 2 weeks which is the time when periods normally take place. This is why more sensitive hCG test kits are being manufactured by companies that can detect the presence of hCG in a single week after ovulation to tell if the woman is pregnant or not. Doctors are of the view that couple should wait till a period is missed before jumping the gun and taking pregnancy test. There are many reasons for false positive pregnancy test that will be clear after reading this article. By the way you should read another article about pregnancy tests comparison to know what kind of tests is the most sensitive.

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Chemical pregnancy


If you are still in doubt, a false positive pregnancy test is one where the reading of the result says you are pregnant whereas in reality you have not conceived. Though the chances of false positive pregnancy test are rare, there have been instances where women thought they were pregnant when they had not conceived. There are many reasons of false positive, and one of these is chemical pregnancy. This is a common phenomenon and refers to early miscarriage which is what happens in nearly half of all first pregnancy cases. So while one may get a positive result in her pregnancy test, she may have a miscarriage and continue to have periods as if she never was pregnant. This is called chemical pregnancy.

Taking long time to read the reading

The results of a home pregnancy test are accurate most of the time. Chances of false positive pregnancy test are thus rare. But there is a limit to noting down the reading after taking a test. If one lets readings sit for a long time, they become invalid and this is when false positive test readings are observed. There have been umpteen instances where women thought they had conceived because of their own carelessness.

Interference from drugs

Sometimes, a woman is being treated with drugs containing hCG and this hormone may show up in the reading of pregnancy test to produce a false positive reading. So human pregnancy test false positive may be a result of the drugs a woman may be taking in some cases.

Follow the instructions printed on the cover to the letter

Not following the correct instructions while taking a pregnancy test is sometimes the reason for obtaining a false positive pregnancy test. Can you believe some teenagers take out the stick, pee on it, wait for a few minutes and that is it. They take the reading and believe it to be true. One has to follow the instructions in clearly the same manner as they are written on the pack of a HPT kit. There is even a toll free number to have your doubts cleared. Today there is even an online pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy of a woman. This is actually a questionnaire that one has to take online and it gives out result instantaneously on the basis of answers given out by the woman.

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After reading the information given in this article, it becomes easy to see how several factors lead to false positive and how a woman must recognize a false positive. Lastly, it could be possible that the home pregnancy kit you have might have expired or it could be substandard giving out a false positive result. It is always better to have more than one kits at one’s disposal to have confirmed conception result that is not false positive.

Delores C. West is a compassionate healthcare professional with a focus on women's health and wellness. As a certified nurse-midwife, Delores is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to women throughout their reproductive journey. With a warm and nurturing approach, she empowers her patients to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Delores's expertise in women's health makes her a trusted resource for individuals seeking personalized and compassionate care. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more about her commitment to women's health and wellness.