Reasons A Pregnancy Test Gave False Positive

When women take a pregnancy test, there is reason to believe that they are pregnant. What each woman wants those results to be all depends on where they are in life, who their partner is, and if they are ready to be a mother. That is why there is so much anticipation while waiting to see what the results of a home pregnancy test are. As such, when a test comes back positive, women’s lives change in an instant. Planning begins, tears may be shed, and appointments are made to confirm the pregnancy test. And for those who find out that their positive is really a false positive, not only do they suffer from emotional whiplash, but they question why their pregnancy test gave them a false positive reading.


According to the Cleveland Clinic, false positive pregnancy test readings are rare. This means that the majority of the time that a pregnancy test comes back with a plus sign, two lines, or a reading that states “pregnant,” women truly are pregnant. It is for the one percent of women who receive the false positive result that life can become a bit of a confusing roller coaster ride. This is because of whether women wanted to be pregnant or not, they believed that they were from the time that test was taken until a test with a healthcare professional stated they were not.

And that is not only a lot to absorb believing that they were pregnant but then to find out they were never pregnant is more than some can handle.

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Here are reasons why your pregnancy test gave you a false positive.

A Chemical Pregnancy Occurred

When an egg fertilizes but is unable to attach to the uterine wall, that is a chemical pregnancy. Although not technically pregnant, according to Tua Suade, the body believes that it is. And as a result, the hormones are produced that would support a developing baby.

It is those hormones that the pregnancy test picks up on. And as a result, even though the fertilized egg did not attach as it should have, the pregnancy test will give a positive reading. Something that will either be dispelled by a healthcare professional or more likely, per the publication, when a miscarriage occurs.

There Was A Recent Miscarriage

After a miscarriage happens, the body does not immediately return to the hormone levels it was at pre-pregnancy. Instead, according to The Sourceit takes nine to 35 days for the hCG levels in the body to return to normal.

The hCG is what is measured in pregnancy tests to determine if someone is pregnant. As such, women who recently suffered a miscarriage may still test positive on a pregnancy test. And this is why they would receive a false positive if a pregnancy test is taken within a month or so of a pregnancy being lost.

An Ectopic Pregnancy Occurred

When eggs are fertilized, they should attach to the uterine wall to develop the embryo that will eventually become a baby. But, if the attaches eggs to the fallopian tube, the pregnancy will not be able to develop as the fallopian tube is not equipped to be able to support a developing embryo. Something that is known as an ectopic pregnancy.

Because the body does not know the difference between whether the egg is attached to the lining of the uterus or a fallopian tubeit will produce hormones to support the baby, according to Parents. As such, the pregnancy test will register as positive.

Women with ectopic pregnancies will experience all the symptoms of pregnancy during the first trimester, per the publication. It is not until bleeding or tenderness in the abdominal region occurs that there is any sign of complications with the pregnancy. And this is usually the time when it is recognized that an ectopic pregnancy is what is being had.

Medications Can Cause False Positives

Something that is not often known is that Medications can cause the hormones in the body to change. According to MedicalNewsTodaythis is especially true with weight loss and infertility medications.

There are other medications that can change hormone levels to give a false positive on the pregnancy test. Those medications, per the publication, include:

  • Aspirin
  • Carbamazepine
  • methadone

If any of these are being taken with regularity, it is possible that the pregnancy test taken will not give accurate results. And women will end up with a false positive instead.

Not Following Instructions On The Pregnancy Test

With the Accuracy of the home pregnancy tests today, it is difficult to get a reading that is not accurate. However, with this little thing called human error, it is possible to not perform the test per the enclosed directions. And consequently, a false positive can result.

According to VeryWell Familythe The likelihood that there is a problem with the test is very slim. Instead, as a result of not waiting enough time to test, not doing the first test thing in the morning or any other number of things that could happen, the test may give off a false positive. This is why healthcare professionals will follow up with a test of their own to determine if women are pregnant or not.

Confusion Over The Evaporation Line

It seems pretty straightforward that if there are two lines on a pregnancy test that the test is showing a positive test result. However, if women wait too long to read their pregnancy test, what they are seeing may not be a positive result. Instead, according to BabyMed, what they could be seeing instead is the evaporation line instead.

The evaporation line has nothing to do with the hormones in the body being raised. Instead, it is a line that shows up as the pregnancy test begins to dry out. Because of this, if women take longer than the time instructed to read their results, they may be reading something inaccurate. And a false positive can be the outcome of a test that otherwise would have been negative.

Source: Cleveland Clinic, Tua Saude, The Source, Parents, MedicalNewsToday, VeryWell Family, BabyMed

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