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False Positive Pregnancy Test

on Aug 23, 2012

by Alyssia Granger

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False Positive Pregnancy Test

Did you get a positive pregnancy test and then start your period? Find out the reasons behind a false positive pregnancy test.

A false positive pregnancy test, where a pregnancy test that says you are pregnant when you are actually not, can be a discouraging roadblock on the path to getting pregnant. Today we are going to talk about false positive pregnancy tests and why they happen. First, let’s start off by saying that false positive pregnancy tests are rare, but they do happen. When all instructions are followed completely and a home pregnancy test is used properly, they are usually between 97% and 99% accurate. They usually work, and they usually work well. But, this is not to say that false positives do not occur. Here are a few of the reasons why a false positive home pregnancy test might occur. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Reason #1: Evaporation line

This is by far the number one cause of a false positive pregnancy test at home. Some women do not read the directions fully, or do not follow them exactly. It is important to not only read and understand the directions, but to also follow them. There are a ton of at-home pregnancy tests on the market, and each one is slightly different from the other. What is considered proper procedure for one test may not be proper procedure for another. This is why you have to make sure to follow the directions when taking an at home pregnancy test. Studies say one of the most common forms of misusing home pregnancy tests is digging them out of the trash, or checking them again after more than five minutes have elapsed. After that much time, the test is void and you must retest, as an evaporation line may appear that will appear like a second line. Never go by the results on the test after the specified amount of time is up.

Reason #2: Early miscarriage

What many women do not realize is that a so-called ‘false positive’ is really not a false positive at all, but rather a genuine positive pregnancy test. But as all women are likely to do, you test again the next day or the day after or the day after, and the test is negative. If you go to the doctor, the blood test results will show negative too. But what about the positive test? It could have been a very early miscarriage, or chemical pregnancy, in that you did get pregnant but lost the pregnancy so early it was even before a missed period. The most common cause of an early miscarriage is a genetic defect, that ‘corrected’ itself by not continuing forward with the pregnancy. These types of miscarriages occur about 15% of the time, and if you hadn’t tested early, you would have just seen your period begin and never even know about it. Because today’s pregnancy tests can detect the HcG hormone sooner than even a missed period, they can detect a pregnancy as soon as it happens.

Reason #3: Medication interference

This is also a common reason for false positive pregnancy tests. Sometimes medications can interfere with the results of a home pregnancy test. Phenothiazine is one medication that can cause a false positive result, but many other medications have the ability to interfere with a home test especially those that contain hCG like Pregnyl and Profasi. Sometimes blood in the urine or protein in the urine can also cause an inaccurate result.

Reason #4: Defective or expired tests

This is a more rare reason for a false positive test, but it does happen. Always check the date of your test and make sure it is not expired. If it is expired, don’t chance it, just get another test. There are also defective tests out there, although they are few and far between. There is much speculation that more women experience ‘false positives’ when using the types of tests that show results as + or -, as opposed to 2 lines. So be sure to keep this in mind.

As you can see, false positive home pregnancy tests are pretty rare, but they can and do happen. You can test at home all you want, but just remember: Your doctor is the only one who can tell you for sure.

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False Positive Pregnancy Test, 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

Alyssia is mom to 2 giggley twin girls, Sophia and Emma, and son Hunter. She's a Southern girl, passionate about photography, travel and her husband Josh.

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  • Nora_Russell

    hi am 33 n i had a miscarriage last mont i had sex like one day later n now my period hasn’t come yet should i be concerned it’s my first time getting pregnant

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  • PlayGroundCare

    i have a question i only took 3 pill and have sex with out protection and i toke a pregnancy test it say am pregnant and i took another one it say no so can i be pregnant?

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  • Maureen Stephens, RN

    Some women can still get pregnant while on the pill. You could try taking the home pregnancy test again the following day. If the result is still negative, go see your doctor and get a blood test to confirm it.

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    I am sorry to hear about your loss. It usually takes at least one to two months for your body to heal and recover after a miscarriage, in order to become ready for another pregnancy. This means, your usual cycle may not return until then, which makes your chances of being pregnant minimal. Taking a home pregnancy test can rule this out. It is recommended to allow time for your body to rest before trying to get pregnant again, to ensure the next pregnancy is a healthy one. Use this time to build up your body’s strength and be as healthy as you can in preparation for a future pregnancy. It also very important that you see your doctor about your plans of conceiving after a miscarriage, to have your health and present condition checked. Your doctor may also want to monitor you on your next pregnancy, to prevent any complications from occurring.

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  • Itwas4me

    I took a test and got a positive result in 2 minutes ( according to directions) but the positive line is faint. Am I pregnant?

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  • Lot Gatapia

    My last period was feb11
    I took pregnancy test last Sunday and its shows positive
    Now I’m in the hospital due to discharge
    After transvi, doctor said sign of pregnancy?
    I don’t know if I’m pregnant or not
    Please help
    Thanks

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    Yes, you are possibly pregnant. As long as you are following proper instructions, faint lines are considered to be positive in pregnancy tests. To be sure, I do recommend you to take another pregnancy test.

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  • Freakingout

    I did a first response this morning. The two lines came up almost instantly!! I’m 2 days late for my period but the condom burst only 7 days ago. Is this even possible, I’m freaking out and we don’t want to be pregnant.. How can it be positive so dark so quickly?

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    Since no birth control methods including condoms can 100% prevent you from getting
    pregnant, there is a good likelihood that you might be conceiving. Home pregnancy test can already detect pregnancies as soon as 6 days after ovulation. However; you should try taking another home pregnancy test 14 days after the first day that you have missed your period for a reliable result.

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  • Maureen Stephens, RN

    A transvaginal ultrasound is usually used to detect an early pregnancy. Knowing that you had a positive pregnancy test result, there is a very good chance for you to be pregnant. It is best that you start taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements in order to provide your baby with the essential nutrients needed for a healthy development, and to prevent you from having miscarriages.

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  • SarahWilson

    My fiancé & I had a baby 5 months ago, we had unprotected sex twice, & both times the morning after I got the morning after pill, I took 3 pregnancy tests yesterday, one was negative and 2 positive with very faint lines, I’m freaking out! Does the morning after pill not always work?

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  • kassi

    I have a positive pregnancy test and then i took another one and it was negative its positive or negative

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  • cara

    Ive took 7 of the early pregnancy test n they’ve all came back postive but its the faint postive.ive been on the pills for 1 year n I stopped them n had my period a week later, like 3 weeks later thats when I took the test, but then I started bleeding when I was round 5 weeks n went to the er n the blood test said no but I took another early one 10 days after cause my doc said if I did miscarry It would be out of my system in 10 days, n the test still showed yes

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  • kelli

    I have had 5 positive urine test…even one from my dr, but my blood test are negative…my lmp was in August…what can cause this…could.I.be pregnant?

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  • Claire Matthews

    i took 6 home test and all came positive. I went docs had 2 urine test and a blood test they all came back negative. Does this mean I had a early miscarriage without knowing. My period finally started after being 9 weeks late. Could this mean my home pregnancy tests was fake or wrong.

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  • Diamond

    Hi, i took 2 plan B pills last month and took a pregnancy test 18 days after my missed period and it says I’m pregnant. could the plan B ave some type of affect on this? and also i got my pregnancy test delivered to me and it was cold when i took it does that have a factor in giving a negative positive result?

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  • renae

    I had my period like normal for seven days but noticed I was still bleeding a little. I took a preg test an it said positive. Could this be wrong?

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  • kyah

    Im 7weeks. Im bleeding very bad and clotting as well for two days. Its finally slowing up. Im still scared. Did i have a miscarriage? Boobs still full and my lower stomabh still full. Doc told me to come in tomorrow.

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  • MK

    Hi,i hav 2 miscrgs and then a 4 yr old child and was bf him ocassionally till 2 months back i fell pg,did not know until after 10 days took a test,however tht went to be miscarried at 9th week,on 27th may did a d&c..with the first two m/c i had got my af within 28 and 30 days..this time after 35 days,and a normal one without cramps..however bcos it was late and had unprotected sx,i tested it came as faint positive then got af half hour later…i’ve heard tht the old hormones linger in ur body sometimes,which may give false positives..however my pg symptoms had disapeared,how come they r back,like feet swelling which i only hav when pg,areolas getting very dark,bm turning watery(i had got milk after d&c) and sudden extreme dizziness…shud i test again after the af stops?confused..

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  • Abby

    Hello I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend on the 29th and my last period was on the 20-24 how likely is it for me to become pregnant. And when should I test.

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  • Loryn

    Hi, I missed my period for the month of june, so I took a pregnancy test on sat the 12th of july first thing in the morning and it was faint but it was positive. So later that day I tested again twice and both said negative. So I tried again first thing sunday the 13th and once again negative. Its now monday the 14th and I had some pink spotring that turned into dark brown goo like blood, its not a lot but its there. Im so confused im not sure if I could be pregnant or if it was a faulty test or if I was but it didnt attach. . . juat want to know whats going on with me.

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  • Mic

    Hello. I took a pregnancy test 2 last July 9th and it came out positive. Two days ago I started bleeding like period, I have intense cramping, my lower back hurts so bad and sore breasts… I had miscarriage last year, I was on my 12th week of pregnancy… Do you think I’m having miscarriage again? I won’t have my doctor’s appointment until next month and I just don’t know what to do, do I need to go to ER for this?

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  • mc

    Ur most fertile days are 1-4… n sperm can live up to 72 hours inside of you, so there i s a possibility you could be pregnant. Tests after 5 days of missed period. Best wishes .

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  • beautyfull

    I got my tubes tied 3 years ago. My period came on for one day in august and was extremely early I did a pregnancy test at a doctors office and it came back positive the same day of the period. The next day got a negative test and the next week got a negative test
    But I am throwing up because of certain smells my stomach is getting large I feel flutters In my pelvic area and mood swings and soreness of breast. I have no idea what’s going on could I be pregnant?

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  • cease

    i took a test and didnt see a line but the lighting was really bad, i went to through it away a couple hours later but the lighting was much better and there was a faint second line im a little worried?

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  • Sierra tucker

    If I just had a D&C Wednesday sept.16 & I have been having sex why do my pregnacy test say positive

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  • Amber_Garrett

    I had a tubal ligation 5 years ago and just had a positive pregnancy test then my period started the very next day. I took another test and it was negative, then another it was positive and yet another that ended up negative. I am beyond confused!

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