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False Positive Pregnancy Test
on Aug 23, 2012
by Alyssia Granger
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
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.
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.
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.
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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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.