Is It Possible to Get a False Positive Pregnancy Test Result?
Wondering if you are pregnant or not can be stressful. Nonetheless, the sooner you know, the sooner you can begin your prenatal care and start making plans for the baby to arrive.
But if you have taken a pregnancy test, you may have wondered how reliable the results can be. Even more, you may be worried about whether your positive pregnancy test could be a false alarm.
While home pregnancy test have a high rate of accuracy, 97% in fact, there are instances in which a positive pregnancy test can be the result of other conditions. Pregnancy test work by detecting a hormone in your urine. But this hormone chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), can appear in measurable levels for other reasons.
Chemical pregnancies occur when you get pregnant but have a very early miscarriage. The pregnancy ends so fast that most women never even know they are pregnant. Your period may be a few days late, but when it starts, the flow is very heavy as the miscarriage is discharged.
While you might view this as a pregnancy that ends in miscarriage, it is generally called a chemical pregnancy, and the positive test result is actually a false-positive.
There are times when a woman’s egg is fertilized, resulting in conception, but the egg has not made its’ way to the uterus yet. The egg could be in the Fallopian tube or even in the ovaries. These can turn into easily treatable medical emergencies for some mothers, but there is no hope for the survival of the embryo.
In fact, because the uterus wall is the only place a fertilized egg can thrive and grow in, ectopic pregnancies result in either a miscarriage or the removal of the embryo. In either case, the embryo will produce hCG in traceable amounts. This will lead to a false-positive pregnancy test if taken at home.
Regardless of if the loss of the pregnancy happens involuntarily or willingly, there will still be detectable levels of hCG in your urine for some time afterward. It takes up to six weeks for the hormone to recede completely from your system as the hormone comes from the uterus lining that is naturally left behind after the termination of a pregnancy. It takes a long time for that tissue to break down and leave the body.
That process is even longer if the miscarriage was sudden. That also means the hormone can maintain high levels for much longer as well, so they will definitely show up as a false-positive on an at-home pregnancy test.
If you are taking fertility hormones or other medications in order to help with getting pregnant, you may have false-positive results. The fertilizing properties of these medications include synthetic hCG triggers that are meant to increase mature egg productions from the ovaries. The synthetic trigger is detected by the pregnancy test, and interpreted as a confirmation of pregnancy, resulting in a positive reading.
There are additional medications that can cause false-positives. Medications to treat anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and even allergies can cause your at-home pregnancy test to result in a positive result.
Medications such as Valium, Xanax, Parlode, Lasix, Dolophine, Diuscreen, and chlorpromazine can all produce hormones in your system that at-home pregnancy tests recognize as hCG.
Whether you think the positive result is accurate or not, it is important that you see a doctor right away. That way, if it is confirmed that you are indeed pregnant, you can start your prenatal care right away. Contact Your First Look for a confidential free pregnancy test.