Can I Have a Positive Pregnancy Test and Not Be Pregnant?




Positive Pregnancy Test

Can I REALLY have a positive result on a pregnancy test and not actually be pregnant?

Many of our patients assume that if they take a pregnancy test and the result is positive that they are pregnant. However, that may not always be the case. Let us explain.

During pregnancy, your body produces the hormone called hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). This is the hormone measured by pregnancy tests. If hCG is detected during pregnancy testing, the result should read positive.

How can you get a positive result on a pregnancy test if you are not actually pregnant? If a woman has recently experienced a miscarriage, the hCG hormone may still be present in her body up to several weeks after the miscarriage. In addition, after a woman gives birth, the hCG hormone typically remains in her body until about five weeks afterwards. Both of these scenarios could cause a false result on a pregnancy test.

Additionally, there is always the possibility of human error when performing home pregnancy tests. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Most pregnancy tests require you to let the test set for 3-5 minutes. If the test is left beyond the recommended set time, this could produce a false test result.

The only way to confirm a positive result on a pregnancy test is through ultrasound. The ultrasound confirms pregnancy by detecting the following:

  1. A gestational sac with a yolk sac (a sac of fluid that surrounds the baby in early pregnancy, an indication of early pregnancy).
  2. The presence of a measurable human fetal heartbeat.
  3. If the pregnancy is developing within the uterus. If the human fetus is developing, outside of the uterus, this is called an extrauterine pregnancy and immediate medical attention is required.

Your Options Medical offers lab-quality pregnancy tests at no cost to you. These medical-grade tests are 99% accurate, can detect pregnancy as early as 7-10 days from conception and are administered by trained professionals.

If you or someone you know have recently taken a positive pregnancy test, an ultrasound is the next step before making a pregnancy decision; it will determine if a decision needs to be made. To learn more about ultrasound, check out our blog.

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120 responses to “Can I Have a Positive Pregnancy Test and Not Be Pregnant?

  1. I had a miscarriage 5 weeks ago ending in a abortion procedure…. Me and the hubby wanted to start back right away. I took a home pregnancy test and I’m seeing a very faint line. I still have not had my period is this still From my miscarriage or can I be pregnant??

    1. Hi CeCe,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      First, I am so sorry for your loss! We have support for pregnancy loss so if you would like more information, please be sure to let us know. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.
      To answer your question: typically hCG (the pregnancy hormone) stays in your body approximately 5 weeks after a miscarriage. It is possible you could be pregnant again or it might be from your miscarriage. You may want to consider requesting a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician or OB/GYN as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine tests. This way if pregnancy is ruled out, your doctor can further assess your symptoms.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call or text 508-251-9022.
      Thank you, again for reaching out and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any further help.

      Best Regards,
      Gladys, RN

  2. I am about to be 3 months postpartum my last period was on August 8th I haven’t gotten my period since and I’m not irregular I have been active and been having random abdominal pain so I took a pregnancy test on September 28 it came out positive therefore I went to get an ultrasound and nothing was found. could I be pregnant?

    1. Hi Yaretsy,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      I cannot diagnose, just explain what is possibly going on.
      To answer your question: it is possible you might be pregnant but very early so undetectable through ultrasound. It is also possible that you were pregnant and miscarried. Did they rule out an ectopic pregnancy when the ultrasound was done? At this point, it would be advisable to keep in contact with your doctor in case your symptoms change.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call or text 508-251-9022.
      Thank you, again for reaching out and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any further help.

      Best Regards,
      Gladys, RN

  3. Hi there, I gave birth to my daughter on August 17th and have had unprotected sex twice (once at 3 weeks pp and once a few days ago) with my husband. Took a pregnancy test around two and a half weeks ago and it was negative, a second a few days later and was also negative. Been feeling a bit strange the past few days so I took a pregnancy test this morning and there is a faint positive. Is there a chance i’m pregnant again? I’m mixed feeding (formula and breast) my daughter so my period has still yet to return. Should i retest later today or even in a few days/weeks time? Thank you!

    1. Hi Adele,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      To answer your question: there is a possibility you might be pregnant.
      Typically, we would recommend waiting a week and then try taking another test. You may want to consider requesting a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician or OB/GYN as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine tests. This way if pregnancy is ruled out, your doctor can further assess your symptoms.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call or text 508-251-9022.
      Thank you, again for reaching out and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any further help.

      Best Regards,
      Gladys, RN

  4. Hi, my partner and I had unprotected sex 11days ago and she has recently had spotting and cramping. She took an at home hcg this morning and it was positive. I am seeking advice on how soon we can stop the pregnancy with an abortion pill? And also any risks involved with this. And how much the baby is developed so far?

    1. Hi Brandt,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      Before getting the abortion pill, your partner will need to confirm she’s under 11 weeks and rule out an ectopic pregnancy. This is done by ultrasound. The abortion pill is not recommended beyond 11 weeks and would be ineffective on an ectopic pregnancy. Potential risks and side effects include: heavy bleeding, large blood clots (the size of lemons), intense cramping, infection, damage to the uterus, etc.
      At this point, I cannot tell you how developed the baby is as I do not know have the full information to determine that. Depending on when the first day of her last period was, it is possible that the baby’s heart has begun to beat.
      I would like to offer you a free, confidential appointment with us. We can provide the needed ultrasound at no cost, no insurance needed. You would be able to attend the appointment with her and you would both be given time to ask questions.
      If you are not in the Massachusetts area, I would like to offer you a free phone consultation with one of our nurses this way we could still answer your questions and provide you with more information regarding your options. Is that something you would be interested in?
      Best Regards,
      Gladys, RN

  5. I had a miscarriage on the 01st August (fetus stopped growing at 6wks, sack estimated to be around 12wks), bled for 5days during miscarriage. Saw my period on the 04th September. Period which is irregular is “due” any day, I started feeling upset like with my first pregnancy, so decided to take a test and there was a faint line indicating positive. Could I be pregnant? Don’t want to get my hopes up and it’s not.

    1. Hi Wendi,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      First, I want to say I am so very sorry for your loss! My deepest sympathies for you and your family!
      To answer your question, it is possible you might be pregnant. I could wait a week and try testing again to confirm the first positive test result. You may want to consider requesting a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician or OB/GYN as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine tests. This way if pregnancy is ruled out, your doctor can further assess your symptoms.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call or text 508-251-9022.
      Thank you, again for reaching out and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any further help.

      Best Regards,
      Gladys, RN

  6. I had a miscarriage on 20th of August and I went for scan and it says total flush out,and I have not seen my period since then ,I did a test at home it comes out positive and my tummy is coming out, please am I pregnant again or is the result of the miscarriage, and if am pregnant what might be the sex of the child

    1. Hi Favour,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      First, my deepest condolences to you and your family!
      I cannot diagnose you. Typically, the pregnancy hormone that your body creates which a pregnancy test detects called hCG, usually stays in your body approximately 4 weeks after a miscarriage or giving birth. It could be possible that you might be pregnant again. At this point, you may want to consider requesting a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician or OB/GYN as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine tests. This way if pregnancy is ruled out, your doctor can further assess your symptoms. If symptoms persist and pregnancy tests continue to be negative, seek medical attention.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call or text 508-251-9022.

      Thank you, again for reaching out and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any further help.

      Best Regards,
      Gladys, RN

  7. Hi my daughters in law took a pregnancy test and got a positive she then took a further 4 spacing them out and all positive so she’s had 5 positive tests she then started bleeding on Saturday she went to hospital they did a test and it came back negative is it possible that she’s pregnant how can you get 5 positive then a negative thankyou

    1. Hi Emma,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      To answer your questions, there are a few possibilities. She might be pregnant but very early, that could be why she received 5 positive pregnancy tests and then 1 negative. If she had the positive pregnancy tests, experienced bleeding, and then had a negative test, this could be an indicator that she may have had a miscarriage. I cannot diagnose.
      At the point, your daughter-in-law could wait a week and trying taking another test. She may want to consider requesting a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician or OB/GYN as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine tests. If symptoms persist and pregnancy tests continue to be negative, seek medical attention.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call or text 508-251-9022.

      Thank you, again for reaching out and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any further help.

      Best Regards,
      Barbara, RN

  8. I am 14 weeks pp, have had intercourse with my partner several times, I had my period in September. I did a home hCG test yesterday and it turned out to be positive. Could I be pregnant?

    1. Hello Rena,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      It is possible that you could be pregnant. HCG levels in your urine should have returned to normal at 14 weeks post partum, indicating a negative test. If you are getting a positive home pregnancy test at this time, you could be pregnant.
      I would suggest you repeat your test in a week or so, using the first urine of the day. Or you could ask your doctor to order a blood pregnancy test to be more confident of accurate results.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call or text 508-251-9022.
      Thank you, again for reaching out and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any further help.
      Best Regards,
      Barbara, RN

  9. Hiya.
    My daughter is nearly 10 weeks old, I haven’t had a period yet (only breast fed for 2 weeks) and I have gotten a faint line on a couple of tests (GP requested one before I get a IUD fitted on 1st December)
    The first one I done was a faint line, then another was nothing, followed by another faint line, but nothing since?
    Could this be left over HcG from my daughter? Or could I actually be pregnant?
    The GP done a test which was negative also so won’t offer me a scan but something isn’t feeling right.
    Thank you.

    1. Hello Ami,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern,
      The HCG level in your urine usually dissipates to a normal level within a few weeks after giving birth. If you are having contradicting tests, ask your doctor to give you a blood pregnancy test before your IUD insertion.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call or text 508-251-9022.
      Thank you, again for reaching out and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any further help.
      Best Regards,
      Barbara, RN

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