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.

Schedule a Free Appointment Today!


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

  1. I’ve received three positive tests with clear lines. Then tested negative. I have cramping, spotting, no full period, bloating, pressure and cramping. Am i pregnant or not?

    1. Dear Meghan,
      From your description Meghan, the fact that you had three positive tests and now negative and you are having spotting and cramping might mean that you had a pregnancy that is not continuing. But from your description I do not know that for sure. What was your LMP (the first day of your last period) when you took the pregnancy tests that were positive? Because of your spotting and cramping, it might be wise to see your Health care provider for evaluation.
      At Your Options Medical, we offer free pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.

      Nancy J, RN,MSN
      Nurse Manager
      Your Options Medical

  2. Hi,

    I am just curious to know, what is the chances of getting pregnant again after giving birth? How long should I wait to test? Yes, I have had sex with my S/O… my baby was born Sept. 18 and I have waited about 3 weeks. (I know I should have wait longer)
    Now being 4 weeks… my S/O says this is my most fertile time, but I keep thinking maybe I won’t get pregnant again. He’s worried… but I’m not.

    1. Hello Yesenia,
      First let me congratulate you on the birth of your child! And thank you for contacting Your Options Medical with your questions.
      It is suggested that after you give birth, a new mom waits 12-18 months before getting pregnant again. Your body has done an amazing work in forming and giving birth to a new life. Your body needs time to heal and restore to full health before it performs this wonderful process again. Risks of getting pregnant too soon after giving birth include premature birth and a low birth weight for the new babe.
      Typically, ovulation for most women does not return until around 6 weeks post-partum. There are factors that can affect the return of fertility such as weight, smoking, breastfeeding, diet and whether or not contraceptives are used. Certainly, children are a blessing and a joy, but I question why your significant other is wanting you to become pregnant so soon after the birth of your child? It would be in the best interest of both you and your next pregnancy to give yourself time to recover from the birth of the first child. Just something to consider.
      At Your Options Medical, we offer free pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.

      Barbara M. BSN,RN
      Nurse / Sonographer
      Your Options Medical

  3. I just had a bby didnt wait to have sex yes even after BBY born and I took a test the following week negative one line only I took two more one last night 21 Oct n 22n this morning n two line slite lines showing I also had lab work a few week after my negative home test n came back positive from sending another to lab what’s it mean yes trying to get pregnant again sorry for not wanting

    1. Hi Christina,

      Thank you for your inquiry.
      First, congratulations on the recent birth of your baby.
      It is good to know that hCG (pregnancy hormone) can remain in your system approximately five weeks after having a baby so it is possible that you have had a false positive test result since you recently gave birth.
      It is typically recommended to wait to have sexual intercourse at least 6-8 weeks after giving birth to give your body time to fully recover whether you delivered vaginally or by c-section. Depending on when you had your baby, you could try testing approximately 8 weeks after you gave birth. I would also suggest seeing your doctor and requesting a blood pregnancy test as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine pregnancy tests.
      Please keep us posted and if you have any further questions, please be sure to let us know.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds. For an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.

      Nancy J. RN,MSN
      Nurse Manager
      Your Options Medical

  4. Hi I gave birth Aug 22 2020, I think I had my first postpartum period last Sept 29 and it lasted for 4 days based on the amount and consistency of the blood I concluded it’s a period. So basically I’m ovulating right? By Oct 11 I had my first postpartum intercourse. I am not penetrated that much and I didn’t finish. By Oct 16 I have spotting that lasted for 4 days, it’s not that much. ( I’m not sure if it’s menstruation or spotting, but I just used panty liner so it’s not heavy) . I believed I could have irregular ovulation after giving birth. I’m worried I’m pregnant again. I haven’t taken the test because it might be false result. Can you give me you professional opinion?

    1. Hi Kei,

      Thank you for your inquiry!
      It is always possible that you could be pregnant again. Please note that often times women experience highly irregular periods after giving birth so it is possible that your body is just adjusting. Since you have not yet taken a pregnancy test, please know that we recommend the best time to take a pregnancy test is approximately one week after you are due to start your period and you should test using the first urine of the day. If that test is negative, you could request a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine pregnancy tests.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing and ultrasound. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.

      Wishing you the best,
      Nancy J. RN,MSN
      Nurse Manager
      Your Options Medical

  5. Hi I gave birth Aug 22 2020, I think I had my first postpartum period last Sept 29 and it lasted for 4 days based on the amount and consistency of the blood I concluded it’s a period. So basically I’m ovulating right? By Oct 11 I had my first postpartum intercourse. I am not penetrated that much and I didn’t finish. By Oct 16 I have spotting that lasted for 4 days, it’s not that much. ( I’m not sure if it’s menstruation or spotting, but I just used panty liner so it’s not heavy) . I believed I could have irregular ovulation after giving birth. I’m worried that I’m pregnant again. I haven’t taken the test because it might be false result. By the way I’m breastfeeding .Can you give me you professional opinion?

    1. Hi KMarion,

      Thank you for your inquiry!
      It is always possible that you could be pregnant again. Please note that often times women experience highly irregular periods after giving birth so it is possible that your body is just adjusting. Since you have not yet taken a pregnancy test, please know that we recommend the best time to take a pregnancy test is approximately one week after you are due to start your period and you should test using the first urine of the day. If that test is negative, you could request a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine pregnancy tests.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing and ultrasound. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.

      Wishing you the best,
      Nancy J. RN,MSN
      Nurse Manager
      Your Options Medical

  6. Hi, so I just had a baby September 8 and i waited maybe 6 weeks until me and my significant other at least tried to have sex. I took a pregnancy test today and it had a faint double line. So I’m just wondering if it’s possible I’m pregnant again even though the first time we actually successful had sex was maybe 4 days ago. So I’m just confused on why I’d have a faint double line.

    1. Hi Emily,

      Thank you for your inquiry!
      It is always possible that you could be pregnant again. You could request a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine pregnancy tests.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing and ultrasound. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.

      Wishing you the best,
      Nancy J. RN,MSN
      Nurse Manager
      Your Options Medical

  7. Hi, so mu S/O and I had our baby on September 10, 2020. Yes we been having sex and I took a pregnancy test last night and it came back positive but when I took one again this morning it said it was negative. What does that mean? Plus I have tooken 2 more that also came back negative.

    1. Hello Jessica,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      With the information you have provided, it is difficult to specifically say why you had a positive test, then negative pregnancy tests. Some possibilities are: you still had enough HCG in your urine to register as a positive test; you were pregnant and had a very early miscarriage; or the tests were inaccurate.
      It is possible to get pregnant shortly after giving birth, even before you resume having a period, so this is something you would want to be aware of if you do not want to get pregnant at this time.
      I hope this helps you. Please reach out to us if we can be of any further service to you.
      At Your Options Medical we offer free pregnancy tests and free limited obstetrical ultrasounds. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.
      Wish you the best,
      Barbara M. RN,BSN
      Nurse / Sonographer
      Your Options Medical

  8. I had my baby on 14th of oct at 11:23pm in ahealth facility,but my baby was not breathing well,l raised the issue to the nurse but she ignored and said that the baby swallowed omniotic fluid during delivery so l worry not for it will come out after awhile.unfortunately at 2am my baby passed on,what might be the cause? Pls assist me to understand

    1. Dear Shabbih,
      I am so sad to hear the news of your baby passing, my heart is breaking for you. Please know I am so very sorry for your loss.
      There are many reasons that this could have happened so I do not want to speculate. Is there any way you could have a conversation with your doctor about this or someone at the hospital?
      Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. If we can be of any assistance or if you would like to speak with someone, please feel free to call 617-419-6112.

      Take Care,
      Nancy J. RN,MSN
      Nurse Manager
      Your Options Medical

  9. Hi I just had a baby nov 20 2020 me and my s/o Had sex I took a pregnancy test and two lines came up is it because I just had a baby and my hcg level is still high or is it because I’m really pregnant

    1. Hello Monique,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      I cannot say whether you are pregnant or not with the information you provided. But it is possible that you had a false positive test as it takes a few weeks for the HCG level in your system to return to normal. You could take another pregnancy test in the next week or two and if it is still positive, then I would contact your OB and get a blood pregnancy test as these are more accurate than urine pregnancy tests.
      Congratulations on the birth of your child! It is such a special time. Enjoy every moment!
      If getting pregnant again at this time is not what you want, you may want to consider using a birth control method such as condoms or abstaining from sex all together until you are comfortable with the possibility of becoming pregnant again.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free urine pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.
      Please let us know if we can be of any further help to you.

      Wish you the best,
      Barbara M. RN

  10. I am 3 weeks 3 days PP. I didn’t start having sex until right at 3 weeks (yes I know you should wait). We have had sex everyday since then and I’m pretty sure I’ve been ovulating judging by the consistency of my discharge (stretchy, thin, very clear) and today I took 2 test and they both came back as faint (but noticeable) positives. Could I be pregnant again? Or is this left over hormones from my last pregnancy?

    1. Hi Cheyenne,

      Thank you for your inquiry.
      It is possible that you might be pregnant. However, it is also possible that you are receiving a positive test result on the pregnancy test because of left over hCG (pregnancy hormone) from your previous pregnancy. Typically, hCG remains in a woman’s body until approximately five weeks after giving birth.
      If you are concerned you might be pregnant, you can consider requesting a blood test from your doctor or OB/GYN. Blood tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine pregnancy tests.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing and ultrasound. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.

      Take Care,
      Nancy J. RN,MSN

  11. So I just gave birth 5 months ago and I just took a pregnancy test today that said I was pregnant can that be right?

    1. Hello Alayzia,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      Urine pregnancy tests measure HCG, a hormone that your body produces when you become pregnant. It takes a week to a few weeks after giving birth for this hormone to lower to the pre-pregnant state. Since you are 5 months out from giving birth, (congratulations!), and assuming you have been sexually active, a positive pregnancy test at this time would most likely indicate that you are indeed pregnant. You may want to follow up with your OB doctor to get a blood pregnancy test as blood tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine tests.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing and ultrasound. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-419-6112 or text 508-251-9022.

      Take Care,
      Barbara M. RN,BSN

  12. Following this thread- Last January 10 i used 4 pregnancy tests kits, 1 came out positive and the three are negative result. I took the one with positive result early in the morning, the 2nd was at around 11am, then the last 2 are around 5pm. i am 6months Post partum and I had my last menstruation (bleeding?) last november 13. Does this mean I am pregnant or not?

    1. Hi Rizza,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      To answer your question, it is possible that you could be pregnant. There are several reasons you might be receiving a positive result and then a negative result including bad or expired tests or the pregnancy hormone (hCG) may be very low and hard to detect in your urine.
      Typically, we recommend the best time to take a pregnancy test is one week after you are due to start your period. Also, the best time to test is first thing in the morning. If the test reads negative, we recommend testing again in about one week.
      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 617-419-6112 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,
      Nancy J. RN,MSN

  13. Hi there. I took a test that was positive, and then immediately after took a second which one negative. I have had 12 negative tests since the first and only positive. My period finished up on the day before I took the test that was positive. The 12 negatives were over the course of 2 weeks. I have not missed a period, and they have all been very regular. I am on the birth control pill, and have had 2 full periods since the last time I had sex. I also have my partner “pull out” every time we do have sex. I’m experiencing minor lower abdominal cramping. I am a little paranoid. Could the negative tests I have taken be false?

    1. Hello,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      I can understand your confusion about a positive test then 12 negative tests. I cannot explain the one positive test unless it was a faulty test or you experienced a very early miscarriage. Having 12 negative tests would be pretty indicative that you are not pregnant.
      If you are experiencing concerning abdominal pain you should seek medical attention. It could be due to a number of things besides a pregnancy.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call 617-419-6112 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 M. RN,BSN

  14. I’m 5 weeks PP and have been sexually actively since my 13 days after giving birth(Ik ur suppose to wait… clearly I didn’t) I have not had any symptoms of early pregnancy but I just took a test for the fun of it last night.. it was negative at first, and then I waited a few more minutes after that and it had a FAINT FAINT 2nd line.. it had a little bit of color to it but after it dried up, it was just a line with no color.. maybe indicating an evap line? So I took another test this morning with my first bathroom visit of the day… and it’s a little darker of a line and has color now.. could I be pregnant again? Or just HCG hormones being detected from having a baby 5 weeks ago..

    1. Hello Josie,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      It can take up to 5 weeks post partum for HCG to leave your system, sometimes even longer to be totally back to normal. I would repeat a pregnancy test in a couple weeks. If it is positive, the best way to confirm a pregnancy is by ultrasound.
      If we can be of further service to you please reach out to us, we would be happy to help.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call 617-419-6112 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 M. RN,BSN

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