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

  1. I Had a baby MAY 30 but I lost him back,
    So I had unprotected sex 3weeks 5days after delivery plzz can I do urine pregnancy test after a week or I should wait for 2weeks before doing the test. I need your advise please.

    1. Hi Hadizah,
      Thank you for reaching out.
      First, I want to say I am so sorry for your loss! I will be praying for your and your family during this time.
      Typically the pregnancy hormone (hCG) stays in your body about 5 weeks after delivery. So you could try to take a urine pregnancy test. The best time to perform a urine pregnancy test is with the first urine of the day. If the test is negative, you could test again in 1-2 weeks.
      You could also request a blood test from your primary care physician or OB/GYN as these tests are more accurate in detecting pregnancy.
      If your symptoms persist after another negative pregnancy test you should consider getting a medical opinion.
      At Your Options Medical, we provide no-cost pregnancy testing and ultrasound. No insurance is required for our services. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-401-0260 or text 508-251-9022.
      I hope this is helpful. Please be sure to let us know if there is anything else we can help you with. Take care, Selena.

      Best Regards,

      Gladys, RN

  2. Hi there I’ve just given birth on the 28th of March, had unprotected sex maybe after 3 or 4 weeks had my first and last period after giving birth in May, took one pregnancy test yesterday and it turned out positive.. is it possible that I’m pregnant?

    1. Hi Mary,
      Thank you for reaching out!
      It is possible that you could be pregnant. Typically, hCG (the pregnancy hormone) which pregnancy tests are detecting only stays in your body about 5 weeks after giving birth.
      After having a positive pregnancy test, the next step would be to have another ultrasound to determine if you are definitely pregnant. You would want to ensure the person performing the ultrasound confirms the following four things: 1). If the pregnancy is in the uterus. 2). Measure to determine the dating of your pregnancy (how far along you are). 3). If there is a detectable heartbeat. 4). If there are multiple babies or just one.

      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 this is for my cousin she had her baby on may 21 and they had sex but didn’t really have sex he just rubbed his penis against her clit 3 weeks after having her is it possible for her to get pregnant without penetration

    1. Hello Samantha,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      Although the probability of getting pregnant is low when no penetration is achieved during intercourse, it is still a possibility.
      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

  4. Hi I just had twins on July 6th they were born early at 23weeks and passed away. So today I took a pregnancy test because I’m still having symptoms and feeling kinda weird and it came out positive.

    1. Hello Key,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      I am so sorry to hear that your twins passed away. I hope you have all the support you need to see you through this sad, difficult time. Please reach out to one of our centers if we can be of any help to you, even just to lend a listening ear.
      It is probable that you still have enough HCG in your urine to register a positive pregnancy test. It can take a few weeks for this hormone level to return to a normal state. If you continue to have positive tests in a couple months, this would warrant a blood pregnancy test to determine whether or not you are pregnant.
      Again, my condolences to you and your family.
      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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