Can I Have a Positive Pregnancy Test and Not Be Pregnant?
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:
- A gestational sac with a yolk sac (a sac of fluid that surrounds the baby in early pregnancy, an indication of early pregnancy).
- The presence of a measurable human fetal heartbeat.
- 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.