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

  1. Hey,
    I had a tubal ligation in sept 2021 I haven’t had a period since march I’ve tested and get faint positives in may I had a u.s and they said they seen a mass and we’re t sure what it was. They redid the ultrasound 2 weeks later and said they seen nothing and everything is good. It’s now August and still nothing, I tested this week and got 2 faint positives still.

    1. Hello Adree,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern.
      With the information you provided, getting medical attention is the best way to determine exactly what is happening. I suggest you continue to see your doctor concerning the “mass” that was seen on the first ultrasound, and ask for follow up ultrasounds to confirm that “everything is good”. You could also ask your doctor for a blood pregnancy test.
      I suggest you continue to consult with your doctor concerning your missed periods, faint positive pregnancy tests and the supposed mass seen on ultrasound. These are issues you would want to see answered and not just let go without some resolution.
      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

  2. I started my miscarriage the last week of may. Had some heavy bleeding for about a week and a half. Hcg levels were 43000. I was technically 9 weeks but baby stopped growing at week 6. I went to have blood work done for the millionth time lol and i still have 7 as an hcg level. Anyone go through something similar? Any ideas when it should 0 out. It has been over 12 weeks sense i miscarried. TIA.

    1. Hello Ash,

      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      A normal HCG level is typically below 5. I would suggest that you consult with your OB/GYN concerning a continued HCG of 7. They should have more insight into the possible reason for this.
      Please accept my condolences for your miscarriage.

      Best Regards,
      Barbara, RN

    1. Hello Naula,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern.

      I am not quite sure what your question is… are you saying you are having positive pregnancy tests but are not pregnant? There are a number of factors that can cause a false positive home pregnancy test. Some of these factors are medical issues, medications, user error, and a recent miscarriage or abortion. You would want to consult with your doctor to determine the cause of your false positive home pregnancy test.
      You may want to ask your doctor for a blood pregnancy test which is more accurate than the urine home pregnancy test. If this comes back negative, you can then discuss your situation with your doctor.
      If your blood test comes back positive, the next step would be to have an 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,
      Barbara RN

  3. I had a abortion 9.5 weeks ago and just tested a week ago and got a positive and then a negative. I have sore breast at times and headaches and nausea at times. But I’m wondering could it be a false pregnancy because hcg might still be present from my abortion.

    1. Hello Diamond,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.

      There are a number of factors that can cause a false positive home pregnancy test. Some of these factors are medical issues, medications, user error, and a recent miscarriage or abortion. Typically, the HCG in your system should return to normal levels within a few weeks after an abortion, miscarriage or giving birth. You may want to ask your doctor for a blood pregnancy test which is more accurate than the urine home pregnancy test.

      If your blood test comes back positive, the next step would be to have an 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,
      Barbara RN

  4. I had a Surgical abortion aug.6 5 weeks ago, I took a pregnancy test today and it’s positive, I’m still spotting from the abortion but I’ve also had unprotected sex. Can I be pregnant again or are my hcg levels still high.

    1. Hello Angel,

      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your questions.

      It is possible that your HCG may still be high enough to cause a positive home pregnancy test. The level should return to normal and your spotting should subside in the near future. If your spotting continues, if you get abdominal pain that is not releived with pain medicine, if you get a fever, or if your bleeding gets heavy enough to soak 2 maxi pads an hour for 2 hours, you should seek medical attention. It is also possible that you could be pregnant.

      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 your blood test comes back positive, the next step would be to have an 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,

      Barbara, RN

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