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

    1. Hello Christine,

      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern. First of all, I am so sorry for your loss! The best way to determine if you are pregnant is to take a urine test, a blood test and/or an ultrasound to confirm a pregnancy.

      Also, since you gave birth recently, you still have some HCG levels in your system. If you take a urine test now, you may get a false positive result. You should wait at least 3 weeks before you take another pregnancy test.

      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

  1. Hi. I am 6 weeks postpartum. I took a HPT and it’s positive. What are the chances I’m pregnant again (had unprotected sex one time at 4 weeks postpartum) or it’s just leftover HCG from my pregnancy?

    1. Hi Megan,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Typically, hCG stays in your system until approximately 5 weeks after giving birth. It is possible you might 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.

      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. My period was 2 days late on the third day i started bleeding. I took a pregnancy test the following day around 1pm to ease my mind. It was a faint positive. I took another one this morning but it came out negative. From my calculations im only 4 weeks and 4 days. Should i wait or am i not pregnant ?

    1. Hi Kendanique,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      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. 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

  3. My period has been irregular the past few months. My LMP was May 27. I started taking home pregnancy tests in June. I even had a test done at the OB/GYN on July 26 that was negative. I received the first positive result August 6 with an at home test. I returned to the OB/GYN Aug. 9th and had a positive result, which we followed up with a blood test, which showed level of 6315. They had me follow up that up with an ultrasound on Aug. 18th. They said there was no evidence of a pregnancy seen on the up but no further testing was needed. They didn’t offer much of a reason why this could happen. It’s been 3 weeks and I still have not had my period, so I took another pregnancy test at home and it came back as positive. Is it possible that I I pregnant?

    1. Hi Jessica,
      Thank you for your inquiry.

      An ultrasound is the most accurate way to determine if a woman is pregnant. The ultrasound may not have shown a viable pregnancy because you may have had an miscarriage or what is called a molar pregnancy.
      It is possible you may be pregnant and just earlier than expected. You may want to consider requesting a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician or OB/GYN in a couple weeks. 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

  4. Hi it’s just a concern,I slept with my boyfriend on 10th July 2021 and on 27 July I had my periods though my periods lasted for 2 weeks,this has never happened to me because I only do 5 days.in August 27 I was suppose to have my periods and nothing came out I did a pregnant test and it came out positive then I went for scanning for after wards for confirm but there was no baby or anything.what could be the problem please help

    1. Hi Florence,
      Thank you for your inquiry!
      I cannot diagnose you. You may have had a miscarriage or what is called a molar pregnancy. This would explain a positive pregnancy test result but no viable pregnancy on an ultrasound. It could also be that you have an early pregnancy, that’s why they couldn’t see a gestational sac in the uterus. Looks like you would only be about 4 weeks pregnant. You should have a follow up ultrasound to confirm pregnancy and viability.
      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

  5. Hello, I had a baby August 7th 2021 and had unprotected sex a week and a half later. No protection and he didn’t pull out… I recently (September 16th 2021) took a pregnancy test and it was a very faint line. Could I be pregnant?

    1. Hello Alyssa,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question. Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your child!!
      It is possible that that you could be pregnant, but I would think it is unlikely. The faint line on your home pregnancy test could be detecting the HCG that is still in your system from your pregnancy. You could take another pregnancy test is a couple weeks to see if it still registers positive. If it is positive, you might consider asking your doctor to order a blood pregnancy test which actually measures a quantity of HCG in your blood.
      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

  6. Hie there, I had a miscarriage on the 10th of August 2021. I haven’t seen my period up to now so I decided to do a home pregnancy test on the 13th of September and it came out with a faint positive. Is it possible that I am pregnant or the test detected the hcg level from mt previous miscarriage. I was 10 weeks pregnant when I had a miscarriage.

    1. Hell Fadzai,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      First, I am so sorry for your loss!
      With the information you’ve given, it is possible both ways, you could be pregnant or you could have HCG left in your system that the test is detecting. At this point, you could take a second pregnancy test in a week or so. If it is positive, I would suggest consulting with your doctor and asking for a blood pregnancy test which would measure how much HCG you have in your system.
      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

  7. I gave birth June 7, 2021. It is now Sept. 25, 2021. I took a test a week ago & saw a faint line (within the window) but I took one again today & it is still very faint. I have an appt Friday but wanted advice.

    1. Hello Cay,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern.
      The best time to take a pregnancy test is at least 7 days after your missed period, in the morning using your first urine of the day. My best advice is for you to see your medical provider as scheduled on Friday. They can order a blood pregnancy test to best determine if you are in fact pregnant. I addition I would advise that you care for yourself as if you are indeed pregnant until that appointment. Avoid alcohol, drugs, smoking, and stress, eat healthy and be good to yourself.
      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 had a miscarriage at 5weeks but ultrasound did not see the baby was that normal then had my periods again after 6weeks could I be having leftover hcg in my body

    1. Hello Bridget,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      HCG can last for a few weeks up to a couple of months after pregnancy. It is possible that a pregnancy test could be detecting leftover HCG. To be certain of whether or not you are truly pregnant, your doctor could order a blood pregnancy test. This test gives a quantitative amount of HCG in your blood that can determine how far along a pregnancy is.
      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. Hi my period comes after 7 days of missed period and I have faint positive result during pregnancy. Is it necessary for me to test for pregnancy again. I am so worried.

    1. Hello Elizabeth,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern.
      It is possible that that you are pregnant as indicted on your home pregnancy test. To help confirm this, you could repeat a home pregnancy test in 1 week. To be more confident in the accuracy of the test, you could ask your doctor for a blood pregnancy test.
      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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