You are currently viewing 4 Common Reasons for False Positive Pregnancy Test and How to Avoid it

When trying to conceive, seeing the two lines or a plus sign can be the most exciting thing. But it is heartbreaking to know later that the positive results were wrong. Getting a false positive pregnancy result when you were not pregnant in the first place can build up your hopes, but what if it was a false positive? This situation can be crushing and leave you with uncertainty and various questions.

Is There Something Like A False Positive Pregnancy Test?

It is heart-wrenching, but yes, there are false positive pregnancy tests, even though they are extremely rare. Fortunately, the ratio of false positive pregnancy tests is 1%, as the test manufacturing companies claim these home urine testing kits may provide 99% accurate results. But still, there are 1% chances that you can get a false positive pregnancy result.

It is very much like it sounds. A false positive result is when you see two lines or a plus sign on your test kit when you are not pregnant. This situation is extremely rare, but it happens, and it can shatter your happiness at once.

How Can Timing of the Test Spare You The Doubts?

The timing to take the test plays a crucial role because it affects the false positive pregnancy test. Taking the test multiple times daily can only further worry you with the mixed results, as it elevates anxiety and doubts. Therefore, you must wait until the first missed day or week of your period to get accurate results and avoid uncertainty.

Although these kits claim to give accurate results during early pregnancy time but to be sure about their accuracy, one must wait because this wait can spare you the stress and anxiety of a false positive pregnancy test.

After you reach the right testing time, take the test when your urine is concentrated, like in the morning. Diluted urine can affect the accuracy of the test. 

How Do Home Urine Pregnancy Testing Kits Work?

These kits work by distinguishing a hormone known as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hCG in urine. This hormone helps maintain the pregnancy in the body.

These tests vary in the procedure of their use and as each one of them comes with a detailed instruction manual, so follow it to ensure certainty.

Some kits need you to place the test kit in the urine stream. While for some, you may need a cup to collect urine. While conducting the test, you will need to dip the pregnancy stick into the cup with urine or drop urine with a dropper to the marked place on the test stick.

The result may reveal in the following forms:

  1. Two or one indicator.
  2. Minus or plus sign, pregnant or non-pregnant

While taking the test, you must be aware of its proper usage to avoid ambiguity.

But later, what if it may appear to you that even after getting positive results, you may not be pregnant? Given how disturbing it is, you can undoubtedly get a false positive pregnancy result.

This situation raises many ambiguities and questions. So here I am going to discuss the probable causes of why you get the false results.

What Can Be The Possible Causes Behind False Positive Pregnancy Results?

Here are some of the reasons that could result in a false positive pregnancy test result.

Possibly You May Have Confused the Evaporation Lines 

While taking a home pregnancy test, following the instructions is crucial to get accurate results.

Timing is crucial in this test, and if not followed precisely, it can create confusion. Most tests require you to read results within 4–5 minutes of taking the test and should not exceed 7-30 minutes.

If you have read the pregnancy test after the prescribed time lapse may lead you to an inaccurate test result. For tests that indicate lines, confusing the second line with the positive result is very common. Still, the second line appears because of urine evaporation after a time-lapse.

You can easily avoid this situation by following the instructions and suggested time.

Recent Miscarriage or Abortion

If you take a home urine pregnancy test within a month after a recent miscarriage or abortion when the hCG levels are going down (as this process takes 9-35 days) and you are taking a test in this period, it will impact the result. As the urine test kit reads the pregnancy through hCG, it will indicate a positive pregnancy result even though its levels are decreasing.

A partial miscarriage can also be the reason for the false positive pregnancy results because possibly there are tissues from the last pregnancy in the uterus that continue to produce hCG.

Medical Conditions That Impact Results

Some medical conditions can affect the home urine pregnancy test and show positive results. These conditions are:

  • gestational trophoblastic diseases
  • Kidney diseases
  • Ovarian Cyst
  • Urinary tract Infection.
  • Pituitary Problems
  • Phantom hCG, where antibodies impact the testing kit
  • various types of cancers like ovary, bladder, kidney, liver, lung, colon, breast, and stomach.

Sometimes Certain Medications are To Blame

Certain medicines can raise the hormone levels in blood or urine, which can affect the home urine pregnancy tests. These medications include infertility treatments and medications that help you lose weight, together with other drugs, like carbamazepine, aspirin, and methadone can also affect pregnancy tests.

How to Avoid the Situation of a False Positive Pregnancy Test

First, when preparing to take the test at home, one must have some knowledge to get accurate results.

There are various types of kits in the market that work differently. Therefore, one must know how to use it.

See for the expiry date

Before using the kit, see for the use-by date of the kit.

Read the Instructions

Different types of kits have different ways of usage, so reading the instruction manual may take some time but spare you the pain a false positive pregnancy test brings.

Follow the Timer

Whether your kit requires dropping the urine in a specific place of the kit to read results or dipping it in the urine, it takes a particular time to give accurate results. If you are not following the timer, it can provide inaccurate results. Therefore, set the timer for dipping in urine and reading the results. Because results read later can confuse as a second line develops on the kit with a time-lapse, which can’t be a positive result but the urine stream.

What Next?

After taking a home urine test, consult your health care provider so that the chances of a false positive pregnancy test may vanish and spare you the heartbreak.

Moreover, certain other types of complexities can further lead to problems with fetal and placental health and growth. Therefore, it is essential to consult with your doctor to ensure a healthy and stable pregnancy.

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