Pregnancy tests are an exciting and nerve-wracking experience (as you probably know). A positive result can be a joyous moment. A negative result on the other hand can be disappointing when you’re trying to conceive (TTC). However, a false positive pregnancy test can be even more confusing and concerning.
False positive test results are uncommon, but they can happen. Here are six possible causes for a false positive result:
A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage that occurs before the fifth week of pregnancy before the pregnancy can be detected on an ultrasound. In this case, the pregnancy test will be positive but there is no viable pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy gives a positive result on a pregnancy test. But usually, you find out either through another test that it has miscarried or at the ultrasound stage 🙁
Certain medications, such as some fertility drugs or anti-anxiety medications, can cause a false positive result on a pregnancy test.
Sometimes, an evaporation line can appear on a pregnancy test after the recommended time frame for reading the results has passed. This line can be mistaken for a positive result.
Any pregnancy test if not used correctly can also cause a false positive result. For example, if you don’t follow the instructions carefully or use a test past its expiration date on the pack.
Rare medical conditions
Certain medical conditions, such as ovarian cysts or hormonal imbalances, can produce elevated levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This leads to a false result on a pregnancy test.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus and can show a positive pregnancy test result. However, this type of pregnancy is not viable and can be life-threatening. Unfortunately, you can’t tell from the pregnancy test if this is the case, hence why it is important to see a doctor after you have a positive test result so that they can check that everything is ok.
If you get a positive pregnancy test result it is best to go and see your doctor so that they can check that everything is ok, and through blood tests and or an ultrasound they will be able to confirm that you are pregnant or not. If it does turn out to be a false positive your doctor can help determine the cause of the false positive result.