It is very common for ladies to go for a home pregnancy test to detect pregnancy when they miss their periods. There are a lot of pregnancy kits that claims 99% accuracy. But, we all have heard about false test results at least once in our life. Whether a woman is trying desperately to conceive or she is trying to avoid pregnancy, a false test result is the last thing she wants to see.
When your pregnancy test kit tells you are pregnant you go for multiple tests to confirm you are pregnant. And, then you approach a doctor who tells you are not expecting. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Obviously, you think… but doctor why those pregnancy tests gave me a positive result?
This is a very natural question and so we intend to give you the probable reasons behind your false-positive pregnancy test result. But before jumping on that answer, there are few basics you need to understand the pregnancy kits and their working procedure.
How do the home pregnancy kits work to detect pregnancy?
The home pregnancy kits use a urine sample for giving the test result. The procedure may vary in different brands of the kit but the science behind each of them is same. The test kits measure the level of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormones in the urine sample. The presence of HCG hormone in the urine triggers a chemical reaction in the pregnancy kit; as a result, you get the positive result. So, basically the test you perform at home is HCG test and not exactly a pregnancy test.
However, the level of HCG in urine and blood sample is a reliable test of pregnancy in most of the cases. This is the hormone that starts rising in the body of a woman just after she conceives. And this is the reason HCG test is commonly called as pregnancy test by many of us.
Should you consider using home pregnancy kits for detecting pregnancy?
At this point, you may be wondering whether you should use those HCG testing kits for detecting your pregnancy or not. You should definitely use those kits for detecting pregnancy at an early stage. As discussed earlier HCG hormones are a reliable indicator of pregnancy. And in most cases the test results are correct.
But, as soon as these kits confirm your pregnancy you should consult a doctor so that you can take proper measures for future. This is necessary in both the cases – whether you want to carry on with the baby or you want to terminate the pregnancy.
In case, the test shows a negative result but your body is indicating otherwise you should see a doctor.
What are the probable reasons for the positive test result when you are actually not pregnant?
Now that you know the basics of the home pregnancy kit and its functioning let us proceed to the reasons for false positive pregnancy test results.
- You have not been a smart buyer – Before blaming anything or anyone else you’ll have to take the responsibility on yourself. What does a smart buyer do? She reads the label before purchasing anything. The labels on any products are for providing important information to the buyers. So, before paying for the pregnancy kit make sure you read the label and know it isn’t expired. The kits depend on chemicals for detecting the result. So, if the product is expired the chemicals won’t function well and will most likely come with unexpected results.
- You became reckless in your excitement or nervousness – All brands design their kits differently. So, you need to read and follow the instructions carefully. Some brands will want you to wait for a few minutes before checking the result while the others will need you to see it more quickly. If you have not read and followed the instructions well you will make a fool of yourself and blame it on the pregnancy kit.
- You are on a fertility medication – If you have been trying to conceive for a long time you might be undergoing some medications. Most of the fertility medications increase the HCG level in the body. So, if you go for a home pregnancy test you’ll get a positive result even if you are not pregnant. It is better for your emotional health to stay away from false hopes. So, consult your doctor before going for any such test yourself.
- It was a chemical pregnancy – Sad but true in many instances the test result is correct but we believe it to be false due to a very early miscarriage. The chemical pregnancy typically happens because of some chromosomal abnormalities in the fertilized egg. It generally happens that a woman tests for pregnancy after the missing period and finds a positive pregnancy result. And, then she starts bleeding around her normal menstruation date. At this time she believes that the result was false but the reality is that she suffered a miscarriage.
- There is some residual HCG in your body – It normally takes four to six weeks for the HCG level to get back to the normal position after a miscarriage or a delivery. If you have taken the test during this period your result will mostly be positive despite no pregnancy.
- It might be pituitary HCG – This is one of the most interesting of all false-positive pregnancy results and is normally seen in women over 40 years of age. The placenta is responsible for producing HCG hormones but cases of HCG produced by pituitary gland have been recorded. The reason behind this is that the three commonly produced hormones of pituitary glands are similar in structure to the HCG.
- Some medical complications – The false pregnancy can also be the result of some medical conditions such as cancer of the ovary, ovarian cyst, gestational trophoblastic diseases, urinary tract infection etc.
Stay conscious of your overall health and never jump to a conclusion without consulting a doctor.