It is possible to have a positive pregnancy test and not be pregnant.
A positive pregnancy test can mean two different things: either you are pregnant or there is hCG in your body for reasons other than pregnancy. So how do you know if the positive result on your urine test, home kit, or blood sample really means that you are pregnant?
What is a Pregnancy Test?
To answer the question “I am pregnant?” you need a pregnancy test. Maybe you and your spouse have been planning and trying to conceive a baby for months. On the other hand, some women may be constantly worried and anxious about getting pregnant unintentionally.
Even with the most effective methods of contraception, there is always the possibility of error, and the only way to diagnose pregnancy is an OTC pregnancy test.
OTC pregnancy tests typically look for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in a woman’s urine, which is only available if you are pregnant. This hormone is only released if the fertilized egg is attached to the outside of the lining of your uterus.
What are the Types of Pregnancy Tests?
So far, the most popular diagnostic kits for pregnancy are home pregnancy kits. Women can use them to find out if they are pregnant without seeing a doctor. Urine tests are reliable, and most of them are up to 99% accurate when used correctly. Generally, there are two types of pregnancy tests:
Urine Pregnancy Tests
Urine pregnancy tests are OTC tests conducted using a small amount of urine on a reagent carrier strip. A reagent is a substance that reacts chemically with a substance that you want to detect. This test determines whether hCG is present in the urine in a few minutes.
Blood Pregnancy Test
These are done in a doctor’s office or laboratory. Blood pregnancy tests work the same way as home tests, except that they detect hCG in blood samples instead of urine. There are two types of blood tests to diagnose pregnancy: qualitative blood tests, based on the presence of hCG determine whether the pregnancy is positive or negative, and quantitative blood tests which determine the exact concentration of hCG and are helpful in calculating the length of gestation.
Because a blood test requires a visit to the doctor, blood sampling, and laboratory analysis, it is more expensive than home tests, and if the test has to be sent to an off-site lab, you may have to wait a day for your results.
Positive Pregnancy Test Result
To perform a blood pregnancy test, you first need a sample of your blood to detect the amount of hCG through a method called venipuncture, which is taken from your arteries. Then, by checking the level of the hCG hormone, the result of a positive pregnancy test or a negative one is announced to the mother.
HCG is a hormone secreted in the body of the pregnant mother during pregnancy and can be detected and tracked by performing a blood test after nine days of fertilization and sperm production in the body. Therefore, the basis for diagnosing pregnancy, whether in a blood test or a urine test, is based on the measurement of hCG in the mother’s body.
If there is a positive pregnancy test, you can be sure of your pregnancy because the blood test is more accurate than the urine test and can provide more information for you and your doctor. It is very easy to check the results so that when hCG is found in the blood, you are pregnant, and if it is not seen, there is no pregnancy. A positive pregnancy test can give you information about the health of your pregnancy, including the possibility of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, etc.
What is a False Positive Pregnancy Test?
A false positive pregnancy test result means that the test detects the presence of hCG in your urine/blood while there is no hCG in the samples. Newer and more sensitive pregnancy tests usually also detect lower hCG levels in the urine/blood. Therefore, the result may be a false positive pregnancy test for some reason.
There are two main reasons for a false positive pregnancy test: Either there is hCG in your body for reasons other than pregnancy, or the test is not done correctly.
Another possibility is that your test result is positive for hCG, but your hCG level is declining. Technically, such a result is not considered a false positive pregnancy test. Still, it may mean that your pregnancy is a type of miscarriage (IUFD) - decreasing hCG level may be a symptom for miscarriage.
In some cases, the false result may also result from laboratory errors. In addition, the wrong result may be due to rare diseases. For example, a positive pregnancy test can sometimes indicate a hydatidiform mole or a molar pregnancy (a type of noncancerous tumor). That is why it is always recommended to consult your doctor.
If you think the home urine test is difficult, you can repeat it at a doctor’s office. In addition, your doctor may ask you to go to the lab and have a pregnancy blood test instead of a urine test. Your doctor will usually ask you to repeat the test to ensure the results.
If you have a false positive pregnancy test, you can wait for the next menstrual cycle to determine your pregnancy, or you will find out later during the current process whether you are pregnant or not.
When to take a pregnancy test for the most accurate results?
The best time to take a pregnancy test for the most accurate results is after your period is due to start. This is because the hCG level in your urine will be at its highest then. However, if you can’t wait that long, many tests allow you to test up to four days before your period is due. For the most accurate results, follow the test instructions carefully.
How Soon will a Pregnancy Test Read Positive?
Home pregnancy tests or baby checks are often urine tests, and for most women, the best time to get a pregnancy test is a few days after the normal menstruation time each month. These tests measure the amount of placental gonadotropin, or hCG, in the urine, but only when the hormone has reached a certain level.
Most of the time, you might get a positive pregnancy test result from an at-home test (or a blood test) as early as ten days after conception. You can wait until missing your period for a more precise result to take a new test. It must be taken into account; if you take a test too soon, it could be negative, even if you are pregnant.
If you do this type of test too early, the amount of hCG in your urine may not be high enough to result in a positive pregnancy test. Although some tests argue they can provide faster results, most pregnancy urine tests will give you an accurate answer if taken a few days after the normal time when your menstrual flow occurs.
Women who are sexually active and of childbearing age have a chance of getting pregnant every month, even if they use contraceptive methods. There are certain signals that the body may send to force you to take a pregnancy test. For best results, test after observing menstrual delay on any other symptoms.
Perform the test for the first time in the morning or hold it for a few hours to increase the concentration of hCG in your body. Early testing assures you that you are prepared for your actions with proper care and, if necessary, prenatal care. If the result is positive, contact your gynecologist as soon as possible to discuss the options and next steps.