You may have heard of a pregnancy test showing a false-negative but did you know they can also show a FALSE-POSITIVE?
It’s rare, but it can happen.
A false-positive can be devastating for some couples, especially those who are actively trying to get pregnant or struggling to conceive.
Pregnancy tests measure the amount of hormone hCG is in the urine. This is released right after a fertilised egg embeds into the uterus.
And while you think not a lot can go wrong just peeing on a stick, there are a few reasons things can mess up.
Here are 6 causes of a false-positive pregnancy test:
1. Your pregnancy test has expired or is faulty
When a test passes its expiration date, the chemicals inside it may not work the way they’re meant to. The best way to avoid this is to use an up-to-date test and take multiple tests for accuracy.
2. You leave it too long to check the results
It’s important for you to check the window for results in the timeframe provided. After this, evaporation lines may form and cause extra lines that could look like a positive outcome.
3. You’re taking fertility medication
Certain medications, such as fertility treatment, could cause false-positive pregnancy tests, as they may contain the hCG hormone. It may be worth holding off testing or waiting to do a blood test if you suspect you are pregnant and taking fertility medication.
4. You’re having a miscarriage
Miscarriages usually occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, which is why most people prefer to announce they’re expecting after they reach this milestone.
However, they are common and can sometimes happen before you even realise they are happening. Your test could be picking up hCG hormones from the miscarriage. The best way to check is to visit your health care practitioner for a blood test.
5. You had an ectopic or molar pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants itself somewhere else in the body, often in the fallopian tube.
A molar pregnancy is an abnormal form of pregnancy in which a fertilised egg fails to come to term.
Both of these type of pregnancies can produce the hCG hormone and give incorrect readings. See your doctor straight away if you believe you are having an ectopic or molar pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies can in some cases be life threatening.
6. Your urine sample was contaminated
Some women prefer to urinate in a plastic cup rather than the one provided in the test kit. However, in very rarer cases, soaps or detergents or even blood in a urine sample can distort the outcome.
Make sure the cup is sterile and the urine is clean from blood. Often kidney disease or urinary tract infections can cause blood to be present in your urine and can affect the results.
Dealing with miscarriage
One in four women loses a baby during pregnancy or birth.
Losing a baby is a difficult time in a pregnancy journey. Women and their partners need time to grieve. There is no time constraint on grieving and everyone has different coping strategies to deal with this sad time in their lives.
Sids & Kids
Support is provided for anyone for any circumstance that involves the loss of a pregnancy or a child. This includes miscarriage, stillbirth and having to terminate a pregnancy due to medical and genetic illnesses.
24-hour bereavement line 1800 308 307
Also assists families who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy and families who are struggling through IVF attempts.
24-hour telephone support 1300 072 637
If you need support after miscarriage, there’s a host of support available – take a look here.
For more new mum advice – join The Healthy Mummy’s New Mum Support Group
Becoming a mum – especially of the first time – can be an exciting, daunting, confusing and interesting experience. You certainly step into a whole new world – that often feels a whole lot unfamiliar.
Breastfeeding, formula, dummies, cots, mastitis, baby health and development – there are so many things to know and understand.
If you are a new mum wanting to connect with other new mums, ask questions and share your own experiences – you should join The Healthy Mummy’s New Mum’s Facebook Private Support Group.