Particularly annoying, whether you are struggling to conceive or, on the contrary, fear an unwanted pregnancy, the announcement of a false positive pregnancy test can be devastating.
Because when women who don’t want a child right away don’t turn out to be pregnant while they wait to find out the truth, they can be in intense psychological distress. For those who dream of becoming a mother, hope is crumbling.
Although relatively rare, false positive can occur for a number of reasons. However, you should know that it is only possible to get a false positive result of a urine pregnancy test sold in pharmacies and supermarkets. Blood tests are infallible.
A recent pregnancy can make the test positive
Whether carried to term or terminated by miscarriage or voluntary termination, pregnancy leaves trace amounts of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). These traces remain in the body for up to 6 weeks after a miscarriage and several months after pregnancy.
In addition, by doing it too quickly, it is possible to get a positive pregnancy test afterwards, when in reality there is no longer any pregnancy or no effective pregnancy in the body. However, it is common for a miscarriage to occur even before a woman realizes she was pregnant.
Fertility treatments can bias a pregnancy test
If you take a pregnancy test too soon after taking an hCG hormone drug (such as certain daily injections to stimulate ovulation during in vitro fertilization), it’s possible to get a false positive result. While the temptation to take a test is great, it’s better to back off and do a blood test after day 10 of conception, which is more likely to give reliable results than disappointment.
The presence of ovarian cysts can lead to a false positive
This affects very few women and especially women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). When this happens, the ovaries produce more androgen than normal, which can interfere with the development and release of the egg during the menstrual cycle. Exactly when egg cells mature and should be released for possible fertilization, cysts develop instead. When these produce the hormone hCG, they can falsify a pregnancy test.
These pathologies that distort pregnancy tests
Aside from ovarian cysts, there are some rare medical cases where a pregnancy test can come back positive when hCG hormone levels tend to rise even though you are not actually pregnant:
kidney or bowel disease
Certain types of cancer: ovarian germ cell tumors, liver, stomach, pancreas, lung, breast or skin cancer
Hormonal disorders associated with menopause.
Note that regular cannabis users often have higher than average hCG levels as well.