Overview

The false-positive pregnancy test myth may be more destructive than one could imagine. The myth assumes that couples’ efforts to have a child, either through out-of-wedlock birth or adoption, causes a woman’s body to produce high levels of an abnormal hormone. Although the theory is old, the accuracy of the test is very high, based on the large number of false positives among pregnant women.

If you don’t want to rely on a home pregnancy test, you can also buy some pregnancy tests that don’t require a trip to the doctor. These tests work by detecting the hormone LH, which is naturally produced in the body after an egg has been released from the ovary.

A pregnancy test can sometimes give false positives. Once you have begun early prenatal care with a healthy baby, you should test every three to four weeks. Some tests are available only at a health care provider, and some may require a urine specimen.

How does pregnancy test work?

Pregnancy Test

Pregnancy tests check your pee or blood for the presence of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). A pregnancy test does not necessarily indicate whether or not a pregnancy will last.

While the test is not 100 percent accurate, it is good enough for most women to recognize the early stages of pregnancy.

If a pregnancy test is negative, there is no reason to panic. Pregnancy tests are less accurate at earlier stages than later stages.

A pregnancy test could also be false negative. A false negative could be caused by a combination of factors, such as a woman’s hormone levels being too low, or by a woman having a vaginal infection, like vaginismus.

Symptoms of a false negative

If a pregnancy test is a false negative, a woman may experience any of the following:

  • breakfast
  • breakfast pregnancy test false positive
  • unusually light vaginal bleeding
  • low fetal movement
  • vomiting
  • unusual mood swings or irritability

Also, a pregnancy test is only as accurate as the instructions the manufacturer provides.

For example, the instructions may say to wait three to five days before testing. However, if the woman’s cycle has not returned after that time, a false negative could indicate that she is pregnant.

What Causes False Negative Pregnancy Test Result?

False Negative Pregnancy Test Result

False Negative Pregnancy Test Result is the result of one or more of the following reasons:

  • You are using medication, a food item, or a substance other than the usual way of taking the pregnancy test. Do not stop taking the medication, food item or substance until it is completed.
  • You did not use the pregnancy test according to the instructions.
  • You did not insert the pregnancy test correctly. Do not use a pregnancy test that has been used incorrectly. Your test is coated, green, or red and it is not consistent with the pregnancy test results.
  • Stereotyping may be caused by the test. If the pregnancy test shows high pregnancy test levels or evidence of pregnancy, it is a sign of pregnancy. If the test is abnormal and shows low pregnancy test levels or no evidence of pregnancy, it is a sign that you are not pregnant. Without a woman’s knowledge, a doctor may tell her or him that she is pregnant. For this reason, it is important to have a complete pregnancy test.

How is it detected?

First, it’s important to remember that the pregnancy test results will always be a bit off, especially if you’re having sex, according to Sarah Ciancimino, a registered nurse, educator, and community health consultant for the Indiana University School of Nursing.

In other words, this is just one measure of your menstrual cycle, so it’s not a good indication of whether or not you’re pregnant. Also, since the pregnancy test has to be refrigerated for five days, it’s possible that you might be pregnant even if the test results aren’t showing up yet, since the uterus continues to grow during pregnancy, Dr. Leah Millheiser, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University School of Medicine, tells SELF.

In short, if you test positive on an early morning test, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pregnant. If you test positive a few hours later, that’s a sign that you’re probably not pregnant. But if you test positive a few days later, that’s a pretty strong indication that you are pregnant.

Other Signs

To make sure, you can look for other signs, like breast tenderness, stomach discomfort, and vaginal discharge. If you’ve never had your period, the vaginal discharge may be pink or yellow instead of watery, says Millheiser. Your breasts may be tender, and the breast tenderness might feel like what it feels like to be in your menstrual cycle.

Also, look for a change in the consistency of your urine, says Ciancimino. If you had heavy period bleeding, you might see a pink or yellow tinge to your urine.

Although you can see a line on the pee stick, Dr. Christine Greves, an ob/gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, says to remember that that’s actually a color called dilation, which means you’re contracting the uterus, not peeing.

So, if you’re still feeling pregnant, you might want to see your ob/gyn, who can give you a definitive answer. If you’re really convinced that you are pregnant, but can’t make a doctor appointment in time, you can just order a home pregnancy test online, and know that it’ll be accurate.

Is a false-positive pregnancy test rare or common condition?

It is sometimes common to get a false-positive test. There is almost always no link between a false-positive pregnancy test and a pregnancy. For this reason, doctors do not tell women with false-positive test results that come to the doctor and have a pregnancy test done as it does not aid them in the diagnosis. Instead, they recommend a blood test and when there is a positive result, ask about further tests, tests that can tell if they are having a miscarriage or stillbirth.

And if there is a pregnancy, then the doctor will inform you of the chance of a stillbirth or miscarriage, as well as your options. Sometimes a doctor will do a test of amniotic fluid to try to identify if a baby is stillborn or alive in utero.

Causes for false-positive pregnancy tests

Causes for false-positive pregnancy tests

The most common cause of false positive pregnancy tests is using more pregnancy testing methods at the same time as a woman is trying for the best time to get pregnant. This kind of stress can create false positive results. The probability of being pregnant increases as a woman approaches or passes her fertile age, but often it can occur as early as a day before.

In order to increase the probability of becoming pregnant, women need to be tested several days before they are likely to conceive. Happily, there are many free online fertility awareness methods available today, to help women reduce the stress of trying for a pregnancy.

Chemical pregnancy test

A chemical pregnancy is an early pregnancy loss , often before an embryo implants in the uterus. If implantation occurs, this is called a pregnancy.

A chemical pregnancy occurs when an embryo undergoes apoptosis or disables itself after fertilization.

The egg and sperm are simply not able to merge correctly during ovulation, resulting in a pregnancy not reaching the uterus.

A fertilized egg divides to create two cells, each with a nucleus. The nucleus contains the genetic material of an embryo.

The two daughter cells, the zygote and the blastocyst, develop further and fuse together to form an embryo. The fusion stage usually occurs in the early stages of fertilization, when the DNA from both partners is merged.

DNA analysis

A DNA analysis of an early pregnancy can determine the embryonic stage of the pregnancy (if it was a blastocyst). Each week from the date of fertilization, the embryo divides by mitosis. The dividing cells form a ball, and then a ball of cells called a blastocyst.

The blastocyst forms around the zygote, which contains the genetic material of the baby. In the first trimester of the pregnancy, the ball of cells grows into a ball of cells called a blastocyst, and later into an embryo.

In the second and third trimesters, the zygote becomes more round and develops into a blastocyst which can be seen by ultrasound. Some types of cancer and tissue disorders may cause abnormalities in the early embryo to prevent proper development.

Chemical pregnancies have no effect on the overall pregnancy outcome.

Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis can be done for various reasons and usually for older parents, if they are having trouble conceiving, or if the child is thought to be a genetic problem.

The risk is small in most cases, but still there, due to the risk of miscarriage.

No other test has as high a risk for miscarriage.

When used for amniocentesis, a small needle is inserted into the fetus, and a small amount of fluid is removed. It is not generally an unpleasant procedure, although it does feel odd and gives some discomfort for a few minutes.

Typically the fetus is left in the mother’s uterus, and the bladder is closed up with a stitch.

During the pregnancy, women are usually told not to drink any alcohol and not to exercise for 1 – 2 weeks before and after the procedure. This allows the procedure to take place. Usually, the procedure is done between 12 and 16 weeks into the pregnancy, although it can be done up to 20 weeks and as late as 28 weeks.

But the most important thing is to make sure you have a positive pregnancy test.

Ectopic pregnancy

If the eggs are fertilized, they attach to the wall of the uterus and can pass out of the uterus and form a ball. This may cause bleeding and infection in the uterus. The womb is so small that any infection there can cause it to close up quickly. The most common cause of ectopic pregnancy is infection with the Bacteroides fragilis bacteria.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs about one out of five times in the first 20 years of a woman’s life, which is about the same rate as the risk of getting breast cancer. The rate of ectopic pregnancy varies according to age.

An ectopic pregnancy is much more common in younger women who do not finish their childbearing years. Between the ages of 20 and 35, the odds of an ectopic pregnancy are about two times higher. During these ages the risk of a first-time ectopic pregnancy is about 10 times higher than in a woman’s mid-thirties.

Miscarriage

You must take the test to get rid of false positive pregnancy. For most women, these tests will not be necessary for five (5) years after the loss of the pregnancy, or when a woman reaches her due date. However, you may choose to have the tests once a year during your menstrual cycle if the loss of pregnancy continues to be a concern, or if you want to know how close you are to your due date or have other health concerns.

Checking too many times for a positive result

How often a woman check her test can vary, but the more tests she checks, the more chances to get a false positives.

Testing a higher number of cells

While a false positive can occur with only a few cells in a test, when a woman tests a high number of cells, she has a better chance of getting a positive result. This happens because some of the cells tend to be misrepresented in the screening process.

A false positive can also happen when a woman has more than one type of hormone test. An example of this is a metabolite screening test. As an example, the woman might have three tests for the same hormone test that screens for three different hormones. If only one of these three test is positive, a woman may have a false positive for another hormone.

Genetic screening tests

This is typically where a test for a certain gene or gene variants results in an abnormal result. This means that the person who was tested is not likely to have a problem with that gene. However, sometimes the person has a condition which requires a different test than the genetic screening test. For example, many genetic screening tests have an FGA or PANDAS pattern.

However, most genetic screening tests are not sensitive enough to pick up all of the potentially serious and unexpected problems that could result from a gene mutation.

Certain medications

Medications

If you’re taking medication that contains HCG. Fertility medications that raise HCG or that are chemically similar to HCG can cause a false positive. Talk to a doctor if you take fertility medications, since a home pregnancy test might be less accurate if you’re taking medication that contains HCG.

Sex during your fertile window

Sex during your most fertile days, and especially when you have cervical mucus to let sperm through the cervix, might increase your chances of conceiving.

To make sure you have a healthy female partner, a sperm bank might choose to test only females in whom they think the chance of conceiving is high.

Bottom line

Pregnancy comes with lot of efforts while bringing the new life to this world. It certainly gives you a lot of joy. Meanwhile while taking tests you should be aware of which test you are going through. Remember that there might be false tests regarding your pregnancy. Visit a doctor and go through frequent tests to confirm your pregnancy.

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