Can A Pregnancy Test Give A False Positive Result And Why Would That Happen?


A false positive pregnancy test occurs when a woman receives a positive pregnancy test result when she really is not pregnant. There are several reasons that a false positive pregnancy test can occur. Read on for some of the most common reasons.

1 Reason #1: Chemical Pregnancy

Sometimes a false positive pregnancy test can be the result of a chemical pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy occurs when a pregnancy is lost shortly after implantation. With the accuracy of pregnancy tests today, women can detect pregnancy at the very early stages, which is sometimes good.


However, if the pregnancy is lost shortly after implantation, the pregnancy test will still show positive, which can be very disheartening for a woman. Sad but true, somewhere around 25% of all pregnancies end up being a chemical pregnancy, but most women don’t test that early, so they never even know that they were pregnant.

2Reason #2: Improper Testing

One of the most common reasons for a false positive pregnancy test is not using the test properly. It is very important to follow the instructions closely when you are using an at home pregnancy test. Sometimes, reading the test results too early or waiting too long to read the test results can result in a false positive pregnancy test.


Some tests will actually show a positive result if they are read after the recommended time. For these reasons, following the test instructions completely is very important.  Only use the test exactly as directed and do not assume that you know how to use the test without reading the instructions carefully.

Reason #3: Fertility Treatments

If you are currently taking fertility treatments, it is important to remember that sometimes they can cause a false positive result on a pregnancy test. If you have received HCG shots or gonadotropins, you will probably get a positive result on a urine or blood pregnancy test for up to three weeks.


Some other medications such as Methadone, chlordiazepoxide, or promethazine can also produce false positive pregnancy tests. You might want to ask your doctor if any medications that you are on could produce a false positive result.

4 Reason #4: Defective Tests

Rarely, defective or expired pregnancy tests can cause a false positive result. Always check the expiration date before taking a test. Remember that even the most expensive tests can sometimes be defective.


If you think that you have gotten a defective test, buy another one and test again. If you are still in doubt, visit your doctor to have an exam done to find out if you are pregnant or not for sure.

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Ms. Belanger has 20 years of experience in women's healthcare and nursing, including labor and delivery, postpartum and antenatal. She is passionate toward improving both maternal and fetal outcomes of high-risk obstetrics patients.

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