False-Positive Pregnancy Test

Definition - What does False-Positive Pregnancy Test mean?

A false-positive pregnancy test occurs when a pregnancy test indicates conception has occurred, when it has not. This is a very unlikely situation that rarely happens. When taken correctly, pregnancy tests are highly accurate.

FertilitySmarts explains False-Positive Pregnancy Test

When a fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus, the body is triggered to recognize the growing pregnancy and begins to secrete increased levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Home pregnancy tests analyze the amount of hCG in a woman’s urine.

A false-positive is most likely the result of:

  • A miscarriage that occurred after testing
  • An ectopic pregnancy
  • Test used past expiration date
  • Test taken incorrectly
  • Having taken medication that contained hCG as part of treatment for infertility
  • Liver diseases and some cancers can cause elevated hCG

If you receive a positive on a pregnancy test but are not experiencing symptoms common with pregnancy or signs of miscarriage or distress, it is important to visit a medical provider.

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