False Alarm: What Can Cause a False Positive Pregnancy Test Result?

Home pregnancy test kits are affordable and easy to use. Most come in simple packaging and easy to follow instructions wherein you will only need to follow two steps before you see the results. Couples who are trying to conceive often use a home pregnancy test kit to check if a woman has become pregnant before heading to the doctor for a pregnancy blood test.

Since home pregnancy test kits claim 99% accuracy, women are confident to use them in the belief that the results shown are true and reliable. With the easy to read indicators in the majority of pregnancy tests, women feel that the results shown in their tests are correct.

However, if you are trying to conceive, you may have visited online blogs to check the basic things that you need to know when taking a pregnancy test. While browsing through these blogs and online articles, one can easily stumble upon women sharing their experiences of having a false positive pregnancy test result.

This can be troublesome if you are really trying to conceive and feel that a home pregnancy test kit may not provide you with accurate results after all. In this article, we will discuss the possible causes on why you can get false positive results when using a pregnancy test.

What Are The Possible Causes of A False Positive Test Result?

Unlike the past decades when you will have to actually go see your doctor identify whether or not you are pregnant, home pregnancy test kits have changed this.

Nowadays, you can simply go to your nearest drugstore or your online store to purchase pregnancy test kits. There are even pregnancy test kits that come with ovulation tests to help you monitor your fertile days so you can have a higher chance of getting pregnant.

Women who would like to conceive fast use both ovulation tests and pregnancy test so they can easily monitor the time period when they are most likely to conceive.

These pregnancy test kits are cheap, affordable, and claim to be 99% accurate. Some home pregnancy test kits even claim to detect early signs of pregnancy wherein you can use these kits days before you actually miss your period.

Still, there are some occurrences when women see positive pregnancy results only to be told by their doctor that they are not pregnant after undergoing a blood test. While the majority of women face no difficulties in using home pregnancy test kits there are still quite a number of women who face false results and are often left to wonder what they did wrong.

So what are the reasons for false positive results?

Improper Use

Home pregnancy test kits have simple yet very specific instructions that you will need to follow closely. This is why you should carefully read the instructions and follow them since failing to do so can produce false results.

Pregnancy test kits will state in the instructions how long you should wait for the results to show whether they are still valid. If the kit instructs you to read the results after the designated three-minute time, this means that the result shown during this period is your actual result.

A common problem why women get false positive results is by waiting too long or “re-checking” their results after an hour has passed.

Other factors like exposure to heat or water can cause the pregnancy test to show a faint second line which can make you believe that you are pregnant and the results just showed “late”. Again follow the instructions and don’t make your own reading without following them.


Home pregnancy test kits are safe and accurate to use for women who are not taking certain medications that can interfere with the tests. For example, women who have fertility problems like luteal phase defect and are receiving HCG therapy may have a high chance of getting false positive results even if they are not pregnant. Fertility shots are injected into the body of a woman and can take days to clear out.

Doctors will often advise waiting for two weeks or more to wait for the HCG to be dispelled by the body before taking a pregnancy test. If you are trying to conceive and taking medications, you should first discuss with your doctor what type of pregnancy test you should take.


The first weeks of your pregnancy are a very sensitive stage where you can easily experience miscarriage if you are not careful enough. Women who are not aware that they are pregnant may have taken certain medications or engaged in a physically strenuous activity that can be the cause of miscarriage.

Since the HCG in the body will not immediately be dispelled from your body up to eight weeks, testing after a miscarriage can produce false positive results. When taking a pregnancy test, make sure that you are on your normal cycle and did not experience a miscarriage.

While spotting and light bleeding can be a sign of pregnancy, this can also be a sign of miscarriage. Always check with your doctor if you are trying to conceive and experience bleeding outside of your normal period.

Defective pregnancy tests

While home pregnancy test kits provide accuracy in checking the HCG level in your urine, certain factors like defective kits can give your false positive results. You should check for the expiration date indicated on the package before you take your pregnancy test to ensure that the results you will receive are correct.

Home pregnancy test kits that are sold nowadays provide a high level of accuracy as long as you follow the instructions and make sure that you do not have any physical conditions that can affect the results.

When taking home pregnancy tests, make sure that you read the instructions and follow them carefully. Also, there is no harm in taking a second test and consulting with your doctor just to be sure.

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