You did a pregnancy test and you see a positive result, but you have doubts: can the test result be wrong? Most home pregnancy tests are trustworthy. Although it is possible that a test that indicates a negative result is wrong – especially if you are testing at an early stage – false positive results are extremely rare. It should be mentioned that there are exceptions and that despite a positive test result you may not be pregnant. Can you get a false positive pregnancy test?
Operation of pregnancy tests
The pregnancy test allows you to detect (most often in a urine sample) chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is a hormone produced by trophoblast, i.e. cells that are isolated in the early stages of embryo development.
Implantation (implantation of the embryo in the uterus) occurs after about 7 days after fertilization and from that moment the amount of chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the mother’s blood stream increases rapidly – it doubles every 2-3 months every 2-3 days (then gradually decreases until until delivery). This hormone maintains the secretion of progesterone, the hormone responsible for maintaining pregnancy, and also regulates the development of the sex glands.
The principle of the home pregnancy test is based on the reaction of chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), found in the urine of a pregnant woman, with monoclonal anti-hCG antibodies applied to the test.
A false positive pregnancy test – when fertilization occurred
A false positive pregnancy test can mean fertilization, which is not the same as pregnancy. This happens when diagnosed during ultrasound:
- ectopic pregnancy (ectopic),
- germ-free pregnancy.
Non-embryonic pregnancy is one in which there is no developing embryo in the gestational sac. During the ultrasound examination, the doctor finds an empty fetal egg. The reason can be both the lack of an embryo with the simultaneous development of trophoblast, and the death of the embryo at a very early stage of pregnancy. Usually, a woman observes typical signs of pregnancy. In most cases, embryonic pregnancy ends with a spontaneous miscarriage.
An ectopic or ectopic pregnancy can also give a false positive pregnancy test. It is a pregnancy in which the fertilized fetal egg was implanted outside the uterine mucosa. Thus, the ectopic pregnancy is the result of the incorrect location of the fertilized egg.
In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg nests before it reaches the uterus. Most often it is the fallopian tube, less often the ovary, peritoneum or cervix. Due to the location, there are: tubal, ovarian, abdominal and other pregnancies. Treatment of ectopic pregnancy depends on its nature and the week in which it was detected. Unfortunately, it can’t be saved.
A positive pregnancy test can also be caused by conditions that increase the amount of hCG hormone in a woman’s body. Ovarian cysts have this effect – cysts can be benign or malignant, so don’t suspect them. Cysts are usually also accompanied by other symptoms such as menstrual cycle disorders, genital bleeding, frequent lower abdominal pain, headache and fainting. One hundred percent certainty about the presence or absence of ovarian cysts will only give a gynecological examination and vaginal ultrasound.