Positive then Negative Pregnancy Test
Updated 23-01-2021 – Lucy Walters
When you are trying to conceive, you would normally use a home pregnancy test, probably multiple times a month. These are tests that use your urine sample to identify the presence of hCG, a hormone that your body produces when you are pregnant, and when done right following all the instructions, these tests tend to be accurate. However, there are times when you get a false positive result, which means, you get a positive the first time you test, but a negative when you check again sometime later.
Though the people around you may tell you otherwise, there is every possibility that you get a positive pregnancy test result without being actually pregnant. While this indicates nothing about your fertility or your health in general, some women might get devastated to see a negative after a positive, especially if they have been trying for a long time. To reduce this effect, it helps to gain knowledge on what causes a positive followed by a negative pregnancy test.
Expired Pregnancy Test
One of the most common reasons for a false positive pregnancy test is an expired test. In an expired pregnancy test, the chemical that does the job of identifying hCG in your urine doesn’t work the way it should, which is more likely to lead to a wrong result. Therefore, if you have been storing a home pregnancy test in your cabinets for a long time now, check the expiration date of the test before using it.
Waiting Too Long
In a standard pregnancy test that comes with line indicators, there is a possibility of evaporation lines to form when urine starts to evaporate from the test if it is left to sit for a long time. What this means is that, if you wait too long to check the results of your home pregnancy test after using it, you are more likely to see two lines, one of which would be the evaporation line. Of course, the best way to avoid this is to follow the instructions on the test to the T.
Raised hCG Levels
As discussed earlier, it is your hCG hormones that a pregnancy test detects, and when the level of these hormones is high in your body, you are likely to get a positive result when you test first. But, why would you have raised hCG levels if you are not pregnant? There are a couple of reasons for this: if you have been on fertility treatment and taking fertility drugs that contain hCG, you could get false positive results; also, if you had recently given birth or experienced a miscarriage, the level of hCG in your body could remain high for months, which will reflect in your pregnancy test.
In some cases, when you take an early pregnancy test and find positive results, but at a later point in time get a negative result, there is a chance that you might have had an early miscarriage. It is a sad truth that many pregnancies do not further beyond the first few weeks, and many women tend to get their period just a few days after their positive test result and think of it as false positive, but in fact, it could be a miscarriage.
This early miscarriage is widely referred to as a chemical pregnancy. This type of pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg fails to implant properly in the uterus. When you have a chemical pregnancy, you will experience bleeding as you miscarry, and this will happen during the time of your expected period.
What is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, instead of where it should – inside the uterus. In most ectopic pregnancies, the egg grows in a fallopian tube; but, it can also happen in the cervix or ovary. This type of pregnancy can produce high levels of hCG, which means you will see a positive result in your home pregnancy kit. Since this is a serious condition, it is highly recommended that you see your doctor if you experience severe pain in the abdomen after knowing that you are pregnant, lightheadedness, vaginal bleeding, or any other symptom that concerns you.
Most pregnancy tests tend to be accurate if the instructions on the pack are followed exactly. Even if it is a false-positive that you just found, there is no way for you to know it right away. But, the one thing you could do after seeing a positive pregnancy test result is visiting your gynecologist to have a blood test done, as this will eliminate any potential error, and you get to know for sure if you are pregnant.
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