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It’s possible to have a positive pregnancy test even if you aren’t technically pregnant. This is called a false positive pregnancy test.
Pregnancy tests can tell if your blood or urine contains the pregnancy hormone, or as doctors call it, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Your body releases it after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus, about 6 days after fertilization. Levels of hCG rise rapidly, doubling every 2 to 3 days. This means that you’re pregnant.
However, there are some cases when pregnancy tests show that hCG levels are high indicating pregnancy, but in fact you are not pregnant. Why does this happen?
There are a few causes of false positive test results:
User error - you took the test the wrong way or tested too soon during your cycle
Evaporation lines may appear on a test you view after your urine has evaporated completely. Sometimes they’re caused by hormonal levels that don’t represent pregnancy. The best way to avoid being confused by an evaporation line is to follow the test’s timing directions exactly as they’re given.
The test is past its expiration date.
Dilution of urine because you drank large amounts of fluids right before the test.
Medications - you are taking certain medications, such as diuretics, antihistamines, tranquilizers, anticonvulsants, or hypnotics, and some fertility drugs may also cause false-positive results.
You can have a false-positive result if blood or protein is in your urine. It may happen due to kidney disease.
Certain medical conditions, such as urinary tract infection, ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer or pituitary problems (very rarely)
Recent miscarriage or abortion - the hormone hCG can remain in your blood and urine for up to six weeks following the end of the pregnancy. When a pregnancy ends, hCG levels begin to recede, but it’s a slow process, so you may get false positive pregnancy results.
If you get a negative pregnancy test result, try retesting within about a week to double-check. If you get two different results, consult your doctor.