What does almost every woman do in the case of an unexpected delay of menstruation? To get to the gynecologist you need to pre-register. But in a situation where life could take a new turn, it is simply impossible to wait. For such force majeure we have a test to determine pregnancy. You can easily purchase it at a local pharmacy. From the variety of the tests, you can choose a few different for the reliability of the result … but are they really so reliable? Let us talk about a false positive pregnancy test.
What is a test strip?
First of all, you need to know the peculiarities of the test strip in order to understand the results. The strip is impregnated with some special reagent that reacts on the hormone HCG located in urine. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) appears in the female body already in a day after the fertilization of the egg. It begins to accumulate, becoming the future placenta.
It would seem that everything is simple and clear. However, false positive tests occur more often than false negatives. It may happen for several reasons.
Causes of false positive pregnancy test result
Contamination. Urine samples can be contaminated by such substances as soap, detergents, creams, etc. These substances may get into either the sample or container. To avoid this, use a test in which you have to pee right on the strip. Consult your doctor for a blood test.
Defective test or a violation of the usage instructions – the most banal and difficult reason. Of course, you can check the product shelf life when buying in a drugstore. But you cannot do it with the internal stuffing. We recommend to buy a few tests from different manufacturers and in different pharmacies for greater reliability of the results. During the procedure, the woman should not rush, and read the instructions carefully.
Miscarriage, abortion, removal of ectopic pregnancy. In all these cases, the hormone HCG will still be present in a woman’s body some time, giving a reason for the manifestation of the second strip. The situation with the abortion at a very early period is most likely, when a woman may not even notice what happened. If you take a pregnancy test, it clearly will give a false positive result in this period.
Cyst and other tumor formations. Ovarian cyst, cyst of the stomach, neoplasms in the pancreas, liver, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer can confuse a test strip. Therefore, if there is doubt about the sudden “pregnancy” you should refer to a gynecologist for a thorough examination. Thus, it is possible to timely detect serious disease and early treatment.
Medications. Some medications, such as drugs that stimulate ovulation, are composed of the same hormone HCG. Therefore, even after taking this medication, you should not rush to conduct the test – HCG is excreted from the body for at least 2 weeks.
Hormonal halting and menopause. Any violation of hormonal background of women leads to disruption of immunity, various diseases and the development of hormones, including HCG, that affect test results. Menopausal hormone levels can also slightly increase, especially in the first time after the cessation of menstruation, and give a false-positive test result.
What to do when receiving a false positive pregnancy test
Modern pregnancy tests have a high sensitivity. For most of them it varies within the limits of 97-99%. But if a woman believes that the result of the analysis can be a false positive, a second test should be done. Do it again in 2-3 days and buy a test of another firm.
A home pregnancy test does not explore the female body for pregnancy in general, and for the presence of the embryo in the uterus in particular. It just looks at the levels of the hormone HCG, which is by no means an unambiguous sign of pregnancy and can signal a different source, causing the production of this hormone. Even in men HCG levels can be elevated due to diseases such as seminoma or teratoma, testicular cancer. Therefore, only an appeal to the doctor can give the detailed information about all the processes occurring in the body.