The home pregnancy test has changed quite a bit over the years. In yesteryears, you needed to wait about one week after your menstrual cycle was supposed to start before testing for pregnancy. The hCG levels were high enough at that point to ping then test positive. Today, tests can be used five or more days before your missed menstrual cycle, in some cases, making it even easier to find out you’re pregnant from the privacy of your home. However, with ease comes complication – there are other reasons why your pregnancy test reads positive other than a viable pregnancy.
Some fertility treatments can cause a positive pregnancy test. Most of the time the fertility specialist prescribing these treatments will discuss this with the couple, so there is no doubt about possible pregnancy. In place of the home pregnancy test the couple will have blood testing or an ultrasound to see if the fertility treatment was successful. This is why in most Hollywood movies about fertility treatments that the couple finds out yes or no via a phone call and not a home pregnancy test.
Some prescription medications can trigger a positive pregnancy test. This includes the antipsychotic medication called phenothiazine. If you are currently taking a prescription medication of any kind and you’ve tested positive for pregnancy, seek medical attention from an obstetrician and the prescribing physician as not all drugs are safe for use during pregnancy.
Certain cancers and other rare medical conditions can cause a rise in hCG that is NOT pregnancy related. Again, if you suffer from one of these conditions – you have likely had a talk with your physician about the possibility of a positive pregnancy test as a result. If you have not been diagnosed with one of these conditions, chances are the test is actually positive as pregnancy occurs more often than a medical condition of this kind.
Most often a positive pregnancy test is indeed positive, but there are a few reasons why that positive doesn’t really mean pregnancy at all.