Positive pregnancy test

A positive pregnancy test indicates that a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is present in your urine and that you are almost certainly pregnant.

If you have taken a pregnancy test you will certainly have read the instructions and know how to interpret the results. Generally a positive test is characterized by presenting:

  • two colored stripes more or less well marked, but still visible (not to be confused with the evaporation line);
  • a “+” symbol in tests that are designed to show a “+” or “-” symbol depending on the presence or absence of the hCG hormone.
  • the word “pregnant” in the so-called digital tests

Because each test is different, make sure you strictly follow only the directions in its instruction booklet, both in performing it and interpreting the results. Also pay close attention to the timing of detection.

Positive pregnancy test, what to do

Finding out you’re pregnant is a life-changing moment that comes with its fair share of emotions: excitement, joy, relief, panic, and maybe even some confusion about what to do next. The best way to make sense of a positive pregnancy test is with small steps: pregnancy and motherhood are a journey and as such can be lived one step at a time.

First, now that you have a positive test, consider doing a second test: there’s nothing wrong with doing a second test and it rules out the (rare) possibility that the first one was a false positive.

The next thing to do after getting a positive pregnancy test result is to make an appointment with your doctor and then choose the gynecologist, midwife and clinic you want to follow up with. Your doctor will explain how to adapt any current medications to your new condition.

Then you will probably want to know the baby’s estimated date of birth. Remembering that the weeks of pregnancy are counted from the first day of your last period, when technically you weren’t pregnant yet, using our calculator you can get an initial estimate of this date. However, remember that a more precise dating will be made during the first ultrasound.

Surely you already know that behaviors such as smoking and drinking are forbidden during pregnancy, but there are other habits and aspects of your lifestyle that you will need to change to ensure a healthy pregnancy:

  • take anti-toxoplasmosis precautions. See the list of foods to avoid during pregnancy
  • maintain a training routine, but with all the necessary precautions (no contact sports, no intense sports, etc.)
  • keep yourself hydrated
  • ecc.

If you’re not already taking prenatal vitamins now is the time to start: As your baby develops, he’ll need calcium to build bones and iron to make red blood cells, more folic acid to prevent neural tube defects, and lots of other important nutrients.

False positive pregnancy test

Although rarely, a urine pregnancy test kit can also give you a false positive result. A result is false positive when the test comes back positive even though you are not pregnant. 

Possible causes of a false positive can depend on:

  1. from a recent miscarriage, or from a recent birth. In the days following these events, the levels of hCG in the blood and urine may remain high, and therefore cause false positives. In fact, hGC can remain in the body for up to six weeks after the end of pregnancy. If the miscarriage was spontaneous it is also possible that the tissue related to that pregnancy was not completely removed and this will cause the hCG levels to remain high.
  2. from taking certain medications. Anti-anxiety medications (such as benzodiazepines, diazepam, or alprazolam) can raise hGC levels slightly. Other factors, such as a recent birth or miscarriage, can lead to false positives. Other drugs that could lead to false positives are antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, drugs for Parkinson’s disease, diuretics, antihistamines, methadone. Fertility drugs menotropin (used to treat infertility) and carbamazepine can also distort results.
  3. from a biochemical pregnancy : i.e. a spontaneous abortion that occurred shortly after implantation, early in pregnancy.
  4. from an ectopic pregnancy , when a fertilized egg implants outside the main cavity of the uterus can result in an ectopic pregnancy, commonly called an ectopic pregnancy.
  5. from certain chromosomal defects of the fetus.
  6. by the presence of ovarian cysts: small sacs filled with fluid present in the ovaries.
  7. from the kit that is expired or spoiled: humidity and heat can damage the stick.
  8. from certain medications or treatments to promote fertility.
  9. from evaporation strips , also called ghost-lines.
  10. from certain diseases or disorders, such as a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, a corpus luteum cyst, ovarian cancer.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform, Maternicity.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *