Pregnancy tests have become a common instrument to confirm pregnancy. They detect the presence of (hCG); a hormone produced during pregnancy.
However, getting a positive result does not always mean conception has occurred. Various factors can cause a false positive result; leading to confusion and unnecessary stress.
This article explores such intriguing possibility – whether a yeast infection can cause a false positive on a pregnancy test or not.
What is a yeast infection?
Yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, are caused by an excess growth of the candida fungus. They are prevalent in women and can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, burning, and thick, white discharge.
Certain risk factors can potentially cause a yeast overgrowth. These include having a weakened immune system, frequently using antibiotics, corticosteroids, or birth control pill; pregnancy, diabetes and obesity.
Treatment typically involves anti fungal medication available in oral, topical, or intravenous forms. With the appropriate treatment, most yeast infections can be cleared up within 1–2 weeks
But does this common female health issue have the potential to interfere with the results of a pregnancy test?
Can a yeast infection lead to a false positive pregnancy test?
A yeast infection does not lead to a false positive on a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests function by identifying the presence of the hcG hormone in the body.
This hormone is produced roughly 6 to 10 days after fertilization and is the key marker that pregnancy tests use to determine pregnancy.
Yeast infections, on the other hand, involve the overgrowth of the Candida fungus, causing symptoms like itching, burning, and white discharge.
They do not involve the production or release of hCG. Therefore, having a yeast infection should not impact the results of a pregnancy test.
It’s important to note that while this illness cannot lead to a false positive pregnancy test, there are factors that cause such result.
Consulting a healthcare professional is recommended after getting positive results on a pregnancy test for accurate diagnosis and advice.
Can a UTI cause a false positive pregnancy test?
It is certainly possible for a UTI to cause a false positive pregnancy test. This can occur because of the presence of bacteria in the urine, which will consequently affect the functions of the strip.
However, you would only hear instances like this in just one out of ten cases. While a UTI may rarely impact test results, several factors such as error in the strip usage or certain types of medications are usually reported as the cause of false positives.
What infections can cause a false positive pregnancy test?
Infections themselves generally do not cause false positive pregnancy test results. Pregnancy tests work by detecting the available hcG in the urine or blood, which is produced by the placenta. Infections in general do not directly interfere with hCG levels.
However, there are some rare medical conditions, medications, or substances that can lead to false positive test results.
These factors are typically unrelated to infections but may be mistaken for a positive test result. Some examples include:
What causes false positive pregnancy test?
#1 Chemical pregnancy:
A very early loss, also known as miscarriage, can sometimes lead to a positive pregnancy test followed by a negative test shortly after.
This instance can produce enough hCG to turn a test positive, but the miscarriage will stop the production of the hormones. Therefore if you take the test within a few days after, the result may be a false positive.
#2 Ectopic pregnancy:
In some cases, this condition, which implants outside the womb, usually in the fallopian tube can result in a positive test result. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable and require medical attention.
#3 Evaporation lines:
Sometimes, if you read a pregnancy test result faster than the recommended time frame (usually within a few minutes), you may see an evaporation line that appears as a faint second line.
This can be mistaken for a positive result, but it actually isn’t.
Certain medications, such as those containing hCG can artificially increase its levels and potentially lead to a false positive pregnancy test. These medications are typically used for fertility treatments.
List of medications that cause false positive pregnancy test
Medications that contain hcg or ones that can are intentionally taken to increase hCG levels in a woman’s body can potentially lead to false positive test results.
It’s worthy to mention that these medications are typically used for specific medical purposes such as boosting fertility.
Here are some examples of such medicines that may cause false positive pregnancy test results:
- hcG injections
- Anti-Seizure/Anticonvulsant Drugs
- Antipsychotic Medications
- Certain Hormone therapies
What to do if you get a false positive pregnancy test?
If you get a false positive test result, here’s what you can do next:
- Retake the Test: Pregnancy tests can sometimes yield false-positive results due to user errors, or if the test is expired. Take another test and ensure you follow the instructions thoroughly.
- Wait a Few Days and Test Again: The level of hCG doubles approximately every 48-72 hours. Waiting a few days before taking another test can give a more accurate result.
- Get a Blood Test: A qualitative hCG blood test can help confirm the results of a home pregnancy test. This kind of test can be conducted by a healthcare provider.
- Review Your Medications: If you’re taking certain medications, they can interfere with the test results. Discuss this with your healthcare provider who can provide advice or alternatives that won’t affect the test
b.v doesn’t usually interfere with the results of your pee stick. While it may cause discomfort, it’s unrelated to the hormones that these tests detect.
A yeast infection, although can be uneasy, it doesn’t impact the ability of the test to detect hCG. If you’re experiencing symptoms of this illness along with a positive pregnancy test, it’s important to chat your doctor.
Symptoms of early pregnancy vary among individuals. However, some commonly reported signs include missed periods, nausea (aka morning sickness), frequent urination, fatigue, swollen and tender breasts, and changes in mood or appetite.
A yeast infection itself does not in any way cause a false positive pregnancy test result. These pee sticks are designed to detect the presence of hcG in urine.
Yeast infections are caused by candida overly growing in the vaginal area, and do not directly affect hCG levels in a woman’s body. Therefore, they should not lead to a false positive test.
That said, certain medications used for treating yeast infections may interact with pregnancy hormones, or affect the test’s reading. But these instances would be highly unusual and unlikely.
Hence, if you have a false positive test result, its crucial to chat your doctor for the specific reason and possible retest instead of relating it to a yeast infection.
Alternatively, if you have a yeast infection and your strip’s result shows positive, do not have to conclude that the illness is the cause when you are not pregnant. Always consult a health care expert for diagnosis and treatment.
National Institutes Of Health (False-positive urine pregnancy tests–clinicians as detectives)