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False positive test results may occur for several reasons. These include: errors of test application, use of drugs containing the assay molecule, and non-pregnant production of the assay molecule.

Spurious evaporation lines may appear on many home pregnancy tests if read after the suggested 3-5 minute window or reaction time, independent of an actual pregnancy. False positives may also appear on tests used past their expiration date.

A woman who has been given an hCG injection as part of infertility treatment will test positive on pregnancy tests that assay hCG, regardless of her actual pregnancy status. However, some infertility drugs (e.g., clomid) do not contain the hCG hormone.

Some diseases of the liver, cancers, and other medical conditions may produce elevated hCG and thus cause a false positive pregnancy test. These include choriocarcinoma and other germ cell tumors, IgA deficiencies, heterophile antibodies, enterocystoplasties, gestational trophoblastic diseases (GTD), and gestational trophoblastic neoplasms (GTN). (See Human chorionic gonadotropin.)

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Q: Can you have a positive pregnancy test and not be pregnant?
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