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Miscarriage Pregnancy Test - Why is it Still Positive?

If you have experienced a miscarriage, which is usually traumatic enough as it is, you might be further confused and stressed when you continue to get positive results on pregnancy tests. Here is the explanation:

When a fertilized egg implants in the uterus, the body begins producing the pregnancy hormone hCG. Pregnancy tests detect the presence of this hormone in your urine; if it is present, it is quite conclusive that you are pregnant, because the body does not produce hCG otherwise.

However, if a fetus stops growing and a miscarriage takes place, this hormone will not immediately disappear from the body; in fact, levels can take as long as days or weeks to return to zero, depending on how advanced the pregnancy was when the miscarriage occurred.

The average period for hCG levels to return to zero is around 19 days. Sometimes a woman has taken a pregnancy test and has confirmed conception, but miscarries before any other signs of pregnancy are noted.

This is called a chemical pregnancy, and in these cases it can take only a few days for hCG levels to return to normal. In the case of a later miscarriage, hCG may still be present for over a month after the loss. Again, these positive results, even after miscarriage, are due to the fact that pregnancy tests are so sensitive and can detect even low levels of hCG.

However, if more than a few weeks have passed since your miscarriage, and you continue to get positive results, you should call your doctor. She may want to monitor your hCG with blood tests. If after a reasonable period of time you still have hCG present, there exists the possibility that pregnancy tissue may have remained in your uterus, which should be removed through a D&C (dilation and curettage) procedure.

There is also the chance, if you have been sexually active, that you are in fact pregnant again, though only your doctor will be able to tell you for sure.

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