Can a Yeast Infection Cause a False Positive or Negative Pregnancy Test?

When anyone is trying to get pregnant, there are a number of concerns that can run through our minds in the moments running up to the moment we get the result from the pregnancy test. You might wonder can a yeast infection cause a false positive pregnancy test or a false negative result. 

Table of Contents

What is a Yeast Infection?

Approximately 30% to 50% of women will experience a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their lives. A yeast infection is a fungal infection in the vagina and vulva caused by the fungus candida albicans, which is naturally present in the body, and there are bacteria present to fight infections. 

A yeast infection occurs when there is an imbalance between the yeast and the beneficial bacteria in the vagina. If there is an overgrowth of yeast, this causes an infection, resulting in a number of uncomfortable symptoms, such as: 

  • White vaginal discharge. 
  • Burning or pain when urinating. 
  • Itching or irritation around the private parts.

Can a Yeast Infection Affect a Pregnancy Test?

A yeast infection cannot cause a false positive on a pregnancy test. This is because pregnancy tests are designed to detect the hormone human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) which is produced between 6 and 10 days after the initial fertilization. Predominantly home pregnancy tests are 99% accurate, and a yeast infection does not have a bearing on the result.

Why Can’t a Yeast Infection Affect Your Pregnancy Test?

Because pregnancy tests look for the hCG hormone, there is no chance of getting a false positive result arising from a yeast infection. The hormone hCG is produced by the placenta and that area is not affected by a yeast infection, so as the placenta is located inside the uterus, this is far away from the vaginal region that would be contaminated with yeast. 

What Can Cause a False Positive or Negative Pregnancy Test?

There are a number of different reasons for a false positive pregnancy test, including the following: 

  • Medical conditions, such as kidney disease, urinary tract infections (UTIs), or chemotherapy, however, these instances are very rare. 
  • Fertility medications, specifically the hCG trigger shot, can create a false positive. Other medications, such as diuretics and antihistamines may also cause false positives. 
  • A recent miscarriage or abortion; as hCG hormone levels can remain in your blood or urine up to 6 weeks after the end of a pregnancy, this can result in a false positive. 
  • Ectopic pregnancies, which is when a fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus. 
  • A chemical pregnancy, which is when a fertilized egg cannot implant or grow. 

It is possible to get a negative result from a home pregnancy test, known as a false negative. Some of the following can cause a false negative test: 

  • Taking the test later on in the day. It is recommended that when taking a home pregnancy test, you should do it as soon as you wake up because the urine is at its most concentrated, and there is a greater concentration of the hCG hormone. 
  • Checking the results too quickly. A home pregnancy test stipulates that you should wait a certain amount of time. In order to have a confirmed result, it is always essential to follow the home pregnancy test instructions.
  • Taking the test too early. It can be more difficult to locate hCG if you take a pregnancy test too early. It is recommended to take a home pregnancy test 24 hours after a missed period. 
  • Incorrect use of the test. As every test is different, if you miss a step or perform the test incorrectly, this could provide a false negative. 
  • Miscalculated menstrual cycle. Many women have irregular periods or do not track them correctly. Before taking a home pregnancy test, it is important to understand your menstrual cycle. 
  • Diluted or too much hCG. Diluting the urine can disperse the presence of hCG, making it too low for the pregnancy test to read effectively. Conversely, if the hCG levels are too high, this can result in what is called the “hook effect,” which can happen in rare instances.

What to Do if You Think the Pregnancy Test is Wrong?

If you are concerned with the test result, either because the pregnancy test is positive or you have taken a number of pregnancy tests with different results, the best approach is to make sure that you take the test under the right circumstances. As stated above, there are times when a false positive or false negative can occur. If you are sure you’ve done everything to the letter and you still think the pregnancy test is wrong, you need to contact your healthcare provider.

When to See a Doctor?

Ensuring that you see a doctor online or in person can put your mind at ease. You may have had many concerns that a yeast infection has caused false positive or false negative results on your home pregnancy test, but this is where seeing a doctor can give you a better understanding of whether you are pregnant or not by conducting a blood pregnancy test, providing greater accuracy and ensuring you have an answer.

How Can DrHouse Help You?

DrHouse is a comprehensive service that can provide 24/7 personal care. All our clinicians are board certified and qualified to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions. Our telehealth services always ensure you get an answer to your concerns quickly and effectively.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to wondering can a yeast infection cause a false positive pregnancy test, the answer is it cannot because the pregnancy test is designed to locate the hCG hormone. 

While there are a number of reasons for a false positive or false negative pregnancy test, a yeast infection is not one of them.

It’s also important to note that yeast infections can occur because of the individual being pregnant. Infections are more common during pregnancy as hormonal changes can disrupt the pH balance in the vagina.

Sources:

  • Vaginal Candidiasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html
  • Jacob L, John M, Kalder M, Kostev K. Prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis in gynecological practices in Germany: A retrospective study of 954,186 patients. Curr Med Mycol. 2018 Mar;4(1):6-11. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.18502/cmm.4.1.27
  • ROBERT E. CANFIELD, FRANCIS J. MORGAN, SANDRA KAMMERMAN, JENNIFER J. BELL, GLADYS M. AGOSTO. Studies of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin11Supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health, from the Population Council of New York, New York, and by NIH .In Recent Progress in Hormone Research, Proceedings of the 1970 Laurentian Hormone Conference, Academic Press, Volume 27, 1971, Pages 121-164, ISBN 9780125711272. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-571127-2.50028-6.
  • A.B. MacLean. Urinary tract infection in pregnancy. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, Volume 17, Issue 4, 2001, Pages 273-277, ISSN 0924-8579. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-8579(00)00354-X
  • Sivalingam VN, Duncan WC, Kirk E, et alDiagnosis and management of ectopic pregnancyJournal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 2011;37:231-240.
  • Sarah Johnson. Chapter 2.4 – The home pregnancy test. Editor(s): Laurence A. Cole, Stephen A. Butler, 100 Years of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. Elsevier, 2020, Pages 107-121, ISBN 9780128200506. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-820050-6.00010-2
  • Christian Fromm, Antonios Likourezos, Lawrence Haines, Abu N.G.A. Khan, Janet Williams, Joel Berezow. Substituting Whole Blood for Urine in a Bedside Pregnancy Test. The Journal of Emergency Medicine. Volume 43, Issue 3, 2012, Pages 478-482, ISSN 0736-4679. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2011.05.028

Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

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