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Positive Pregnancy Test After a Miscarriage

Pregnancy loss can be a traumatic event, both emotionally and physically. It takes some time for your body to recover after a miscarriage.

Home pregnancy tests detect a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. hCG is present in your body in appreciable amounts only when you fall pregnant and increases predictably as your pregnancy progresses.

But what happens to hCG and other hormones once the pregnancy ends due to a miscarriage? Can you still get a positive pregnancy test even after a miscarriage? In this article, we will try to answer these very questions. We will look at what happens to your hCG levels after a miscarriage and cover some of the most commonly asked questions about miscarriage and pregnancy tests after miscarriage.

How long after a miscarriage are your hCG levels high?
How long after a miscarriage do your hCG levels remain high?

How Do hCG Levels Change After a Miscarriage?

All at-home pregnancy tests, including affordable and reliable Fertility2Family home pregnancy tests, confirm pregnancy by detecting hCG in your urine. While a trace amount of hCG can be produced in your body even when you are not pregnant, the level increases after you conceive. Peak hCG concentration reaches around the 8th to 10th week of pregnancy.

If you lose your pregnancy due to a miscarriage, your body will stop producing hCG, and its level will gradually decline to pre-pregnancy.

Like any other hormone, the hCG level in the body after conception can vary greatly from woman to woman. However, there is a ‘normal’ range of hCG for each stage of your pregnancy. How long it takes for the hCG to fall to pre-pregnancy levels will depend on several factors, including the initial level of the hormone in your body during the very early stages of pregnancy. Similarly, the time that is taken for your body to return to the pre-pregnancy level of hormones also depends on how far along you were in your pregnancy before the miscarriage.

In the unfortunate event of a miscarriage, the level of hCG will decline. However, if your hCG is not dropping following the event, it might indicate a serious health problem like molar pregnancy, and you should immediately consult your OBGYN.

How Long Will I Get My Pregnancy Test Positive After Miscarriage?

The time required to get the hCG levels to such low levels that the pregnancy test won’t be able to detect it will depend on how far along you were and what kind of pregnancy you had. It might take six weeks for the hCG levels to return to pre-pregnancy. If you suffer from a miscarriage early in your pregnancy, the time can be significantly shorter.

What Happens in a Chemical Pregnancy & Early Miscarriage?

An early loss of pregnancy soon after implantation won’t affect your hormones significantly, and you can expect your hCG levels to drop to a normal level within days. Even if the hormones’ levels were high enough to detect pregnancy, they would decline rapidly without successful implantation.

When a Miscarriage Happens Later in Pregnancy

Once the implantation is successful, your hCG levels double every 2-3 days during the early phase of the pregnancy. The peak levels reach around week ten, and after that, the levels pretty much plateau. If you miscarry later in your pregnancy, you have a lot of hCG in your blood; hence, it will take a long time for your body to flush it out.

How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage?
How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage?

When Should You Start Trying to Conceive Again?

Some doctors in Australia might suggest waiting for several weeks before trying to get pregnant again after a miscarriage. However, no scientific data is backing this theory. Several factors determine when you should start trying to conceive after a pregnancy loss, including your mental and physical health and medical history.

As miscarriage can take as much a mental toll as physical, you must be in the right frame of mind before you start trying again. Physiologically, once the hCG levels are back to the baseline, your body is ready to get pregnant again. As we said before, there is no empirical scientific evidence to extend the wait; however, you should always take as much time as you want before you start trying again.

Is There Any Advantage in Waiting?

Your doctor might want you to wait before trying again to let your body heal. It might take a few weeks for your body to physically recover from the trauma of a miscarriage and get hormonal regulation back on track.

Waiting for a few weeks might also allow you to mentally deal with the emotional aftermath of such a painful event.

How Do You Avoid False-Positive Pregnancy Tests?

As we have discussed, your hCG levels might take a few weeks to return to the pre-pregnancy state. By taking a home pregnancy test during this time, you risk getting a false-positive result.

Your system still has some residual hCG, which can be detected in your urine by home pregnancy tests, giving you a positive result. If you don’t wait long before you start trying, the chance of getting a false positive can increase significantly. Hence, waiting for a few weeks is usually for the best.

How long does it take for your body to stop producing hCG?

How long does it take for your body to stop producing hCG?

FAQs Regarding Miscarriage and Pregnancy Tests

Here are a few common questions women have regarding pregnancy tests after a miscarriage.

Do I Need to Wait Till My hCG Levels Drop to Normal Before Trying Again?

hCG can remain in your body for several weeks following a miscarriage. The time taken for the level to drop to the baseline depends on when you lost your pregnancy and the initial hCG level in your blood.

Previously, women were advised to wait at least three months before trying to conceive again after a miscarriage. However, recent medical data suggests no physiological reason to delay getting pregnant after a miscarriage. You should consult your doctor before trying to conceive again, as they might be better positioned to suggest the best time, depending on your medical history.

Can a Pregnancy Test Reveal Whether I Miscarried?

We strongly discourage women from using pregnancy tests to see if they miscarried for many reasons, primarily because hCG levels can remain high even after you have miscarried. You may still get a false positive test even if you have already miscarried.

Can Ovulation Occur Even if hCG Levels Have Not Returned to the baseline After a Miscarriage?

hCG is responsible for ensuring that the progesterone level in your blood does not decline during the first trimester of your pregnancy. High hCG levels suppress ovulation, and it will take time for your body to ovulate normally following a miscarriage. However, your cycle will eventually return to normal in a few weeks.

How Can I Confirm That I Miscarried?

Relying on home tests, including home pregnancy tests, to confirm that you have miscarried is not recommended. You should immediately consult your OBGYN or general practitioner if you suspect something wrong. Your doctor will conduct several tests to detect the root cause of your issues, including blood tests, a pelvic exam, and an ultrasound to detect the foetal heartbeat.

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Sources:

Fertility2Family only uses trusted & peer-reviewed sources to ensure our articles’ information is accurate and reliable.

Giorgi, A. (2023) Urine hcg level test, Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/hcg-in-urine (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2023) HCG levels, healthdirect. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hcg-levels (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2023) HCG test, healthdirect. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hcg-test (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Mayo Clinic (2021a) Pregnancy after miscarriage: Trying again, Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/pregnancy-after-miscarriage/art-20044134 (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Miscarriage Australia (2023) Navigating miscarriage together, Miscarriage Australia. Available at: https://miscarriageaustralia.com.au/ (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Patterson, H. (2022) What is a chemical pregnancy?, Care Fertility. Available at: https://carefertility.com.au/resources/blog/what-is-a-chemical-pregnancy (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Schliep, K.C. et al. (2016) Trying to conceive after an early pregnancy loss: An assessment on how Long Couples Should Wait, Obstetrics and Gynecology. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4780347/ (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

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Evan Kurzyp

Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified Registered Nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

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