False Positives and Errors

Errors are extremely rare, and false positives are even more rare.  The avid pee’er, however, may encounter one of these heartbreakers at some point, so it is important to understand them and be prepared.


Errors are different from evaps in that they have color and they show up within the appropriatetime limit.  Errors can be spotted because the line is incomplete (only going partially across the test area) or spotty. Getting an error test is relatively rare, although it does sometimes happen even to the best brands of peesticks. Many citizens of Peestick Paradise claim to see more errors on ICs and blue-dyed tests than name brand pink-dyed tests. Remember  – when in doubt, test again (and again and again!!!)Here are a few questionable results (note – both the errors shown below were taken in a cycle that did not result in pregnancy.  All other tests taken at the time were negative, and good ol’ AF arrived on time):

Aimstick error:

Walgreens test error:

False Positives

A false positive is a test that looks like an absolutely normal and perfectly gorgeous BFP, but is not.   False positives are  over-reported, as many of them are chemical pregnancies (or early miscarriages).   If a woman gets, for example, a faint BFP at 12 DPO, and then AF shows up two days later – she may think she had a false positive when, unfortunately, she may have lost a very early pregnancy.  The only way to know for sure would be to have blood tests done to look for hcG (but even this may be inconclusive if levels are too low).

Disappearing Positive

If they did an X-Files episode about peesticks, it would be about disappearing positives. Weird, rare, and mysterious. The queen has had personal experience with a disappearing positive.  It was 10 DPO, done with FMU and a FRER.  The line, pink and beautiful, showed up only moments after the pee passed the result window. There was laughter, crying, and celebration.  Then, hours later, the line disappeared.  A call to the FRER 800 number and a review of the
instructions revealed that a positive is only a positive if it STAYS positive for 48 hours.   AF showed up four days later.  So… what is the lesson here? We have to stare at our peesticks for 48 hours to be sure we are pregnant?  No… just confirm with another test before getting too excited. Any good peestickaholic will have a sizable stash just waited to be peed

Was it a False Positive or a Chemical Pregnancy?

It is an important question for a ttc’er who wants to know if her fertility problem is that she can’t get pregnant versus she can’t stay pregnant.If you get a BFP, followed by AF, you may never know if it was a false positive or if you lost an early pregnancy.

Signs of a chemical pregnancy:

  • multiple tests showing BFP
  • AF arriving later than usual
  • AF seeming heavier or ‘different’ than usual
  • having early symptoms of pregnancy

If you seem to be the victim of repeated “false positives” cycle after cycle – see your doctor. You may be losing early pregnancies for a variety of reasons (many of them easily treatable!)