Taking a Pregnancy Test When You Have PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that may impact your cycle and can make it more difficult for you to get pregnant. In today’s article we will talk about PCOS and pregnancy test, as well as what false positive and negative results means.

There is a series of events that need to happen just at the right moment in order to become pregnant. In fact, when we look at the whole conception process, we can see that there is only a small window in which you can get pregnant.

PCOS and Pregnancy Test False Positive and Negative Results

Below, you will find answers to questions like how to know your fertile windows if you have an irregular cycle when you should take a pregnancy test, and if having PCOS impacts getting false-positive or false-negative results.

PCOS pregnancy symptoms

Let’s see why having PCOS can impact your chances of getting pregnant. In general, PCOS can become an issue that impacts your fertility due to its being a hormonal condition. Polycystic ovary syndrome and pregnancy symptoms can be listed as follows:

  • ovarian cysts
  • increased levels of male hormones, such as androgen
  • an unpredictable menstrual cycle which results in either no period or irregular periods

When you experience PCOS condition, you do not have enough levels of essential hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which are important in order to have a regular menstrual cycle. This, in turn, prevents your body from becoming ovulated on its own, which means no pregnancy.

Since women having PCOS may not ovulate as often as the others, then need to figure out when they are likely ovulation periods to have higher chances of conception.

PCOS And Pregnancy Symptoms

What Are The Symptoms Of Pregnancy If You Have PCOS?
In general, most of the symptoms, except morning sickness and missing a period, are very similar to regular symptoms of pregnancy. If you have PCOS then you may have the following symptoms:

  • increased fatigue
  • sore or tender breasts
  • abdominal bloating
  • headaches
  • mood swings
  • lower back pain

However, since having PCOS may cause you to have an inconsistent menstrual cycle, you may not even have those essential signals. Besides, you may feel as if you are pregnant, while actually you would be experiencing symptoms of your condition. Still, you need to know that lack of the usual symptoms and signs of pregnancy does not mean a lack of pregnancy, and if you think you might be pregnant, further investigation is due.

Pregnancy Tests With PCOS

When To Take A Home Pregnancy Test If You Have PCOS?

In general, if you have PCOS you are generally advised not to take a pregnancy test before your missed period. Furthermore, you need to avoid using “early result” pregnancy tests, which claim to detect the pregnancy 6 days before missed period.

PCOS And False Positive Pregnancy Test

It is very clear that having a false positive pregnancy test is quite frustrating. However, chances are that if you have PCOS you will not have a false positive pregnancy test. In fact, most women never have a false positive pregnancy test, since those aren’t very common. However, PCOS can impact your ability to get pregnant and might cause a very early miscarriage.
A pregnancy test might first show a positive result and a few days later it would show a negative. And shortly after, implantation bleeding starts. This whole situation can be interpreted as a false positive. However, there is an alternative possibility: PCOS caused an early miscarriage, and the first test was, in fact, correct. Therefore it is easy to confuse a false positive with what was actually an early miscarriage since in those first days the pregnancy was probably not yet confirmed by the doctor. These are called chemical pregnancies. They are in fact pregnancies that did not progress and terminate very early on.

Reasons Of Having False Positive Tests With PCOS

You need to know how pregnancy tests work in order to understand both false positives and false negatives. Pregnancy tests determine whether you are pregnant based on HCG levels in the blood and urine. For sustaining an early pregnancy, your body generates increased levels of HCG from the moment of implantation.

Many pregnancy tests that are now available in the market can detect HCG levels when a woman misses her period, while some others can even determine HCG levels a little earlier. 

How common are false positive pregnancy tests?

There are very common false-negative results since pregnancy tests rely on HCG levels. In fact, no matter how sensitive a test kit you are using, the test result before implantation will be negative. Low HCG levels, even a few days later, can still result in negative, which makes false-negative tests very common.

Indeed, before you finally get a positive test result, you may get several negative tests. The later you test after ovulation, the more likely you are to get a positive result if you’re pregnant.

Sometimes women get a positive result followed by a negative one. When this happens, it is still very unlikely that the negative test was true. A positive test is more sensitive than the negative test, and it is accurate; so, waiting a few more days will likely get you a positive result.

Whenever your test results are positive, you should consider yourself pregnant. It would also be a good idea to let your doctor check the blood for sure, which is especially important if you have a history of infertility.

Can PCOS Cause A False Positive Pregnancy Test?

PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) can not cause a false positive pregnancy test. PCOS results in changes in hormone levels and is one of the very complex endocrine disorders. These changes may impact a woman’s ability to ovulate consistently or prevent ovulation completely. These changes can also impact an individual’s weight and general health, commonly resulting in insulin resistance. Fertility can be affected due to both of these factors, independently. 

However, any drug that makes the body generate HCG can result in a false-positive test. And because some medications used in the treatment of PCOS can increase your HCG levels, a false-positive result could be present as a result of taking these meds. However, PCOS itself will not result in having a false positive test.

PCOS And Negative Pregnancy Test While Pregnant

Having PCOS and negative pregnancy tests is quite possible since the condition triggers your hormone levels to be inconsistent. Even if you have conceived, you may get a negative result when you attempt to take a pregnancy test after missing your period. It is also possible that you may not even discover you’re pregnant until many weeks later if you have PCOS. This means that you should actually avoid pregnancy tests claiming to detect very early pregnancy.

PCOS And Pregnancy Test Results

It is clear that PCOS can make it harder to conceive since you do not have the solidity of an expected period to anchor your timeline. Keep in mind that you should not give up on pregnancy. You only need to focus on getting a positive test result after the date of your expected cycle has passed.

By doing this you will be more likely to get a correct result rather than relying on pregnancy tests which may lead to negative results for women with PCOS. Always rely on a pregnancy test performed by your doctor with a blood sample.

What Are Chances Of Getting Pregnant With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

You may have the following options to get pregnant with PCOS:

Your physician may advise you on a number of options to increase your chances of getting pregnant if this is your goal. Some of these methods include the following:

  • Hormonal birth control strategies which help to control your period even before trying to conceive.
  • Certain anti-androgen medicines that prevent the influence of elevated levels of androgen
  • Metformin, a type 2 diabetes medication capable of reducing androgen levels and secondary PCOS symptoms, like the growth of facial hair and acne.
  • Losing weight through a balanced diet and regular physical exercises to support controlling your menstrual cycle if you are currently overweight.
  • Some drugs which support ovulation.
  • If all these methods above do not succeed to get results, then you may be advised for surgery. During the operation, the outer layers of your ovaries are removed in order to support restoring the ovulation process. However, this alternative is only effective for 6 to 8 months.


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