What happens if a man takes a pregnancy test: is it true that the pregnancy test can diagnose testicular cancer? Negative and positive results
What if a man takes a pregnancy test
The pregnancy test can diagnose an ongoing pregnancy because it is sensitive to beta hCG hormones. But What if a man takes a pregnancy test? And why could the result, surprisingly, be positive?
In this article
What is beta hCG?
There beta hCG is a fraction of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by the trophoblast, the tissue that will transform into the placenta. As the pregnancy progresses it will later transform into the placenta. If from blood tests, the value of this hormone increases daily, the pregnancy goes well and it is this hormone that determines the positivity of the pregnancy test.
HCG stimulates the corpus luteum to produce large quantities of progesterone, which is essential for promotingtaking root of the embryo to the uterine walls. In the first three months of pregnancy, the beta hCG values in the maternal blood progressively increase, and then decrease and remain stable.
For this reason, the blood tests that are prescribed in the first trimester of pregnancy also include monitoring of Beta, in order to understand if the pregnancy has started well and is proceeding just as well.
How does the pregnancy test work?
The home pregnancy test use a test strip that is placed in contact with urine. This strip, therefore, reacts if there is the presence of hCG in the urine, which is a hormone present in the female body only if a pregnancy is in progress.
What if a man takes a pregnancy test?
In theory nothing should happen at all, since hCG is a hormone produced by the female body when she is pregnant. However, there is no shortage of bizarre rumors. For example a few years ago sui social A post appeared in which a user laughed that a friend of his had taken a pregnancy test and came out positive. In the comments a doctor advised his friend to have a check-up view because there was a risk that he had a testicular cancer. And, in fact, after the visit, a small tumor emerged right in the testicles.
From there, the idea spread that a simple home pregnancy test could be used as a diagnostic method for testicular cancer, a relatively rare cancer that affects 1 in 250 men.
But can the pregnancy test really diagnose testicular cancer?
The rationale behind this idea is that i testicular tumors can cause an increase in human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and therefore the pregnancy test could be useful precisely to detect the presence of beta hCG in male urine.
Since testicular cancer is associated with some high levels markers, including hCG, it is technically possible for a home pregnancy test to detect this type of cancer but there are some very important downsides to using this testing method that are good to know.
- If the test is negative However, it cannot be ruled out that there is no cancer, because not all testicular cancers will produce high levels of hCG or other cancer markers. In this case, a home test could provide a false sense of security, delaying the correct diagnosis.
- If the result is positive, in the same way it cannot be said that there is testicular cancer: several factors can interfere with home pregnancy tests and cause a false positive, for example protein in the urine (proteinuria), blood in the urine (hematuria) , some types of drugs.
It should also be remembered that other cancers, such as stomach and lung cancers, can produce hCG and, in this rare scenario, a positive result could indicate a different type of cancer.
Obviously, you must go to your doctor for a serious evaluation if the test comes out positive, but also if signs of testicular cancer occur such as:
- a lump or swelling in the testicle,
- dull pain localized in the lower abdomen or scrotum,
- a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.