Can You Be Pregnant with a Negative Pregnancy Test?
- It seems simple: If your pregnancy test comes up positive, you can assume you are pregnant. If the test is negative, you are probably not pregnant.
- Sometimes your test can show a false-negative result, even though you are pregnant.
- Usually, false negatives happen when the test was taken too soon or performed incorrectly.
A negative pregnancy test would be a reason to assume you are not pregnant. However, sometimes a test may show a false-negative. There are several possible causes. The most common reason for a false-negative reading is that the test was taken too soon.
1. Tested too soon?
The fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining about five to six days after conception. Only then does the female body start producing the pregnancy hormone hCG. However, although hCG levels increase rapidly, they remain low within the first few days after implantation and are, therefore, not easily detectable.
If you took the test too soon, it may give you a false-negative reading.
Find out when and how to take a pregnancy test:
2. Not tested with the first urine?
If not tested on the first urine of the day, the concentration of pregnancy hormones in the urine may be too low. Thus, the test may show an incorrect result.
3. Pregnancy already well established?
Beta-hCG production peaks around the 10th week of pregnancy, after which hormone levels begin to drop. It is, therefore, possible for a pregnancy test, taken in the 22nd week of pregnancy, for example, to give a negative reading. However, this is relatively rare because some signs of pregnancy usually become noticeable early on. At this point, most women take a test, which is then positive.
For more information, go to:
Tip: Avoid other common mistakes by carefully reading the instructions included in the pregnancy test.
False-Negative Pregnancy Test — How Can I Be Sure?
Do you doubt your negative test result because you tested too soon after sexual intercourse? In this case, you may want to retake the test later for a more reliable result or consult your medical provider.
Test negative but no period? Perhaps your period has been late for a week or two, and the test result is still negative, even after taking several tests.
Maybe you have experienced a shift in your menstrual cycle before. A delayed period can be caused by many factors, such as stress, travel, or certain medications. A medical check-up can provide certainty. Getting a lab test or ultrasound will help confirm your pregnancy status.
- 🤰Feel free to take our Online Pregnancy Test! Describe your symptoms in a multiple-choice format and receive an immediate professional evaluation.
Key Facts about Home Pregnancy Tests
💰 These inexpensive tests can be purchased at your local pharmacy. They are also available free of charge at most pregnancy resource centers.
🏠 The instructions are easy to follow and provide all essential information for you to take the test at home.
⏰ Take the test first thing in the morning. The test measures the pregnancy hormone beta-hCG, which is most concentrated in the urine after a long sleep.
💡 The test’s small absorbent strips contain beta-hCG antibodies. These react as soon as they come in contact with beta-hCG in the urine — displaying a positive result.
✅ Most pregnancy tests have a control window, which shows whether the test was performed accurately.
⏱ The test result will show within a few minutes.
Negative Test but Unsure: Mima's Story
"(...) On Thursday I took a pregnancy test out of sheer desperation. It was negative. Now I feel unsure whether that result is reliable. Lately I've had a lot of stress at work, but I've been under pressure before and never missed a period."
This experience was shared (in German) on Profemina's internet forum.
False-Positive Pregnancy Test?
A positive result means that pregnancy hormones are detectable in your urine. This usually means that you are pregnant. However, in rare cases, this diagnosis may turn out to be incorrect…
The pregnancy test was positive, but you are not pregnant. Here are several explanations:
- Pregnancy tests usually have a shelf life of up to one year and should be stored in a dry place. Your test may have been too old or defective.
- You may have been pregnant, but the pregnancy stopped progressing after you took the test, because of an early miscarriage. This often goes unnoticed during the early days and weeks of pregnancy.
- Certain medications (e.g., hormonal drugs or antidepressants) may have falsified the result.
- If you are going through menopause, the hormonal shift can affect the pregnancy test result. For detailed information, check the instructions or go to Pregnant During Menopause.
An Unintended Pregnancy — Can Produce Wide-Ranging Concerns and Emotions
Perhaps you already took another pregnancy test, and the result was positive — which was a complete surprise — and you can’t manage to wrap your head around it. Or perhaps you suspect you may be pregnant and feel anxiety well up at the thought of it. Can nothing seem to reassure you right now, not even several negative tests?
If either of these describes your situation and you feel unsure about your next step, use our free and unbiased digital coaching. Our tests were created based on many years of counseling experience. We have had the privilege of walking alongside many women experiencing surprise pregnancies. They discovered the unique path that matched their lived experience using our self-evaluations.
Why not give them a try?
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