When you’re trying to get pregnant, one of the most frustrating things is to take one pregnancy test after another and to have them all come back negative. However, did you know that pregnancy tests can show a negative result but you might in fact be pregnant? This article is intended to discuss why this can occur to provide you with more information if you ever find yourself in this situation.
However, if you would like to reduce the likelihood of this happening, it is important that you allow your period to occur before taking a pregnancy test. This gives your body a chance to secrete high enough concentrations of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, to ensure that even the least sensitive pregnancy tests can accurately tell you whether or not conception has occurred.
Reasons Why a False Negative Pregnancy Test Might Occur
If you don’t already know, a false pregnancy test is when you take a pregnancy test and it comes back with a negative result when you actually are pregnant. This can confuse some women. However, there are a few well-known reasons why false negative pregnancy tests can occur:
- Taking a Pregnancy Test Too Early – If you haven’t calculated your time of ovulation properly, if an implantation occurred later than you might have thought, or if you took a pregnancy test before your period is due, you might end up with a false negative test. Often, having too low of a concentration of hCG in your body before taking the pregnancy test is one of the primary reasons why a test will come back negative even if you are pregnant. Pay attention to the sensitivity of the pregnancy test that you’re using, especially if you’re taking the test before your missed period. Tests that only require an hCG concentration of 25 mIU can be used 4 to 5 days before a period is due whereas others might not be able to detect pregnancy until after your period has passed. The best precaution that you can take to ensure your result is accurate is to wait until after your period to take a pregnancy test, regardless of the sensitivity of the test that you choose to use.
- Improper Technique – Errors in technique while testing can be another common cause of false negative results. If you didn’t dip the stick according to the instructions, or if you used a midstream test and didn’t get the test saturated enough, you might have used improper technique while taking the test.
- Delayed Reaction Time – When it comes to pregnancy tests, timing is everything. Each pregnancy test that you purchase will have a specific reaction time that you must adhere to because if you don’t, your results will be inaccurate. As a result, you might have false negative results even if you are pregnant.
At-home pregnancy tests can be a challenge. If you take a test and get a negative result, it’s best to wait a few days before taking a test again. Generally, a negative result can mean three things. Specifically, it can mean that you aren’t pregnant, you took the pregnancy test too early, or you took the test incorrectly. If you’ve received mixed results after taking multiple tests, the best way to get an accurate answer is to visit your doctor for a blood pregnancy test.