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Is it Possible to be Pregnant if the Pregnancy Test is Negative?

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.

  • shannon

    Hi i had a 2 day period on the 20th of September i done 4 test two where strip ones and came positive 2 where asda ones and was negative i am due on in a few days but no period symptoms witch is unusual for me could i be pregnant or is it stress related?

  • RR Franz

    You can be pregnant and still have a negative result : there is another reason that you could be coming up negative. There are four types of pregnancy hormone the human body produces not just one. The test used today test only for type A hCG, (the most common in humans in early pregnancy). Yet there are three other types not tested for (all four types are usually produced in the third trimester) …The reason you would still be having periods is because hCG needs to be in enough amounts to trigger the pituitary gland to stop the period.
    If you believe yourself to be pregnant even when having periods (because other pregnancy symptoms appear) take care of yourself as if pregnant . Take herb supplement to decrease mentreal flow for at least 5 months , by then you should be able to know weather you are pregnant for sure …Advice from a mom of six (with period, early negative until after 5 months babies)

  • RR Franz

    It could be both . If some of the test came back positive you do have hCG in your urine… stress can also make you late. I would go with the positve result though…. hCG is only in the body when pregnant > unless you are taking hCG suppliments for weight loss

  • Gaby

    hi I haven’t had a period in 3 months I’ve took multiple of tests and they have all came out to be negative wat should I do ?

  • shiela

    i’am delayed for a 2months..so i decide to use a pt kit but the result is negative but i feel that i’am pregnant what should i do?

  • Maggie

    My husband and I had been using the ovulation sticks which showed I was ovulating Feb 2-4 my period was supposed to start on Feb 10th but did not start until Feb 24th , I started spotting, and had a medium to light period I usally have a very heavy one.. I have taken several pg test but all have come back negative, is it possible I am/was pregnant?

Last modified: March 7, 2014

The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.