Can You Be Pregnant if the Pregnancy Test is Negative?
It can be disheartening to see that negative pregnancy test when you are trying to get pregnant. There are a couple of reasons why your pregnancy test would show a negative result when you are actually pregnant and we will discuss them below. To lessen the chances of this happening, it is advisable that you wait until after your period is due to take a pregnancy test. This will allow the hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) to reach a high enough concentration in your system so even the least sensitive pregnancy tests can detect your pregnancy and give you that positive result that you are longing for.
Causes of False Negative Pregnancy Tests
A false negative result is when your pregnancy test says you are not pregnant, when you really ARE pregnant. There are several reasons why you might get a false negative result.
- Testing Too Early
If you calculated when you ovulated incorrectly, or if implantation occurred later than you thought, taking a pregnancy test, before your period is due, could produce a false negative result. If the hCG has not had enough time to build up to a detectable level, a test one day could be negative but testing a day or two later could show a positive result. Knowing the sensitivity of the pregnancy test you are using can help you find out if you are pregnant earlier. Tests with a sensitivity of 25 mIU can pick up hCG at around 4 to 5 days before your period is due. If you test with a pregnancy test with a higher sensitivity, you may not get a positive test result until 1 or 2 days later. The best way to prevent this from happening is not test until after when your period should have started. Even the least sensitive pregnancy tests on the market should show a positive result at this point.
- Unreliable Technique
There is a possibility that, when using a pregnancy test strip, you did not dip it as per the instructions. If you used a midstream pregnancy test, it could be that the test did not get saturated enough to register accurate results. These errors in technique may give false negative results.
- Overlooked Reaction Time
For accuracy, it is essential that you read the pregnancy test results in the stipulated reaction time listed on the instructions. All test kits indicate their specific reaction time. If you let the test sit for too long (after the instructions on the box tell you), the test is invalid. This may cause it to show false negative results.
If the home pregnancy test shows negative results but you still think you could be pregnant, wait a few days and try again. A negative result can mean three things. Either you are not pregnant, or you took the test too early or you took the test wrong. Also, if you have received different answers on multiple pregnancy tests, it is recommended that you get a blood pregnancy test done to get an accurate answer.