Can you still be pregnant if the pregnancy test is negative?

When you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s heartbreaking take one pregnancy test after another and have them all show negative results.  Did you know that pregnancy tests can show a negative result but you might actually be pregnant? Keep reading to find out the reasons why a false negative pregnancy test result might happen.   That negative result may not actually be a true negative result.

The Basics of Getting Pregnant

Before you test, you really need to have a basic understanding about what leads up to a positive pregnancy test.  If you have a period every 28 days, this would be the  basic timeline of your cycle:

  1. Your period starts (Day 1)
  2. You ovulate (Around Day 14)
  3. Conception occurs if you timed things right and luck was on your side.  (Around day 14 or 15)
  4. Implantation occurs and hCG starts rising. (Typically between 6 and 12 days after ovulation)
  5. Pregnancy test may show a “You’re Pregnant!” result.  (2 to 3 days after implantation)
  6. Your period starts if you are not pregnant.

You will only get a positive result if the hCG (pregnancy hormone) levels are high enough.


My pregnancy test says negative. Could it be wrong?


Reasons Why a False Negative Pregnancy Test Might Occur

A false negative  is when you take a pregnancy test get a negative result but are actually are pregnant. This can confuse some women. There are a few well-known reasons why false negative pregnancy tests can occur:

  • Taking a Pregnancy Test Too Early –   If you don’t know when you ovulated or when your next period is due, it’s very easy to test too early.    If implantation occurred later than you  thought, you will also end up with a false negative test result. If the concentration of hCG  in your body is too low,  a pregnancy test will show a negative result. Pay attention to the sensitivity of the pregnancy test that you’re using., especially if you’re testing before your period is due to start. Tests that require an hCG concentration of 25 mIU can be used 4 to 5 days before a period is due.  Tests that detect  a higher hCG level (50 to 100 mIU)  might not be able to detect pregnancy until after your period was due to start. To ensure your pregnancy test result is accurate, it’s advisable wait until after your period doesn’t arrive  to take a pregnancy test.
  • Improper Technique – Errors in technique while testing can be another common cause of false negative results. You can get invalid false negative results if you didn’t dip the pregnancy test strip according to the instructions.  When using a midstream test, it is easy to under saturate the test.  Both of this issues can result in negative results even if you are pregnant.  Take another test, following the instructions
  • Delayed Reaction Time – When it comes to pregnancy tests, timing is everything. Each pregnancy test  will have a specific reaction time that you have to read the text results by. If you don’t, your results have to be considered  inaccurate. Many women will see a negative result and then come back later and see faint line.  In cases like this,  you still have to consider the result a negative because you didn’t read the test in the time frame the instructions state. As a result, you might have false negative results even if you are pregnant.  You will have to test again.
  • Using Diluted Urine –  At the early stages of your pregnancy, you will have very low levels of hCG in your urine.  Adding liquid to your system has the potential to dilute the concentration of hcg in your urine.  When this happens, some pregnancy tests won’t accurately detect the pregnancy.  If you test first thing in the morning,  you should have concentrated urine.   At the very early stages of your pregnancy, women love testing multiple times throughout the day.  Due to diluted urine this could cause some stressful confusion. Don’t freak out if you have been eating and drinking as normal and get negative result.  You might have just diluted your urine to a “non positive” level.  Wait and test again in the morning, or don’t drink anything for several hours and then test.

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 testing again. A negative result can mean three things. It can mean that you aren’t pregnant, you took the pregnancy test too early, or you took the test incorrectly. If you keep getting positive and then negative results,  you should visit your doctor for a blood pregnancy test.