How Common Is A False Negative Pregnancy Test And What Causes It?



Using Home Pregnancy Tests

Home pregnancy tests are the quickest and easiest way to find out if you are pregnant. Pregnancy tests work by measuring the amount of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) present in your urine. Most standard home pregnancy tests tell you to wait until you have missed a period to test. The results are more accurate when you do this.

If you are unable to wait and need to know sooner, you can take a pregnancy test 2 or 3 days before your period is due. Most brands of pregnancy tests are about 97% accurate. You do need to follow the instructions and read the test in the time stated. If you do not, you need to take another test as any results you get could be invalid.

It is advisable to buy pregnancy tests that have more than one test in the kit. You can test again if you are unsure of the result or just want to see the positive, or negative, result again.

What is a False Negative Pregnancy Test Result?

A false negative pregnancy test indicates that you are NOT pregnant when, in fact, you are. This can lead to quite a bit of confusion and anxiety. To avoid this error, you must be aware of the possible causes for this result.

What Causes a False Negative Pregnancy Test Result?

1. Testing To Early

One of the most common reasons for a false negative result is testing too early. For accurate results, give your body time to produce enough hCG. Every pregnancy test has a certain level of hCG required for a positive result to show up. Sensitivity levels vary from pregnancy test to pregnancy test.

Most brands will show a positive result if you are pregnant around the time your period is due. Best bet is to wait until you have missed your period before testing. Even pregnancy tests that say you can 3 or 4 days before your period might show a false negative results if you test too early.


The pregnancy hormones don’t increase the same in every woman. If implantation and hCG production happens later than expected, you might not get an early positive result. A negative result, in this case, would be a false negative.

2. Not Following Test Directions

In your intense desire to find out if you are pregnant, you rip open the package as soon as you get home, pee and soak the test. Did you look at the instructions before you did that? There is a chance that you didn’t, and that could negatively affect the reliability of the test results. Some tests will tell you how long to dip or urinate on the test. Wetting the test for too little time or for too long can create unreliable results.

3. Reading Test Results at The Wrong Time

Be sure you read the test results within the time range listed in the pregnancy test instructions. If you read the results too early, you could end up with a false negative test result. Patience and a timer are both called for if you want accurate test results.

Reading the results after the time frame in the instructions can show incorrect results too. How many people freak out after seeing a very faint line on the pregnancy test 2 hours after throwing away? Well, while it might be a positive, you should never consider it a positive at that point.

Any changes in the test that you see after the time frame outlined in the test instructions are invalid. Test again with a new pregnancy test and follow the directions well this time. Using a timer will help avoid any time related invalid results.

A negative result on a home pregnancy test COULD mean that you are not pregnant. It could also mean you took the test too early, or that there was a problem with the technique or timing.

If you think you are pregnant and are having pregnancy symptoms, it could mean you had a false negative pregnancy test result. Wait a few days and test again. If you get different results with other home pregnancy tests, contact your healthcare provider. A blood pregnancy test might be necessary to find out if you are pregnant or not.





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