If you have been sexually active and have recently been experiencing pregnancy symptoms and/or your period is late, it would be easy to conclude that you may be pregnant. However, if you take a pregnancy test and it’s negative, where do you go from there? Is the test wrong? Could you still be pregnant? These are all common questions we get asked at Life Choice and we are here to talk about possible causes and what you should do next!
Possible Causes of a negative pregnancy test:
- You are not pregnant. This one is obvious and may sound rhetorical, but it is an important one to deeply consider! Sometimes, when we convince ourselves of something (ex: I’m pregnant), naturally, it can be hard to get that out of our minds! However, there are other cases such as: you’re not pregnant and are about to start your period (Pre-Menstruation Syndrome AKA “PMS”) that could be the cause of the symptoms you are experiencing. Since PMS symptoms and pregnancy symptoms are almost identical in some cases, it can be hard to tell what the true cause of your symptoms are.
- You are pregnant but are testing too early. This is the most common reason for a negative pregnancy test, when you are indeed pregnant. At-home pregnancy tests work by detecting levels of HCG (the pregnancy hormone) in your urine. Although they are designed to detect even the lowest levels of HCG, and many pregnancy test companies are advertising their ability to pick up HCG levels up to a week before your missed period which is earlier than ever, your body MUST have had time for your HCG levels to increase enough to be detectable by an at-home pregnancy test. If you are off on your dating at all (meaning the date of your last period) it may simply be too early to receive a positive result, even if you are pregnant. The best thing to do if this happens to you, is simply wait and re-test in a few days. It can be so hard to wait! But waiting the extra time will allow your body to build up the needed level of HCG to receive a positive result, if you are indeed pregnant.
- You are pregnant but misused the test or bought a faulty test.
Misusing the test: Waiting too long to look at the test results, peeing on the wrong strip on the test or simply misreading the result diagram that came with the test can all result in an incorrect result. Make sure to read the instructions for the test carefully, as each pregnancy test brand or type is different.
Faulty test: This is often a person’s go-to reason when they don’t receive the result they were expecting on an at-home pregnancy test, but this is extremely rare! Of course, anything is possible, the test could be expired even if you just bought it from the store (make sure and check expiration date before purchasing an at-home pregnancy test) or it could simply be a lemon! But again, this is extremely uncommon. If you question whether your result is accurate, buy a fresh test from a different store and retest to confirm your result. But after that, you can probably give it a rest for the day as it is highly, highly unlikely you will get two faulty tests in a row.
- You are pregnant but have a rare situation or condition.
There are certain pregnancy conditions such as ectopic pregnancy, cryptic pregnancy or later-state pregnancy that can lead to a false negative pregnancy test. In these less common cases, it’s best to seek care from your doctor’s office or confirm pregnancy via blood test or ultrasound.
If you receive a negative pregnancy test but still are unsure if you could be pregnant, our first suggestion for you is to simply wait a few days and try again! If you still receive a negative result after a few days and your period still hasn’t come, give us a call! Our medical staff would be glad to discuss your specific situation and determine if an in-person visit might help clear things up for you.
Free medical-grade pregnancy tests and ultrasounds in Russellville, Kentucky and Franklin, Kentucky
Life Choice Pregnancy Care Center offers free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy. All services are 100% confidential. Our staff is here to serve with compassion and absolutely NO judgment! Our nurses are here to provide high-quality care and can provide referrals to local OBGYN’s if additional care is needed.
Call us at 270-717-5433, text us at 270-883-2464 or schedule your free appointment online today!
Please be aware that Life Choice does not provide or refer for abortion services.
- https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/negative-pregnancy-test-but-feel-pregnant#its-the-medication Why You May Have Pregnancy Symptoms When The Test is Negative. Healthline. (Medically reviewed by Carolyn Kay, M.D. — By Sarah Bradley — Updated on February 15, 2023)