Negative Pregnancy Test? What It Means - Pregnancy Center Plus

Negative Pregnancy Test? What It Means

A negative home pregnancy test may mean a woman is not pregnant.

A home pregnancy test detects the presence of HCG in the urine to determine pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, the levels of HCG in the blood and urine increase rapidly, doubling every few days. If the test is taken a day or two after a missed period, the chances of detecting HCG are higher.

However, “false negatives” are possible, meaning a woman is pregnant, but the test does not show it.

3 Reasons You Might Get a False Negative

  1. Took the test too early: If you take it too early, you might get a false-negative result because the test might not detect the HCG hormone yet. It’s best to wait until after the first day of a missed period to take the test.  
  1. Checked results too soon: Make sure to check the test results only after the time stated in the instructions. It’s a good idea to set a timer and not check the test until that time is up. 
  1. Wrong time of day: Take the test first thing in the morning, right after waking up. At this time, urine is the most concentrated, which makes it easier for the test to detect HCG.

The most common reason women get a false negative test is because it was the test was taken too soon. A false negative can also happen if the test is faulty or used incorrectly. Always check the test’s expiration date. If it’s past that date, don’t use it. Read and follow the test directions carefully.

The accuracy of a home pregnancy test can also be affected by the timing of ovulation, which can vary from month to month. Additionally, the point at which a fertilized egg implants in the uterus can impact when HCG is produced and detectable by a pregnancy test. Irregular menstrual cycles can also complicate results by making it difficult to determine when a period is due.

If you get a negative test result, but you still think you might be pregnant, we can provide lab-quality pregnancy testing at no cost. Call us at 513-321-3100 or schedule at the top of this page.

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Mayo Clinic

Posted on May 30, 2023 View the blog

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