Negative Pregnancy Test

This can be very frustrating to all women who want to conceive. Having a late period or the absence of menstruation, you patiently wait for a week after your expected menstrual period is due, only to get a negative test result. It becomes disappointing for most women but with enough knowledge, you can understand why it happens and you will know the important things to be considered to have a successful pregnancy.

What is a pregnancy test?

A pregnancy test checks a woman’s urine or blood. The test detects the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is made by the placenta and when human chorionic gonadotropin is present, it may indicate that a woman is pregnant.

Missed period and negative pregnancy result

Every woman’s cycle is difference and ovulation occurs at different times for different women. The standard 28-day cycle is a guide only. Several well-spaced pregnancy tests with a negative result are likely to mean that you are not pregnant. If you have missed a period and have several negative pregnancy test results, you should see your doctor for a blood test to confirm a positive or negative result.

The timing of a positive pregnancy test depends on implantation. If you are pregnant then a urine pregnancy test is not expected to be positive until, at the very earliest, three to four days after implantation. This is roughly 10 days after ovulation (around four days prior to the next menstrual period), and about 51 percent of pregnant women have a positive pregnancy test two days before their period is due.

Reasons for late menstrual period

  • Low oestrogen levels
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – roughly 10 percent of women suffer from PCOS and many don’t know that they have this condition. This condition is mainly characterised by hormonal imbalances. Symptoms include body hair, acne, weight gain, pain in the area of your ovaries, and heavy or irregular periods.
  • Menopause (or perimenopause) – This condition is not common to women who are of child-bearing age. The average age for the onset of menopause is around fifty, although early menopause can begin in a woman’s thirties.
  • Pregnancy resulting in a very early miscarriage.
  • Stress, anxiety or illness.

There are other reasons your period can be late but this is not an indicator of your fertility

After a negative pregnancy test, might I still be pregnant?

Yes, it is possible to get a false negative. Most home pregnancy tests (HPTs) suggest women to take the test again in a few days or a week if the result is negative. Your reading will depend on when you ovulated – if you ovulated later in your cycle then you may get a false negative result.

To help avoid a false negative, early morning urine has the highest levels of hCG, therefore you are likely to get a more accurate result if you test first thing in the morning. If you cannot use the first morning urine you need to use urine that has been building in the bladder for four hours or more.

Avoid drinking too much water before taking the test as it can dilute the hormone levels therefore raising the odds of a false result. If you have missed a period and have several negative pregnancy test results, you should see your doctor for a blood test to confirm a positive or negative result.

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