Are you experiencing all the telltale signs of early pregnancy but took a pregnancy test that came up negative? Feeling exhausted, bloated, nauseous and experiencing breast tenderness are all common signs of early pregnancy but they can frustratingly also be can be confusing. Not to mention super frustrating, especially when you are trying for a baby and looking out for any early signs or symptoms that indicate this month might be the one. If you feel pregnant but test negative, we feel your pain. There are a few reason why this can happen, and in this article we will discuss 5 of the most common and why they happen.
1. You are pregnant but tested too soon
Yes, there are pregnancy tests out there that can detect the level of hCG (the pregnancy hormone) up to five days before your missed period. However, the earlier you test, the less accurate the test result will be. If you can stand to wait until the day of your missed period to take a test, your result will be far more accurate due to the increased amount of hCG that will be present in your urine. When you test 3-5 days early, your test will still be pretty accurate but with an accuracy closer to 95% rather than 99% promised by most pregnancy test manufacturers from the first day of your missed period.
If you feel pregnant way before the recommended test window, it’s possible you are pregnant, but there is not enough hCG in your urine to trigger a positive pregnancy test result. The best thing to do if you feel pregnant but test negative is to wait a few days and then test again. Even a short space of time, like 72 hours, can make the world of difference in the amount of hCG present to trigger a positive pregnancy test!
2. You are pregnant but too hydrated
The more diluted your urine is, the less hCG will be present. This makes it harder to get a positive pregnancy test result even if you are pregnant. If you are one of those super hydrated types, firstly, I’m jealous, and secondly, you might just be too damn good at flushing your system, making it hard for a pregnancy test to pick up the hormone it needs to give a positive result.
We are not saying you should massively cut down your water intake, but either test first thing in the morning, when hCG levels are at their highest, or not drinking too much right before you intend to take the test.
3. You are pregnant but made an error when taking the test
Pregnancy tests are pretty straightforward, and if you are no stranger to them, you might rush into using one without taking a look at the instructions. It could be that you misaimed your pee at the wrong part of the test, didn’t lay it flat whilst waiting for the result or left it too long before checking the result. It’s possible to get a false negative result.
All pregnancy tests have a control line as well as the result line. If the control line isn’t present, this is a red flag that something has gone wrong in the process. Consult your pregnancy test instructions and take another test.
4. You are not pregnant, and your period is imminent
Frustratingly, the thing that mimics the early signs of pregnancy most closely is your period. When you think about it, it does make perfect sense because a lot of the same hormones are involved in both processes. The symptoms of PMS and pregnancy can overlap and can include breast tenderness, fatigue, nausea, increased appetite and cramping.
The best solution if you have the above symptoms and feel pregnant but get a negative result is to wait a few days, see if your period arrives and if not take another test.
5. You are pregnant, but something else is going on.
Sometimes, although super rare it’s possible to feel pregnant but test negative due to something else going on. These are a couple of less common scenarios where you might get a negative pregnancy test but still be pregnant that are worth being aware of.
- Ectopic pregnancy – This can happen when a fertilised egg implants outside the uterus. Sadly, ectopic pregnancies are not viable. The placenta won’t be able to grow as it should, which means your hCG levels may never rise to amounts detectable on a pregnancy test. You could, however, still experience other early pregnancy symptoms. Ectopic pregnancies are rare but can be serious if left untreated. So if you also have severe pain or vaginal bleeding, seek medical care ASAP.
- You are in a later stage of pregnancy – Most pregnancy tests sold over the counter are designed to detect the hCG pregnancy hormone within a certain range. Just like you can test too early before you have enough hCG in your urine, it’s also to go to the other extreme and test later than a home pregnancy test is intended to be taken and the hCG levels to be too high for the tolerance of the test.
How to cope with the ups and downs
If you have been trying to conceive for a while, you are probably fully aware there is a lot of waiting involved. Waiting to ovulate, the two-week wait, waiting to take a pregnancy test and then the longest five minutes known to man whilst waiting for your pregnancy test result to show up. Then if it doesn’t happen, the waiting starts all over again. It’s hard, and we fully understand how heartbreaking it can be to feel pregnant but test negative.
There are lots of reasons why you might get a negative pregnancy test even when your spidey senses tell you that you are expecting. Remember to stay calm, and if your test comes up negative, consider waiting a few days before trying another test. You never know it could make all the difference to getting the BFP!
If you are TTC, sometimes talking to women who are in the same boat as you can really help. That’s why we created the Hoopsy fertility community, where women can share their frustrations, talk about their symptoms as well as make new friends and ask for expert advice. The community is free to join and open now. Come in and say hi.