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A false negative pregnancy test is something most women hope they are experiencing as they see the words, “Not Pregnant,” and/or the absence of a second line on their at-home pregnancy tests. It’s not easy to hope for something so much only to see that what you’ve spent weeks hoping and praying for hasn’t happened. For this reason, women begin to hope that their pregnancy test is nothing more than just a false negative test and they will soon be overjoyed to realize they are, in fact, expecting a child.
What Is A False Negative Pregnancy Test?
A false negative pregnancy test is a test that provides you with the result that you are not pregnant. It’s a test that is negative because of a reason beyond your control, not because you are not expecting a baby. A pregnancy test is false when it tells you that you are not pregnant even when you are. Otherwise, it’s just a negative pregnancy test. Designed to recognize and identify the amount of the pregnancy hormone, which you know as hCG, in your urine, home pregnancy tests are substantially accurate, but they are not perfect.
When you first see a negative result on your home pregnancy test, it might not mean anything to you but heartbreak. You might not realize that this result is not accurate. Sometimes it takes a few days or weeks for a woman to realize that her test result might actually be a false negative. Other times, women are so convinced they are pregnant that they refuse to take the results on their tests as anything other than false negative result. This might mean they take additional measures to find out whether or not they are expecting. This includes buying and using different pregnancy tests and asking their doctor to perform a blood test to determine the presence of a viable pregnancy.
What Can Cause A False Negative Pregnancy Test?
There are a number of factors to blame for a false negative pregnancy test. The most common however, is nothing you can control on your own or that your doctor can control. The most common reason for a false negative pregnancy test is the low level of hCG in your urine. This pregnancy hormone is a bit more complex than most women think. Some women don’t realize that it doesn’t start to produce in their body for several days to a week after they actually conceive.
The pregnancy hormone begins to develop when a fertilized eggs implants into the uterine wall of a woman’s body. However, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week before a fertilized egg makes its way down a woman’s fallopian tubes and into the uterus. It might take even longer for it to implant in the uterine wall and actually initiate the beginning of your pregnancy.
Once implanted, your body begins to produce hCG. Most women always have hCG present in their body at levels lower than 5 mIU. Anything below this level is considered not pregnant. Above this level, however, and a woman is considered pregnant. The level of hCG in your urine doubles every two to three days, but it’s different for every woman. Some women double faster and have higher levels of hCG much sooner than other women. Some women’s levels don’t double as quickly as other women. This means that while some women might be able to take an early result pregnancy test and see a positive result as many as six days before the expected date of their period, other women can’t – even though they are pregnant.
Most pregnancy tests are not designed to detect low levels of hCG. In fact, some of the most sensitive tests aren’t even designed to detect hCG in your urine until levels reach anywhere from 20 mIU to 25 mIU, though there are a few tests that boast they can detect levels lower than this. The most common reason for a false negative pregnancy test is a low hCG level in your urine. It might simply take you a bit longer to realize you’re pregnant because your levels aren’t high enough to detect at this point. Wait a day or two after testing and receiving a false result to try again. For the best possible results, wait until the day of your period to test.
Reasons For A False Negative Pregnancy Test
There are other reasons women might experience a false negative pregnancy test, though these are not as common as not having high enough levels of hCG. One reason is that the test you’re using is not working properly. It’s important that you check to see that tests are working properly. Digital tests indicate that they are in working order by showing a timer while calculating the hCG in your urine. Regular tests have a test window in which a blue line appears automatically when your urine reaches it to show that it is in working order.
Additionally, your test might be expired. It’s important to check the expiration date on a test before you use it. The chances of it working properly after the expiration date are not very high. Finally, you might simply be using your home pregnancy test incorrectly, which is what is giving you a false negative result. Not all tests are the same; you have to carefully read all sets of instructions to ensure you are using it correctly. If not, you might not get an accurate answer.
For example, many women don’t wait long enough to check the results. Most tests require you wait a few minutes before you check to see the accurate results. If you don’t wait long enough, you might see a negative result that isn’t true. Additionally, some women don’t understand that in a traditional test, it doesn’t matter how dark or faint the second line on the results window appears; if there is any indication of a line, it indicates you are pregnant.