Negative pregnancy test results happen more than positive pregnancy test results statistically. This is due to many different reasons. We will go over the reasons why a negative test result happens, and what to do about it.
When it comes to a negative pregnancy test result, it really depends on when you test, how you test, and how you are feeling. If you don’t have any other types of pregnancy symptoms, or if you take a home pregnancy test shortly after intercourse and the result is negative, you may be testing way too early. Women need to wait at least 14 days and after they’ve missed a period before testing for the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Before then, the levels of pregnancy hormone are too low for most tests to read accurately.
Any type of pregnancy test, urine or blood, will only give you a positive result if it detects the hormone hCG. When an egg is fertilized after you ovulate, it takes about a week to travel through the fallopian tube to the uterus. It’s only after a fertilized egg implants in the uterus that your body starts producing hCG. Even then, it takes time to build up the levels of hCG in your body. So, even if you did conceive and you test too soon, you’ll receive a negative result because the fertilized egg hasn’t had time to become implanted. It’s as simple as that.
Unless you’re tracking your ovulation dates, most women have no clue when they ovulate. That’s why it’s important for her to wait until she misses a period. A menstrual cycle starts 14 days after ovulation, making the time frame for testing foolproof.
If you’re sure you’ve waited long enough and still receive a negative pregnancy test result, you’re probably not pregnant. There are many reasons why a woman misses her period. Most reasons are due to stress, illness, or a change in routine among others. Check out the Missed Period article in our Am I Pregnant section to learn more about why a period is delayed.
Still, there’s a small chance that you’ve waited long enough to test, you’re receiving negative test results and you are in fact pregnant. Like with any type of test, sometimes the results are wrong. All women are different and produce hCG at different times and in different amounts. In some cases, a woman doesn’t produce enough hCG to give accurate results, regardless of the time frame. It’s best to make an appointment with your doctor to get a pregnancy blood test done, as these tests can detect much lower amounts of hCG in a woman’s system.