Is it Possible to Have a False-Negative Pregnancy Test Result?

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False-Negative Pregnancy Tests

At Your Options Medical, we have found that when many of our patients have a negative pregnancy test result, they assume they are not pregnant. However, this is not always the case. False negative pregnancy tests do occur. Here is how it works:

A urine pregnancy test detects the hormone called hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). This is the hormone your body produces during pregnancy. When urine is being tested for the presence of this hCG hormone and a woman is pregnant, the result of the pregnancy test should read positive. However, there are a few reasons a pregnancy test can give a false test result including the following:

  • In early pregnancy, the hCG hormone levels may be too low for a pregnancy test to detect. The earliest time to test for an accurate result is 7-10 days after a missed period.
  • The best time of day to take a pregnancy test is first thing in the morning when a woman’s urine is highly concentrated. Because urine may be less concentrated later in the day, the test may not be able to detect the hCG hormone.
  • If you have had a negative pregnancy test, but are experiencing pregnancy-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, tiredness, loss of appetite, etc. it is always best to contact your doctor to access for causes unrelated to pregnancy.
  • There is always the possibility of human error when performing home pregnancy tests. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Most pregnancy tests require you to let the test set for 3-5 minutes. If the test is left beyond the recommended set time, this could produce a false test result.
  • If you had a tubal ligation (i.e. tubes tied), are experiencing pregnancy-like symptoms, and test negative on a pregnancy test, contact your medical doctor to assess for causes unrelated to pregnancy.

If you think you might be pregnant because you have missed your period, know that there are other reasons besides pregnancy. To learn more, check out our blog.

Contact Us

If you think you might be pregnant, Your Options Medical can offer you pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling at no cost to you and insurance is not required.


Contact us today to learn more!

848 responses to “Is it Possible to Have a False-Negative Pregnancy Test Result?

  1. I had a mishap with the condom the last time my ex and i had sex roughly five weeks ago. I’ve been nauseous everyday primarily in the mornings and evenings for the past two weeks (i threw up a couple times around two weeks after we did the deed), my boobs hurt, my sense of smell has been through the roof, my period was super light (i usually have to use ultra tampons but this time i only needed panty liners), and my discharge has been unusual and way more than normal.
    my pregnancy tests have been negative and when i googled about the discharge the only explanations were ovulation or pregnancy but both tests came negative. what do you think?😅

    1. Hello Marissa,

      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern.

      I am wondering if you have missed your period yet. Typically, we recommend the best time to take a pregnancy test is one week after you are due to start your period. Also, the best time to test is first thing in the morning. If the test reads negative, we recommend testing again in about one week. You may want to consider requesting a blood pregnancy test from your primary care physician or OB/GYN as these tests are more accurate at detecting pregnancy than urine tests. This way if pregnancy is ruled out, your doctor can further assess your symptoms.

      If symptoms persist and pregnancy tests continue to be negative, seek medical attention.

      If your blood test comes back positive, the next step would be to have an ultrasound to determine if you are definitely pregnant. You would want to ensure the person performing the ultrasound confirms the following four things: 1). If the pregnancy is in the uterus. 2). Measure to determine the dating of your pregnancy (how far along you are). 3). If there is a detectable heartbeat. 4). If there are multiple babies or just one.

      At Your Options Medical, we provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling. To schedule your confidential appointment, please call or text 508-251-9022.

      Thank you, again for reaching out, and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any further help.

      Best Regards,

      Barbara, RN

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