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!


872 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

  2. I’ve had several negative pregnancy tests, light spotting 4 days before my missed period, and intense cramps. Would an ectopic pregnancy still show a positive pregnancy test result?

    1. Hello Amber Anne,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      Here is some information concerning ectopic pregnancies. An ectopic pregnancy would show a positive pregnancy test result. However, it is possible that an ectopic pregnancy can occur with a negative pregnancy test result. Signs of ectopic pregnancy do include light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. Other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are an upset stomach, vomiting, sharp abdominal cramping, pain located on one side of your body, in your shoulder, neck, or rectum, and dizziness or weakness. If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor for further direction. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
      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 at any time you have the above-listed symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, seek immediate 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, (this would rule out an ectopic pregnancy). 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

  3. Would an ectopic pregnancy still result in a pregnancy test coming positive? I’ve had 3 negative pregnancy tests and one negative hospital test but am experiencing nausea, backache, and light spotting that comes and goes

    1. Hello Amber Anne,
      I believe you have previously reached out to Your Options Medical with this inquiry. I am sending my response again with this additional instruction: If you have any concerns about having an ectopic pregnancy at this time, your best option is to speak with your doctor. He/she can order the appropriate tests necessary to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, which is a life-threatening situation that requires emergent treatment.
      Please feel free to reach out to Your Options Medical if we can be of further assistance.

      This is my original response to your 1st inquiry:

      Hello Amber Anne,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      Here is some information concerning ectopic pregnancies. An ectopic pregnancy would show a positive pregnancy test result. However, it is possible that an ectopic pregnancy can occur with a negative pregnancy test result. Signs of ectopic pregnancy do include light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. Other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are an upset stomach, vomiting, sharp abdominal cramping, pain located on one side of your body, in your shoulder, neck, or rectum, and dizziness or weakness. If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor for further direction. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
      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 at any time you have the above-listed symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, seek immediate 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, (this would rule out an ectopic pregnancy). 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

  4. I did pregnancy blood test n it shows negative and I did ultrasound but discovered a 2 white tiny egg-like shape. Does it mean I am pregnant

    1. Hello Kathleen,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      Blood pregnancy tests are typically very accurate in determining pregnancy. A question I have is: where did you have your Ultrasound done? The doctor who ordered the ultrasound would be able to give you the results of the test, which would include whether or not there was an indication that you are pregnant. I cannot say whether you are pregnant or not, the person who ordered the ultrasound for you could best answer your question.
      If your blood test came 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

  5. Hi, I had streaks of pink when I wiped when I was supposed to start my period last week Tuesday according to my Apple health app. This happened for 3 days and I never started my period. My lower back is aching as though I’m on my period but I have no flow. I took 2 home pregnancy tests and they came back negative. I am very regular (periods come every 27 days) and bleed heavily (at least I was up until last month). My breasts are tender and when pressed clear liquid comes out of both nipples and I almost threw up earlier today. I had low high levels in my last pregnancy and my doctor had trouble determining my due date (I terminated that pregnancy). I am now 46 and have 5 babies and 2 abortions – could this be perimenopause or me beginning menopause?

    1. Hello Rana,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern.
      Considering your age, these could possibly be signs of the beginning of menopause. However, it is not possible for me to determine this with any certainty.
      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 still 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 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

  6. I am 47 years old and my period is 29 days late. I took a pregnancy test when I was 5 days late and it was negative. I have a mild headache that comes and goes. Also I have cramps that comes and goes. Sometimes I feel like my period is going to come on but nothing. I am having cravings to certain foods and sometimes I feel very hungry. Could I be going through perimenopause?

    1. Hello Gigi,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern.
      Considering your age, these could possibly be signs of the beginning of menopause. However, it is not possible for me to determine this with any certainty.
      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 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). That 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

  7. Hi I am 35 years old. I keep getting negative results on my at home pregnancy tests. So I went to doctor because I am 12 days late on my period. They said I was pregnant cause of very faint line on urine test. I took 3 more test at home and they are still negative. I am really pregnant. I do have mild cramps

    1. Hello Jerri,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      At this point, 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 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

  8. Hi I am 35 years old. I keep getting negative results on my at home pregnancy tests. So I went to doctor because I am 12 days late on my period. They said I was pregnant cause of very faint line on urine test. I took 3 more test at home and they are still negative. I am really pregnant. I do have mild cramps

    1. Hello Jerica,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your question.
      At this point, 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 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

  9. Hi
    I am 49 years old I had my iud taken out June 30 and had an immediate pierod then in August another on but nothing in September or so far October. I’m very sexually active. But lately my lower right back hurts and my right side in the front. I have tested both negative is this normal ? What should my next step be Thank you

    1. Hello Mary,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern.
      At 49 years of age, if your periods were regular, and now they are not, this could be a symptom of perimenopause. But, I still cannot say that this is what is definitely happening. Pain in your right low back and right front side could be an indication of a number of things. You don’t want to ignore this pain. I recommend you consult with your doctor. You could ask for a blood pregnancy test. This way, pregnancy can be confirmed or ruled out, and your doctor can further assess your symptoms.
      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

  10. Hi i have a big problem I’ve been testing for pregnant test but they came back negative ,more than 10 times and i have the symptoms of pregnancy but still negative and i went for ultrasound and it shows nothing my period I not normal for the past 7month,I do spot for 2-3days or a light bleeding this has been happening since May 2022, July and August I didn’t spot nothing happened then September I did spot but now I’ve been feeling some movements in my belly and i don’t know what to do

    1. Hello Connie,
      Thank you for reaching out to Your Options Medical with your concern.
      A blood pregnancy test and Ultrasound are the best tests to confirm pregnancy. I recommend you contact your doctor and tell him/her your symptoms and concerns. They may want to do a blood pregnancy test and repeat the ultrasound. If these tests come back negative, you can then discuss your symptoms with the doctor and they can advise you from there.
      If your blood test comes back positive, 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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