It is very common to think that you are pregnant if you miss a period. Besides, you might also be feeling other early signs of pregnancy such as:
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Slight bleeding or cramping
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Food aversions or cravings
- Mood swings
But you have taken a pregnancy test and the results say you are not pregnant. You might be guessing if it is possible to get a false negative, meaning you are pregnant. On the opposite side, you can have these symptoms, and not be pregnant. To learn more about what a negative pregnancy result means keep reading.
Pregnancy test kits work by detecting the hCG hormone, which is usually only present in your body if you are pregnant. Here are the 4 most common causes of having a negative result.
1. Low hCG Levels
Even if you have a negative result you may still be pregnant because levels of hCG early in pregnancy are too low for the pregnancy test to notice.
Studies have shown that most tests can only notice hCG levels above 25 mlU/mL. That’s why they are only accurate 99% of the time. So it is important to find a home pregnancy test that could notice levels as low as 12.4mlU/mL.
You have to understand that sometimes a woman might not have high enough hormone levels at the time they missed their period.
As a woman it is important to understand how the menstrual cycle works and know that there could be approximately a 13-day variation in when ovulation takes place, this could mean that you could think you are 4 weeks when in reality you are only two weeks along.
If you think you are pregnant you have two options you can wait a few days and perform another home pregnancy test or you can go to your doctor so he/she could perform a blood test.
A blood test can tell if you are pregnant about six to eight days after you ovulate.
Your doctor might also suggest an ultrasound to make sure you are pregnant and also to determine your baby’s age and growth. You can also find out your due date.
2. Medical Conditions
Missed or late periods can have many reasons besides being pregnant. Some of the most common reasons are hormonal imbalances and serious medical conditions. Also, it is normal for women to have irregular periods when they first begin and when menopause starts.
Here are some of the conditions why you can miss a period:
- Low body weight
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Birth control
- Celiac disease
- Early peri-menopause
- The overactive or underactive thyroid gland
Breastfeeding is another common cause that delays your period. Many women don’t get periods during the months they nurse, and some get them irregularly.
You have to remember that your hormones are also responsible for breastfeeding. The hormone in charge of breast milk production is called prolactin and is produced by the pituitary gland. It can also prevent menstruation.
Once you stop breastfeeding and your prolactin levels slow down, your menstrual cycle will go back to normal.
4. Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus. Commonly occurs in the fallopian tube, which carries eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.
Some women who have an ectopic pregnancy can have early signs of pregnancy:
- A missed period
- Breast tenderness
It is important to notice that less than 3% of ectopic pregnancies show negative results.
Finally, another reason why you may get a negative result even if you are pregnant is that you are using an expired pregnancy test. Make sure to check the packaging for the date and keep your test between 2-30° Celsius.
If your period is one to two weeks late, and the test result is negative, go to your gynecologist to determine the cause, especially if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Serious pain on one side of your abdomen
- Vaginal bleeding
- Shoulder pain
- Serious pelvic pain
Remember, it is in your best interest to test that everything is alright. Don’t wait it is your health and life at risk.