So, you are having pregnancy symptoms, and your belly is getting bigger, but the pregnancy test still yields a negative result. Fret not, because false-negative does happen sometimes. A negative pregnancy test is possible if you are tested too early. You will also likely not have enough pregnancy hormones in your urine. If you think you are pregnant while having a negative result, you can wait a couple more weeks and test again. Some women can go for 20 weeks before confirming their pregnancies.
Pregnancy symptoms, but a negative test
Noticing your belly getting bigger when tests give negative results can become confusing.
It can even sound disappointing for some moms who are excited about their pregnancy.
There are many reasons why pregnancy results come out negative.
1. Low hCG hormones
You may be pregnant, but the hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin) has not built up yet.
Thus, it goes undetected from your urine or blood, so you get a negative result. hCG are hormones produced by the cells around the developing embryo and are the basis of over-the-counter pregnancy tests.
They are mostly detectable as early as one week after the egg fertilizes.
They will continue to increase as the fetus develops and peak at the eighth to eleventh week of the pregnancy.
2. Broken pregnancy test kit
A home pregnancy test kit can malfunction and produce inaccurate results. It’s true for expired test kits or those stored in a hot environment.
When it happens, you can take a new one or contact your doctor for a serum pregnancy blood test.
The blood test is about 99% accurate since it can detect even the lowest hCG level in your blood.
3. Multiple pregnancies
When you are carrying multiple babies, there is a chance that the test may malfunction.
For example, if you have twins or triplets, the hCG can spike to a high level, known as the high-dose effect.
A home test kit may not accurately determine high doses of hormones and give out a false negative instead. So if your belly is getting unusually bigger, and you are generating negative results, a serum test or ultrasound is more reliable.
4. Rare causes
In rare cases, negative test results occur when your hCG hormone does not react with the anti-hCG chemicals in the PT.
Low hormones are also possible when the embryo plants itself outside the uterus, known as ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency that needs an immediate appointment with your doctor.
It’s often accompanied by symptoms like severe abdominal and pelvic pain that can risk a fallopian tube rupture.
Negative pregnancy tests may also mean you have other underlying health conditions that give you a bigger belly.
If you suspect something else, check with your doctor for early detection and medication.
Will a pregnancy test detect multiple pregnancies?
Multiple pregnancies can elevate the hCG hormone making it hard to distinguish an accurate PT test result.
But no, a pregnancy test is not a conclusive result for single or multiple pregnancies.
Which is better, a home pregnancy test kit or a serum test?
A serum test is more accurate and reliable than a home test kit. But the latter is more convenient for confirming pregnancy at home, granting the hormones have built up enough for detection.
Is there a possibility that pregnancy tests will not detect pregnancy at all?
There are cases called cryptic pregnancies that even conventional test methods cannot detect.
It’s often a shock to some moms as they never hinted that they are pregnant. They only know through intense tummy pain and a trip to the ER. The baby is due for delivery right there and then, in some cases.
Women experiencing pregnancy symptoms often take pregnancy tests to confirm their hunches. But there are reasons why home test kits can give false results, especially when the hCG level is too low or too high for detection.
If you think you are experiencing physical symptoms of pregnancy, waiting a couple more weeks may give you an accurate result.
If you’re unsure, undergo a serum pregnancy blood test to clear your confusion or confirm your intuitions.