My Stomach Is Getting Bigger But Pregnancy Test Is Negative: What To Do?

So, you are having pregnancy symptoms, 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 tested too early. It is also likely if you do 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 as long as 20 weeks before confirming their pregnancies.

Pregnancy symptoms, negative test

Noticing your belly getting bigger when tests give out negative results can become quite 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.

Mostly, they are detectable for as early as one week after the egg becomes fertilized. They will continue to increase as the fetus develops and peaks 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 is 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 if you like. 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 are having 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 other symptoms like severe abdominal and pelvic pain that can risk a fallopian tube rupture.

Negative pregnancy tests may also mean that 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 for 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 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 the conventional test methods cannot detect. It is often a shock to some moms as they never have hints 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 when 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 for a couple more weeks may give you an accurate result.

If you’re still unsure, undergo a serum pregnancy blood test to clear your confusion or confirm your intuitions.

Ann Marie is a licensed nurse in the Philippines. She experienced handling and assisting deliveries of newborns into the world. She also trained in labor rooms and pediatric wards while in nursing school - helping soon-to-be mothers and little kids in the process. Though not a mother by nature but a mother by heart, Ann Marie loves to take care of her younger cousins as well as nephews and nieces during her free time.

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