How to Handle a False Negative Pregnancy Test


Have you heard of anyone saying that they were not aware of being pregnant until later? Yes, it is possible for some women to discover they are pregnant at a later point, because their test result came out negative, when actually they were pregnant.

It may so happen sometimes, that your pregnancy test shows negative when you take the test suspecting you may have conceived. Your blood test can also show negative when you get it tested, because you feel all the signs of a possible pregnancy. And the test also comes out as negative. Feeling all disappointed, you go on with your regular activities and the next month again your period is missing, you get it tested once again and finally it shows positive!

how to handle a false negative pregnancy test

It is weird and scary when you not know of being pregnant. This is a rare occurrence, but it is possible to have false negative test more than once when you are positively pregnant. Pregnancy tests determine the result based on hCG hormone in urine or blood sample. This hormone is produced when the embryo gets attached to the uterine wall and is necessary for progression of healthy pregnancy. Most of the times, the test shows accurate results by picking up hCG hormone. In some cases, hCG is not detected due to too much production of this hormone or too less of it, and this could show wrong test results.

Reasons for a false negative test

Not following test kit instructions

There are different types of kits available in the market and each model may have its own specific instruction set. If you don’t read them properly, fail to comprehend the instructions correctly or rush through the testing, it may not give accurate results. You should also check for the expiration date of the kit before using it. Sometimes the kit may be faulty and may not work properly.

Sensitivity of kits

Some home pregnancy test kits may not be able to detect the presence of hCG hormone, when the levels are low in the body. The presence of any impurities in the urine can also affect the test results.


If you are under medications for certain allergies or diuretics, the test results get impacted and show a false negative test.

High levels of hCG

In certain cases, women may have high concentrations of hCG in their blood and this could also cause home tests and blood tests to not detect the hormone properly and lead to false negative result. Too much production of hCG may happen in case you are pregnant with twins or triplets. Higher hCG levels may give misleading results.

Ectopic pregnancy

This is a rare case where the pregnancy happens outside of the womb. The fetus starts to develop in the Fallopian tube itself, instead of the uterus. In this case, it may not be possible for test kits to detect hCG levels and so it shows false negative. Even if hCG is detected, its levels may not increase as seen in normal pregnancy. Such pregnancies cannot be continued and are also potentially fatal to women, if not detected early and removed.

How to avoid false negative test?

  • If the first test comes out as negative and your periods still don’t show up after waiting for another week, you can take another test. hCG levels in pregnancy keep increasing every two to three days and by waiting for some days, the test kit may be able to detect the presence of hormone better.
  • For proper detection of hCG in urine, it is recommended by doctors to take the test first thing in the morning after waking up. Also, it must be ensured that the kit in not diluted by water or impurities before taking the test.
  • If you find that the test results continue to show negative even when you feel all the symptoms of pregnancy, it is wise to talk to your doctor, who may recommend an ultrasound scan for accurate determination.
  • If you feel that you may be pregnant, even though the test is negative, it is always a good idea to make healthy lifestyle changes to be on the safe side. Because, your habits definitely have an impact on the developing baby’s health, in case you really are expecting!


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