It may be a baffling thing for a woman to experience – to have some of the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but to find, upon taking a home pregnancy test, that she is seemingly not pregnant. How is this possible, and what does it mean? We look at some of the possible reasons for this situation.
It could be a false negative
It could be that the pregnancy test was taken rather early. If it is taken before the date that a woman would have actually missed her period, then it will show up as a negative even when she is pregnant.
The home pregnancy test where a woman is typically required to pee on a stick measures the amount of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone present in the urine. The levels of this hormone in the urine increase very rapidly after the conception of a baby and the implantation of an embryo.
So if the test is taken too early, the hCG levels have not had the chance to reach detectable levels just yet. For instance in the 3rd week after the LMP (last monthly period) the hCG levels are just 5-50 mIU/mL, by 6 weeks after LMP, they are as high as 56,500.
The other reasons for the test coming out negative even if a woman is pregnant, is if the test is faulty or if it is past its date of expiration. And though it is difficult to pee on a stick wrong; a surprising number of home pregnancy tests show up faulty results because of improper use.
Conception may not have taken place
In a number of cases, if a woman is anxious and eager to get pregnant she may imagine some of the symptoms of pregnancy or she may misinterpret some signs as related to pregnancy in some way. So the symptoms may be more a product of a hopeful mind than the actual subsistence of a pregnancy.
In rare cases, it could be a false pregnancy (also called pseudocyesis or pseudo pregnancy) that causes the symptoms. The phenomenon of a false pregnancy is seen not only in humans but in many other mammals as well. This can create some very real symptoms of pregnancy in women, and make them genuinely believe that they are pregnant.
What to do
In a situation like this, the best thing to do is to consult with a doctor and have him/her take a blood test to confirm or negate a pregnancy. This will put to rest the speculation and clarify the situation.