Experiencing pregnancy symptoms but negative tests is one sensitive issue for several women and couples because the news of pregnancy can be exciting or scary. Whether you intend to get pregnant or not, the occurrence of positive symptoms is enough and can be unsettling before a confirmation. It even gets worse when the tests say otherwise.
How do women deal with these emotional roller coasters? To begin, let’s understand the workings of pregnancy tests.
How Pregnancy Tests Function
The bodies of women with fetuses release a certain hormone. It’s popularly known as hCG, an acronym for “hormone human chorionic gonadotropin,” usually present in the urine. Many kinds of pregnancy tests may not be able to detect it in the samples when it is available at low levels. They only do this when the hCG is high.
However, some other sensitive forms of pregnancy tests can determine its existence even at low levels. The first day a woman misses her period is different because most kinds of tests can accurately sense any conception.
Usually, you would have to run a second test for confirmation, but only after about a week. This wait ensures that this hormone level in your body rises to the amount noticeable during tests. It’s no secret that ultrasound and blood tests are the most trustworthy methods, only that they aren’t as commonly used as urine sample tests.
Symptoms But No Pregnancy?
Maybe you begin to feel weird one morning. Your period is overdue for days, your energy level is low, your breasts are swollen, and perhaps you experience other symptoms.
Then, you carry out a test, and it turns out negative. Whether this may sound like good or bad news to you, a negative pregnancy result isn’t always conclusive that you are not pregnant. You must understand that many outcomes are possible, from real and fake positives to true and false negatives. Anything could just show up.
Why This Happens And What To Do
Here are the various reasons why these disparities happen. For this write-up, let’s call the two main outcomes scenarios and have the underlying reasons below them. For each of these instances, we will always tell you the viable solutions.
1. Scenario One: You Are Pregnant
Your Test Is Too Early
When you initiate this test too soon, the result will most likely be negative. Suppose it’s too far from the expected date of your period. In that case, the hCG hormones in the urine won’t be sufficient to indicate a positive(or the correct) result.
These hormones need time to build up in you. You will have to be patient for a few more days or even past the due date for your period before running another one.
You Are Testing Too Late In The Day
Here’s another way you can get a negative result even when you are pregnant. This possibility readily occurs when you have conceived newly. At this early stage, the pregnancy hormones in your urine are too low to be detected, especially later in the day(afternoon or evening).
You must have started drinking water and got your urine diluted. The solution to this is that you carry out this test first thing in the morning when you haven’t drunk any water or fluids yet when your urine is still concentrated.
Your System Is Over-Hydrated
You may still be with a child or children, but test negative. For those of us who are in the habit of drinking a lot of water, this can happen. While staying hydrated is always a commendable nutritional and medical practice, you will need to do otherwise hours before running this test.
Too much fluid in the body dilutes these hormones. Besides, you would have peed more frequently and flushed out the hormones along with your urine. This doesn’t mean that you have to stay off water completely, but drink very little the night before and perhaps nothing in the morning before you test.
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You Used The Kit Wrongly
You may have been ignorant of certain instructions, or too confident about the usage, or hasty, or even tensed up. Whichever is the case, you made mistakes in following the instructions.
The various ways you could err include not allowing the urine to make enough contact with the strip, peeing on the wrong side of it, and not positioning it horizontally and face up.
Perhaps you wasted time doing other things before checking the result. Any or some of these reasons could contribute to altering the results. The solution to this is to read the instructions again and ensure you understand them.
Also, you can seek assistance from trained and experienced personnel on how to use the test strip. You want to be calm and composed before trying it out again.
Your Test Kit Is Bad
Maybe you don’t think this is possible, but it does happen. Whatever is manufactured can be faulty for any reason. It could be damaged or even expired. Even mere exposure to extreme temperatures(very cold or very hot) can lead to this outcome. I’m sorry if this sounds too weird. It’s a possibility.
The way around this situation is to purchase a second kit from another location or store. With two tests from different dealers and probably with different manufacturing or expiry dates, you will up your chances in this regard.
A Rarely Unusual Condition
Perhaps you have conceived but have a scarce form of pregnancy. Cryptic, ectopic, and later-state pregnancies could be the reality here. In the cryptic condition, the regular tests cannot detect anything. It will always yield a negative status, not until the later stages of the pregnancy.
During ectopic pregnancy, the eggs fertilize and grow outside the uterus. Thus, the hCG levels aren’t always sufficient to indicate anything on a test strip. In the later-state pregnancy, tests will most likely turn negative, even when you have conceived for a long time. If you suspect any of these situations, then seek medical attention as soon as possible.
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2. Scenario Two: You Are Not Pregnant
You Are Yet To Experience Your Period
The Premenstrual Syndrome(PMS) experienced by women shares a lot of similarities with actual pregnancy. Women in any of these situations have tender and swollen breasts, cramps, voracious appetite, nausea, fatigue, and mood swings. You can see that the body’s hormones could be playing tricks on you here.
There’s no need to be angry or sad. It’s merely nature playing out. It means your body system is functioning as supposed. This PMS stage typically occurs between ovulation and menstruation. What you can do to remedy this situation is to allow some days to elapse.
If you are pregnant, your period will not come. If you are just having your PMS, then your period will show up, and any other test will be negative.
You Are Ovulating
Women experiencing ovulation still tend to think they might be pregnant. However, this one is not as tricky as the condition stated above, the one of PMS. Ovulation would usually show up at the midpoint of a menstrual cycle. Symptoms such as cramps, tender breasts, and maybe nausea could manifest, leading you to think you have conceived.
This situation is mostly possible for women who have irregular cycles or who don’t usually keep track of their cycles. If you happen to find yourself in this category, then being patient for the next 15 days might be your readily available option. By then, it would be obvious if you were pregnant or not.
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You Are Experiencing Psychosomatic Symptoms
Here is another funny and tricky one. It happens to women who desperately want to get pregnant. Their brains and psychology have been so wired for this that, over time, the body falls in line and begins to play pranks. They begin to exhibit tendencies and symptoms of pregnancy. However, a test would most likely be negative.
Do you find yourself in this category where you are fatigued, have nausea, or experience cramps? I’m sorry if this piece of information negates all your expectations and effort, thereby bursting your bubbles.
You need to wake up to the reality and think objectively. Relax your mind and expectations. Then keep trying to be pregnant, but not so hard that you get played like this again.
Negative Impact Of Drugs
Another way of referring to this is side effects of drugs. Drugs that boost fertility and ones for other purposes can distort our body functions. The former is intended to improve your hormone levels. These fertility therapies can induce the same symptoms of pregnancy and PMS in your body.
Hence, you may be experiencing bloating, cramps, mood swings, nausea, etc. The most suitable solution to this isn’t necessarily stopping the said medication. It is to consult your doctor for expert advice. It’s not supposed to be a problem as long as you follow professional medical advice and don’t further complicate things.
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Conclusion on: Pregnancy Symptoms But Negative Tests
We can see how possible it is to feel pregnant, but the tests say otherwise. Now, you know that you aren’t alone. This PMS stage typically occurs between ovulation and menstruation. What you can do to remedy this situation is to allow some days to elapse. If you are having PMS, then your period will show up, and any other test will be negative.