What causes a false negative result on a pregnancy test?

false negative test

When you are eagerly waiting to become a mother, a false negative home pregnancy test can be frustrating. A false negative result is when the test shows negative when you are actually pregnant. It is possible for your pregnancy test kit to show an incorrect result due to various reasons.

To avoid such a mistake, it is necessary to understand the causes of a false negative pregnancy test result and also have a follow-up ultrasound and blood test in the hospital. Here are some of the causes for a false negative result:

  1. The pregnancy kits are based on the amount of human Chorionic Gonodotrophin (hCG) hormone present in the urine. A good sensitive kit can be up to 99% accurate in detecting the pregnancy result.
  2. These test kits are time sensitive so testing at the right time period is crucial for a perfect test result. Try at least 9 days after your missed period date to get accurate results. However, some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive and have the ability to detect pregnancy as early as the first day of missed period.
  3. If you take up the pregnancy test after drinking a lot of liquids, there is a chance of having a compromised test result. If you are planning to take up a pregnancy test at home, try it first thing in the morning for best results.
  4. You can try a homemade pregnancy test on the day of a missed period only if you have a regular menstrual cycle. Some women have irregular periods so they won’t be able to know the date of their missed period. In such cases, wait for other early pregnancy symptoms like tender breasts, nausea, excessive fatigue, spotting, cramps etc., which can help you decide the right time to take a self pregnancy test.
  5.  Before taking up the hCG pregnancy test, read all the instructions given in the package and learn how to use it properly. Even small mistake can have a tampered impact on the pregnancy result so perform it carefully and check again with a sensitive test kit if you are unsure of the result. Do not rush and discard the pregnancy kit before reaction time (varies from 5-10 minutes) has elapsed.
  6. In some cases, the low level of hCG hormone may also provide a false negative result so do not give it up yet. If pregnancy test is negative, try after few days to recheck the test result.


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