26 March 2021


Having pregnancy symptoms but getting a negative pregnancy test is not rare, especially amongst women trying to conceive. Many scenarios can lead to this situation.

One scenario could be that the woman is pregnant but has bought a defective over-the-counter pregnancy test; other scenarios could be that the woman is not pregnant but has a condition with similar symptoms as pregnancy. This article discusses the possible reasons why you may experience pregnancy symptoms but have a negative pregnancy test.

You Are Pregnant but Take the Test Too Early

Although some pregnancy tests claim they can give results several days before the expected period, these products’ fine print stated that the possibility for accurate results is small, with increasing accuracy as a woman gets close to her menstruation.

Testing for pregnancy too soon before the expected period date may result in a negative test due to insufficient pregnancy hormone, specifically the hCG levels, in the urine to trigger a positive result. Collecting a urine sample later in the day may also lead to negative results as your urine is diluted by the things you have drunk throughout the day.

The easiest solution to this issue is to wait for a few more days or until past due for the period before testing again. Also, be sure to pee early in the morning to get a more concentrated urine sample. Repeating the test in seventy-two hours could also provide a different result.

You Are Pregnant but Fail to Follow the Instruction

A reliable home pregnancy test from a reputable brand always includes instruction. Most of these instructions are relatively straightforward. Although most pregnancy tests work on the same concept, you still have to follow the particular brand’s instruction accordingly.

Several users’ mistakes or errors can affect the test result. These errors include not placing urine on the right section of the testing strip, not placing the strip on a level surface and face up, or the kit is left to sit for too long in the bathroom before checking.

You Are Pregnant but Bought a Faulty Pregnancy Kit

Like any other mass-produced products, a pregnancy test may also be defective when arrived at the store, damaged due to extreme temperatures during transport, or expire on the store shelves or in your drawer.

If you think your pregnancy test is defective, purchase a new test from a different store and perform the test again. Be sure to check for its expiration date before buying.

You Are Pregnant and Have Rare Circumstances

Pregnant women with certain medical conditions have a false negative pregnancy test. These conditions include:

  • Ectopic pregnancy: This condition is rare and happens when a fertilised egg is implanted somewhere outside your uterus. Unfortunately, this condition is not viable. Since the placenta will not develop as it should, the hCG levels in your body will not increase to detectable amounts. However, in most cases, they trigger a positive result. Nevertheless, you will also experience pregnancy symptoms. It can become severe if left untreated. Hence, you should seek medical attention promptly if you experience vaginal bleeding or severe pain.
  • Later-state pregnancy: A majority of over-the-counter pregnancy tests are created to detect hCG levels within a specific range. Therefore, if your body’s hCG levels are lower or higher than the specified range, you may get a negative result. A high hCG level that resulted in a negative result is known as the hook effect, and it can occur when you are in a later stage of your pregnancy.
  • Cryptic pregnancy: This type of pregnancy is rare and can be caused by various reasons, including some diseases that cause fluctuating hormone levels that may cause you to bleed, similar to menstruation.

The best way to confirm pregnancy in these circumstances is to get a blood test or ultrasound in gynaecology clinics.

You Are Not Pregnant and About to Get Your Period

Many menstruation symptoms are similar to pregnancy symptoms as the same hormones and body system are involved during this period. Increasing progesterone levels during premenstrual syndrome can result in symptoms that mimic a pregnancy, including breast tenderness, mild cramping, fatigue, moodiness, nausea and spotting.

The best way to solve this problem is to wait for a few more days before repeating the test. If you get your period, then you are pregnant.

You Are Not Pregnant and Are Ovulating

Ovulation usually occurs midway through a normal menstruation cycle. Compared to PMS, it does not share as many common symptoms as pregnancy. However, you may still experience symptoms like tender breast, occasional nausea and cramping when the uterus releases its egg. Track your fertile window to identify whether the symptoms you are experiencing are due to pregnancy or ovulation.

You Are Not Pregnant and Experiencing Psychosomatic Symptoms

This situation happens because of your intense desire to get pregnant, causing you to feel like you experience pregnancy symptoms. For instance, nausea you felt might be because you skip your breakfast, and your fatigue may be due to lack of sleep. 


Many factors can affect the result of a pregnancy test, and there are many reasons you feel pregnant but get a negative pregnancy test result. Follow the suggestion above to get a more accurate result. However, if you want a more foolproof result, see your doctor for a blood test or ultrasound.