Have you missed your period? Are you feeling kind of weird? Are you feeling nauseated…are your breasts tender? Are you worried you could be pregnant?
Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center is dedicated to helping women become pregnant through tubal ligation reversal surgery.
We perform over 1000 tubal reversal surgeries a year and we have many patients who are actively trying to become pregnant and who are performing early pregnancy test. We are frequently asked by our patients if they can be pregnant with a negative urine pregnancy test and what should they do next.
This article is written with these patients in mind and will attempt to answer this very important question.
Pregnant With A Negative Test?
If you think you are pregnant but your test is negative you probably are not pregnant…but there is always a possibility.
There are several reasons why you could have tested and gotten a negative test result:
you may be pregnant but tested too early
you could have misread the test result
you may have purchased a poor quality pregnancy test
The two most common reasons a pregnancy test is negative are you either tested too early (and your hormone level is too low to be detected) or you are actually not pregnant despite what your symptoms may be suggesting.
What Is The Best Pregnancy Test?
The best pregnancy test may surprise you because the best pregnancy test is not a blood test.
It is true that a blood pregnancy test can be very accurate, but they can commonly give falsely positive results and mislead you into thinking you are pregnant. Why?
All pregnancy tests will detect pregnancy hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG. This hormone is produced by the pregnancy, circulates in the blood, is removed from the blood by the kidneys, and is excreted into a woman’s urine.
Some people have other proteins in their blood which can be very similar to HCG. Occasionally when blood pregnancy tests are done on these patients the test may pick up these similar hormones in the blood and give a falsely positive test result. Since the kidneys filter the blood and excrete pure HCG into the urine a good quality urine test will give you a better test result than the blood test.
This is why a good quality urine test is the best test to give you a ‘yes or no’ answer regarding pregnancy.
False Pregnancy Test: Can A Pregnancy Test Be Wrong?
No test is perfect and a pregnancy test can always be wrong.
Any urine pregnancy test that can detect HCG in the urine when the HCG blood level is in the 20-50 mIU/ml range is considered a good quality pregnancy test.
These are the levels of your pregnancy hormone about a week before you miss your period. The early detection urine test sold in most drug stores can usually detect these low levels of pregnancy hormone.
Am I Pregnant With A Negative Pregnancy Test?
If you think you are pregnant and your urine test is negative then this is what you should do:
Make sure you are using a good quality urine pregnancy test
Repeat the test just to make sure you did not read the result incorrectly
Wait a week and repeat the test again
If you do all of the above and your test does not turn positive then very likely you are not pregnant.
Missed A Period And Negative Test After Tubal Reversal
If you missed your period and your pregnancy test is negative then you should follow the advice provided in the section above.
If your test is persistently negative, your period is late, and you are having ‘weird’ symptoms then the reason for all of this is you likely did not ovulate (release an egg) the month before and this is the reason for your symptoms and a negative test result.
Also the joy of expecting a pregnancy or the fear of being pregnant can also contribute to both the perception and anticipation of symptoms.
If this is happening on more than one occasion then you should make an appointment with your doctor and ask for an evaluation for irregular periods. Often they will do blood test to check your hormone levels. Your doctor should perform a good quality pregnancy test and also check your thyroid and prolactin hormone levels. They should be able to provide advice and treatment to help make your periods more regular and prevent this from happening again.
Pregnancy Test Advice If You Missed A Period
If you are reading this article and want to know if you are pregnant with a negative pregnancy test or why you are skipping periods then I encourage you to follow the advice in this article and to follow-up with your doctor for testing for missing periods.
If you followed our advice and repeated your pregnancy test with a good quality test after one week then you can be very confident that you are not pregnant.
Submitted by Dr. Charles Monteith