Nausea and Other Pregnancy Symptoms With a Negative Test
Am I Pregnant or Not?
If you are reading this article, you are probably facing the well-known dilemma: "Am I pregnant or not?“
Are you experiencing early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, tender breasts, minor cramps, or fatigue but when you took a pregnancy test, the result was negative?
Below, I will give a few explanations for what might be happening.
Pregnancy Test Checklist
- Did you use the first urine in the morning? It has the highest hCG levels. If you didn't do the test first thing in the morning, your result may be inaccurate.
- Did the test go properly? Did you see the control line or another indicator showing that the test worked as it should have? Read the instructions again to make sure it worked properly.
- Did you try another type of test? Different brands of pregnancy tests all have different levels of sensitivity for hCG levels. You may want to try another brand to check your results.
- Did you wait until at least 14 days after conception/ovulation? Before that the hCG levels are too low to be detected with a home test.
False Negative? Wait a Litle Longer!
The sensitivity of each pregnancy test is variable, but the soonest the most sensitive test can detect a pregnancy is at least 12 days after conception. Conception happens around the time a woman ovulates and, in a typical 28 day cycle, ovulation happens on or around day 14. This means that if you have a 28 day cycle, the earliest time you can take a test and get an accurate result is four weeks after the first day of your last period.
Long and Irregular Cycles
Many women have long or irregular cycles. If you have not been carefully tracking your ovulation cycles, or if you can't predict it, it is hard to say when the earliest possible time is for an accurate result is. For women with long or irregular cycles, or if you don't know exactly what your cycle is, it is best to wait for the day the next cycle is supposed to begin (the day you expect to get your next period) to take the home test.
Wait a Week
It's hard to play the waiting game, but try to wait for a week to see if your period starts. If not, take a new test.
Other Reasons for False Pregnancy Symptoms
The symptoms that are often associated with pregnancy can be caused by other conditions.
Ovulation and Premenstrual Symptoms
Some women get distinctive symptoms a few days before and during ovulation or few days before a period. Pregnancy symptoms (nausea, cramps, bloating, tender breasts, etc.) are often similar to the symptoms for ovulation and menstruation.
Fluid-filled cysts can form on the ovaries and cause symptoms, for example the need to urinate more frequently, a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, tender breasts, nausea, and vomiting. Ovarian cysts can be diagnosed by your OB/GYN with an ultrasound.
The Flu or Other Illnesses
Feelings of nausea or exhaustion can be caused by the common cold, flu, or other illnesses. You should talk to your healthcare provider if these symptoms linger for weeks.
Hormonal Contraception/Birth Control
The pill and other hormonal birth control methods commonly cause nausea, dizziness, breast tenderness, and mood changes. Try changing brands or methods if these side effects are troubling you.
Stress and Anxiety
Nausea is a common symptom of stress or anxiety. Anxiety can cause stomach aches, cramping, and even vomiting. If you have these symptoms accompanied with anxiety, you might consider seeking professional help for relief of stress or anxiety.
Other Unknown Factors
If your symptoms are not explained by pregnancy and endure for weeks, you should see your doctor. You might need a blood test to test for abnormal thyroid functions or low hemoglobin count.