Your body is tired, your breasts are swelling, and your period is five days late. Do you feel a little morning sickness? Could you be pregnant?
Only one way to find out is to take a pregnancy test. But that’s not true. Although over-the-counter pregnancy test are quick and easy, they’re far from 100% reliable.
False negatives and false positives are all possible. (Hands up, if you’ve ever had to hold a pee-soaked stick in front of a lamp while trying to decode symbols that look similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics span>
It’s difficult to determine if you are pregnant at home, especially if you have the symptoms of a sore stomach and a sore boobs. There are many reasons you may feel pregnant, but still end up with a negative sign. Here are 10 of them.
The best pregnancy tests for the year
It’s possible that you are pregnant but haven’t tested yet. Did you know that pregnancy tests state you can test 5 days earlier? This refers to the number of days you can test yourself before your period and receive an accurate result.
However, if you carefully read the fine print, chances of getting accurate results start at the 5-day mark. This increases as you get closer and closer to your period.
If your period is later than your due date, your test will not be positive.
It’s best to wait for your period to pass, or to wait until it is past due. You might get a different result by retesting in 72 hours.
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- Your hormone levels are too low to allow you to take an at-home pregnancy test
Okay, you waited until your period was actually missed and then took the test even though it was negative.
It’s time to think about the time you last peed on the stick. Your hCG levels may be lower if you are very pregnant. This is because your urine is less diluted from what you have drank.
To get more precise results, you should test yourself in the morning to ensure that your urine is concentrated. It’s not pretty, but it works!
- You are pregnant but your body isn’t hydrating enough.
Your urine will have less hCG if it is diluted. This will make it less likely that you will receive a positive result. What is the best way to dilute your urine? It’s good ol’ H20.
You may have a knack for flushing your system if you are a dedicated hydrator (we can see you with your HydroJug, half-gallon). Who would have thought?
You don’t have to cut down on water.
- You are pregnant but have misunderstood the test.
Although they are quite straightforward, all reputable pregnancy tests include instructions.
While most pregnancy tests work in the same way, it is important to do your test according to your brand.
Don’t put the test on its right side. Also, don’t leave it on the bathroom vanity for too long.
- You are pregnant but purchased a flawed test.
Like any mass-manufactured product in general, pregnancy tests can arrive at your store damaged or expired. They may also get lost or stolen from your bathroom cabinets. Nothing’s perfect!
While we don’t want you to believe that you will get the negative result every time, it is possible for tests to fail.
If there is a reason to believe something might have gone wrong (e.g., the Dollar Store checkout line tests), you can buy a new test at a different store and give it another try.
Take a break — it’s unlikely that you’ll get two failed tests in one go.
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- You are pregnant but have a very rare situation
We like to keep you informed. Some less-common situations can result in a false positive on a pregnancy test.
- An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which a fertilized egg implanted outside of the uterus. Unfortunately, this is not possible. Your hCG levels will not always rise to detectable levels because your placenta isn’t growing as it should. However, you might have symptoms of pregnancy. These pregnancies are uncommon but can be serious. If you have severe pain or bleeding from your uterus, get medical attention immediately.
- It is possible to have a cryptic pregnancies. Although it is rare and not something you see in the news, it is possible. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including fluctuating hormone levels which may cause period-like bleeding. (See the next bullet point. )
- OTC pregnancy tests can’t detect hCG levels in later-stage pregnancy. The “hook effect” is when hCG levels rise so much that the test fails to detect them. This can occur when your pregnancy is more advanced than a few weeks. The hormones increase continuously throughout pregnancy. If you experience irregular periods or lose track of when your last period was, an OTC test may not be able to detect your higher levels.
A blood test or ultrasound at your doctor’s office can confirm that you are pregnant.
- You are not pregnant, you are about to have your period.
What does a medical condition feel like during pregnancy? Menstruation.
It makes sense that the hormones and body systems involved are all the same. Rising levels of progesterone during PMS can lead to symptoms that resemble pregnancy, such as tender breasts and a ravenous appetite.
Progesterone levels rise when you are pregnant. This can cause confusion in your feelings.
Wait a while. If you are PMSing, your period will be the same as normal. If you aren’t pregnant, you won’t get it.
- You are not pregnant, you’re just ovulating.
Ovulation, which occurs around mid-cycle in a normal cycle, doesn’t share as many symptoms as menstruation. You may still feel breast tenderness, mild cramping and sometimes nausea after your uterus releases its monthly eggs.
Imagine that you don’t track your periods and don’t know where your cycles are at any given time. You could mistakenly believe that ovulation is early signs of pregnancy. However, it may be possible to wait around 12-15 days before you can verify if your fertile window is fruitful.
- You are not pregnant, you have psychosomatic symptoms.
The tricky thing about wanting to get pregnant is that sometimes your brain can’t think of any other options.
It’s hard to believe that if you have decided you are ready for a baby, a negative pregnancy test result can make it even more difficult.
A very real desire can cause symptom spots and, to be honest with you, Dr. Google doesn’t help.
Any symptom + pregnancy will get you some hits. It’s not because you skipped breakfast. Your nausea is because you are pregnant. It’s not because you tried a new diet, it’s because your body is pregnant.
It’s difficult to think objectively when you have pregnancy-tinted eyes.
Avoid the symptom-spotting trap if you can. You will soon know if you are pregnant. But if you don’t, you might feel even more disappointed.
- You are not pregnant, you have drug side effects.
Fertility treatments are intended to increase your hormone levels.
Treatments that increase or block progesterone can mimic PMS symptoms, such as nausea, tender breasts and mood swings.
Your OB-GYN will be able to tell you if your symptoms of pregnancy are actually due to pregnancy. They will know your current status and tell you if you might be pregnant.
How to handle the rollercoaster ride of trying to conceive
Waiting 9 months to have your baby once you are pregnant is almost all that’s involved in pregnancy.
This means that nothing happens instantly and there are many unknowns.
This can make it more difficult to have a baby. These tips can help you cope.
- Keep your eyes on the present. Take it one day at time.
- Share a hobby or other activity with your partner or spouse that isn’t about babymaking.
- Find inner peace. It should be something you enjoy, not something that you have to do.
- You should always have a backup plan. If you are hoping to conceive biologically consider whether you are open to adoption and fostering. You can stay positive from month to month by remembering that there are other options and that a negative result doesn’t mean you’re dead.
Home over-the-counter pregnancy tests are a private and convenient way to find out if you’re pregnant or if this is a food baby.
However, even if you know you are pregnant the drugstore test may not be able to give you the right results.
You can get mixed results from medication to medical conditions, as well as the date you took the test. To be certain, you should visit your doctor to get a more reliable result.