Medical Q&As

Pregnancy test - negative result?

My partner has recently stopped taking the pill in an effort to start a family. She has missed her last period and has developed severe pains in her lower abdomen. Her breasts have become extremely tender, combined with a feeling of sickness and nausea. Although she has tested negative with a pregnancy test, could she still be pregnant?

It is possible for your partner to be pregnant even though the pregnancy test was negative. Given the symptoms you describe it would be reasonable to repeat the test after a few days. It is not unknown for a pregnant woman to have several negative pregnancy tests before the test eventually gives a positive result. This can happen because the chemical in the urine that triggers the positive reaction may not be present in sufficient quantity. The chemical in question is called HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) and this is produced after implantation has taken place in the womb. The amount of this chemical in the urine is initially low but it increases as the pregnancy progresses. Therefore the test might be positive now even though it was negative several days ago. I would suggest that the test be repeated on a first morning sample of urine, which means the first amount of urine that is passed after a night’s sleep. Such urine is more concentrated than samples that are passed during the day and consequently may contain a higher level of HCG.