There is no denying that a negative pregnancy test when you are trying to conceive can be confusing, particularly when your period is already late. While it is confusing to get negative test results even after a late period, it is vital to remember that you will not get pregnant immediately after you begin conceiving.
There are multiple reasons as to why you might receive a false result. And if you think you are pregnant with twins inspite of the pregnancy test results coming out negative, let’s not rule that out as a possibility immediately. If your periods are late, there’s white discharge, but the test results are negative, it is possible you are pregnant.
When you examine your pregnancy test pack, the results come out negative, but on checking with the doctor, you find out that you are pregnant with twins. So how did this happen? Can twins cause false negative pregnancy tests? What actually causes a test result to come out negative when you are already pregnant with twins?
Let’s find out!
Home Pregnancy Tests And Their Accuracy:
It is undeniably worrying and anxiety-inducing to take a pregnancy test whether or not you are even trying for a baby. As per research, the average timelines for most couples under the age group of 35 are as follows,
- 85% of couples end up conceiving in the first year of having unprotected sex regularly.
- 65% of couples conceive after six cycles of unprotected sex.
- 45% of couples conceive after three cycles of unprotected sex.
So, if you were feeling disappointed with your negative pregnancy test, then do not lose hope – just try focussing on conceiving when you are on your next cycle.
However, it is possible that you might get a negative test result and still think you are pregnant. Perhaps your period has not yet arrived, or you are sure that you are experiencing some of the earliest early symptoms of pregnancy.
There could be more than one reason behind this – can twins cause false negative pregnancy tests? Before we get to that, let’s talk about home pregnancy tests and their accuracy in some detail.
How Do Home Pregnancy Tests Work?
Before we start talking about can twins cause a false negative pregnancy test or not, let’s address home pregnancy tests and how these work.
Home pregnancy tests are very clever. When you are pregnant, your body will start making a hormone known as hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin – and home pregnancy tests basically work by simply checking the hCG levels in your body.
The hCG levels in your body, particularly in your urine and blood, rapidly increase during the early stages of pregnancy, doubling every 2 days between the 4th and 6th week of pregnancy. You can actually track your hCG levels with the help of a hCG calculator.
A majority of home pregnancy tests happen to be urine tests involving holding a testing stick in your pee stream or by dipping the same in a urine sample when you have collected the urine to test the presence of hCG. You will have to wait for two minutes at the least, which can definitely feel like the longest 2 minutes of your life.
The result will typically show up as two or one line, a minus or a plus sign, or even words like ‘not pregnant’ or ‘pregnant.’ So, you have to be sure to go through the instructions carefully, knowing what to actually expect. And just remember: never opt for a test that has gone beyond its expiry date.
How Accurate Are Home Pregnancy Tests?
If you correctly follow the instructions while doing your home pregnancy test, chances are that these can be 99% effective. However, this might not always be the case, and timing is technically key to obtaining the most accurate results, as you will find out later in this article.
Should You Repeat A Pregnancy Test If You Get A Negative Test Result?
Before finding out can being pregnant with twins cause a false negative pregnancy test, let’s address one last pointer – Should you repeat the test if you get a negative test result on your first attempt?
Obtaining a negative test result while you are trying to conceive a baby can be very disappointing. It is only natural to feel disappointed, but do remember that conceiving can also take some time. So try not to give up on the work – it can happen in a matter of months, and it can happen in a matter of days; you never know.
But if you do have this gut feeling that you are definitely pregnant inspite of the test results being negative, then you should test again. But it is best to wait a little while before you take another test – doctors would tell you to wait at least another week if you are planning to take another test.
At the same time, it is possible that if you consult a doctor, you will be asked to opt for a blood test instead of a urine test to see whether you are pregnant or not. A blood test is relatively more sensitive to determining pregnancy as compared to a urine test since it can detect lower hCG levels – it means a blood test can detect your pregnancy faster than a urine test.
So, Can Twins Cause False Negative Pregnancy Tests?
So, can twins cause false negative pregnancy tests? The brief answer here is yes – it is possible to be pregnant with twins and at the same time test negative for the same.
When you are pregnant with twins or triplets, your body will be producing larger quantities of hCG. While you might be thinking that these high levels of hCG will contribute towards increasing your chances of obtaining a positive result for your pregnancy test, it might end up leading to the opposite effect.
A whole lot of hCG can, in reality, lead to a false negative result since it ends up confusing the home pregnancy test packs – this is known as the high-dose hook effect.
Briefly put the antibodies that occupy the top spot on a pregnancy test strip become overwhelmed with the total amount of existing hCG and end up showing a false negative result for the pregnancy test.
The other causes behind having high levels of hCG are as follows,
- a molar pregnancy,
- a placental tumor, and
- miscalculation of dates.
Is It Possible To Get Pregnant When The Test Pack Results Are Negative?
So, now you have an answer: Can twins cause false negative blood pregnancy tests? But what about in general – can you be pregnant inspite of those negative test results? Let’s find out!
You don’t have to be sad because the test results come out negative – it does not mean you are not really pregnant, even though it felt like you were expecting. Women with high levels of hCG can get negative results for their pregnancy test – the condition is called the prozone effect.
Generally, hCG hormone levels in pregnant women in the initial weeks are simply shallow. When an egg is attached to the wall of the uterine, hCG starts getting produced in that particular body. A pregnancy test pack can detect the rise in the levels of hCG in the body.
High hCG levels during early pregnancy can prevent antibodies from actually binding to the hormone – as a result, when a pregnancy test pack is checked, the results come out negative.
So, if you are pregnant with twins and obtain a negative test pack, then don’t worry – it just means that your hCG levels are high.
However, you should still consult with medical experts for effective treatment. The hCG levels in women pregnant with one kid can reach a maximum of 250 thousand mIU/mL, while hCG levels in women pregnant with twins can reach thousands of mIU/mL.
Other Causes of Negative Test Pack Results:
Conceiving twins and getting a negative test result is typically a false negative. This occurs when you are pregnant, but the test pack displays negative results. But then you also have to take into consideration how false negatives don’t just occur in the case of twin pregnancies. Multiple conditions can cause a negative test pack even when you are pregnant, such as,
- Too early to check for pregnancy.
- Too low levels of hCG hormone.
- Inaccurate use of the test pack.
- Slow ovulation.
- Expired pregnancy test kit.
- Ectopic pregnancy.
So, in order to ensure that you are pregnant or not, you need to go for a gynecology examination. The doctor will then perform an abdominal ultrasound or a transvaginal ultrasound to confirm whether or not there is a fetus attached to your uterus. Additionally, blood tests can be done as well to do an accurate check.
Causes Of False-Negative Pregnancy Tests:
Can twins cause false negative pregnancy tests? Yes – but why exactly? Apart from the high hCG levels in the body, what can be the possible reasons behind a false negative test result? Let’s take a close look at some of the most common causes.
1. Incorrect Use:
If you don’t take an accurate pregnancy test, the results might also not be accurate – for instance, if you check the results way too soon after the test. Incorrect tests can definitely cause errors in the results. In order to stop this from taking place, always be careful while reading, and most importantly, follow the instructions for the test.
At the same time, you can also consider setting a timer so that you can stop checking out the results early, no matter how tempted you are!
2. Faulty Test:
In some cases, home pregnancy tests might themselves be faulty. If a test is faulty or has expired, the testing mechanism or the assay that enables it to find out the accurate markers for pregnancy hormones might not work out properly. You could definitely take more than one test in that case and check whether you get a different result or not.
3. Testing Too Early:
Timing is obviously everything when it comes to taking any home pregnancy test. For the most effective results, it is best to take the test on the day after you miss your period. If you take the test really early, then your hCG levels in urine will be too low to detect with a home kit, and the test results might turn out to be negative.
4. Too Much hCG In The Urine:
Confusingly, high hCG levels can also interfere with your pregnancy test results. Interestingly, this is precisely why getting pregnant with twins can sometimes cause the results to be false-negative.
Having more than one kid in your body will cause your hCG levels to increase, which can interfere with the test results, leading to a negative test result even when you are pregnant, and that too with more than one kid.
5. Diluted hCG Levels:
In the initial days post-implantation, your body’s hCG level is low – it’s in the process of rising. During this time, the amount of water inside your urine can have a negative impact on your pregnancy test. If your urine happens to be diluted, then there might be enough hormones to get detected.
It is best to test in the morning right after you wake up since your urine will be concentrated at the time, and avoid drinking lots of water before you opt for the test. If you cannot test right after you wake up, and waiting for the next morning is not a possibility, doctors say you need to wait at least three hours since your last pee.
6. Miscalculated Menstrual Cycle:
Obviously, if you are planning to take a test on the day after missing your period, you have to be familiar with your menstrual cycle. But again, it is possible to miscalculate your menstrual cycle, especially if you are one of the 14 to 25% of women whose cycle is irregular.
If your ovulation happens to vary by a period of a few days because your cycle differs in length, it can possibly throw off when the hCG hormones are detected in your urine. This indicates that a pregnancy test can definitely come back negative, even if you happen to be pregnant at the time.
And It’s A Wrap!
So now that you know you can be pregnant with twins and at the same time test negative, what are your thoughts? We would say it is always best to consult with a doctor and find out for sure – that way, there won’t be any confusion, and you will have plenty of time to make the right decisions about your baby.
Feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, and stories about pregnancy or getting pregnant in the comments below.
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