Patient Resources

How to Handle a Negative Pregnancy Test

When you have been trying to get pregnant for a while, the last thing you want to see is a negative pregnancy test. It can feel especially disappointing after you have gone through fertility treatment. Negative pregnancy tests can evoke a range of emotions, from sadness to anxiety to hopefulness, so it is important to know how to handle these feelings and learn how to cope. 

Could I Still be Pregnant?

Even if you have received a negative pregnancy test, you may still feel hopeful that there is a chance you could still be pregnant. A negative result doesn’t always mean that you will not get pregnant during that cycle. Some factors that increase the chances that you could still be pregnant can include the following:

  • A late period: If you think you have gotten your period, it is highly unlikely that you are pregnant. If your period is late, there is a chance that you may be pregnant. If a week goes by and you still haven’t gotten your period, and your pregnancy tests are negative, contact your doctor. 
  • An early test: If you took your pregnancy test days before your period was due, there is still a chance you could be pregnant. Each pregnancy builds up the level of hCG differently, which is the hormone that pregnancy tests detect. You may not receive a positive test until you are a few days, or a week, late. 
  • Irregular cycles: If you have irregular cycles, it can be difficult to know when your period is late. You may have taken the test too early. 

How to Cope

When those negative tests start to make you feel emotional, there are a few things you can do to cope. Don’t give up hope if your cycle isn’t over yet; there is still a chance you could be pregnant. If you are feeling sad, angry, etc., let yourself feel those emotions. Bottling them up doesn’t help, so talk about your feelings with your partner, your counselor, or a trusted relative or friend. If you aren’t comfortable talking about it, don’t hold in the tears if you feel them building up. Letting it out can help you feel better. 

Start thinking about what you are going to do next. Having a plan of action can help put your mind at ease, even if your plan is to take some time off from trying to conceive. Or perhaps you would like to continue with the same efforts you have been putting forth. Whatever the case may be, having a plan in place helps to remind you that you can always keep trying. 


The North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine/Talbert Fertility Institute is the premiere center for reproductive health in North Carolina and the East Coast. Our team specializes in fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility conditions. We’re experts in IVF, Tubal Ligation Reversal, Male Infertility, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gestation Surrogacy, Family Balancing, and more. Contact us today.

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