Chat with us, powered by LiveChat What Causes a 20 DPO Negative Pregnancy Test?

What Causes a 20 DPO Negative Pregnancy Test?

By MomMed | 22 August 2022 | 0 Comments

Nothing can be as ecstatic as a positive pregnancy test for couples trying to conceive. However, that is often not the case. The journey to getting pregnant is full of anxiety, disappointments, moments of insanity, and shattering hope. When everyone around you is celebrating their good news, not being able to see the second line can wreak havoc on your mental health.

However, sometimes your body might just surprise you. You should not lose hope before confirming with your doctor. Even a
 20 DPO negative pregnancy test cannot guarantee the absence of conception. This might have surprised you. To understand how to read till the end.


Basics Of a Pregnancy Test

Pregnancy tests are based on estimating the amount of HCG in the urine to finalize the possibility of pregnancy. Since the hormone is found in only a trace amount in non-pregnant women, its presence in the blood or urine in a higher amount is considered a trusted way to conclude a case of pregnancy. At-home pregnancy tests are designed with monoclonal antibodies sensitive to HCG.
When exposed to urine, they selectively bind to the HCG molecules. If enough HCG bind, then a second line appears on the test, indicating a positive result. The band intensifies with the increasing level of HCG. however, if HCG is absent or insufficient in urine, no second line is seen.
It is advised to take the first urine of the morning for the test as in that case, HCG is not diluted. However, at other times of the day, a test can be taken. To avoid getting a false negative due to dilution of HCG, you should abstain from consuming any kind of fluid before 4-6 hours of taking the test.

20 DPO HCG Levels

Technically, fertilization occurs on the day of ovulation if sperm is already present in the fallopian tube. It takes about 6-12 days after that for the dividing embryo to be implanted in the wall of the uterus. Post implantation, HCG production occurs, whose level gradually increases. For the first four weeks, the hormone doubles up every 48 hours.
So, when it is 20 days post ovulation, it is about 3 weeks after fertilization, if it has occurred. Your 20 DPO HCG levels are supposed to be high enough to give you a positive pregnancy result if you are trying to conceive.
However, some women do get a negative result at that point. Let us discuss what can be the possible reasons for a 20 DPO negative pregnancy test.

Reasons For a 20 DPO BFN

Getting a 20 DPO BFN can be disappointing. However, that does not necessarily mean that you are not pregnant. A number of reasons can be there for the negative pregnancy result. Here are some of them.

Delayed Ovulation

Irrespective of how regular your cycle is, you cannot guarantee that you will ovulate on the estimated day of your ovulation. Our bodies do not work that way. There can be changes because of unnoticed environmental, physiological, and psychological reasons. In case your ovulation does not happen the day it should have been and has gotten delayed, then the subsequent events will also get delayed.
This implies that, maybe by the 20th day post ovulation, there has not been enough accumulation of HCG in your urine to give a positive test result. Taking a test a few days later or opting for a blood test if you want to confirm immediately can help you get the roots of the issue.


Lower Than Normal HCG

The rate at which HCG shoots up is not the same for every pregnant woman. While for some, the rise can be exponential, for others it can be negligible. Since pregnancy tests require a sufficient amount of HCG in the urine to detect pregnancy, trace levels can often be responsible for a negative pregnancy result or a 20 DPO faint line.
Lower levels of HCG can result from a number of physiological conditions; one of the most common being ectopic pregnancy. In that, the embryo gets implanted outside the uterus. Whether it is negative or a 20 DPO faint line that bothers you, you must visit your doctor to get clarity on the condition. In some cases, your HCG will start leveling up just fine after a few days.


If you have PCOS( Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrom), then you must be acquainted with irregular periods. This happens due to irregular ovulation. So, if you have PCOS and are trying to conceive, then there can be a possibility that you have ovulated later than usual or have not ovulated at all.

Chemical Pregnancy

Chemical pregnancy refers to a very early miscarriage. Sometimes, even before you realize that you are pregnant, a miscarriage happens. This is a very common case, so there is nothing to worry about. All the symptoms that insinuated pregnancy were actually true. However, since you have already miscarried, the test shows a negative result. In such a case, you will most likely get a period in the next few days.

Phantom Pregnancy

This is a very peculiar condition. Sometimes women will miss a period, show all symptoms of pregnancy and yet not be pregnant in real. If the signs of pregnancy are bothering you and the test result does not align with that, then it might be a phantom pregnancy. It is assumed that a strong emotion leads to a surge in hormones that gives rise to such a condition. The phenomenon responsible for it is termed a mind-body feedback loop.



You can never say for sure what is happening inside your body till you consult a doctor and the diagnosis is confirmed. There are numerous possibilities. Therefore, do not jump to conclusions without an expert’s advice. A 20 DPO negative pregnancy test might cause a lot of disappointment. However, just because others get a positive as early as 12-14 DPO does not mean that your body will respond the same way. Stay positive till your doctor confirms the case. If conception has not happened this time, then all you can do is wait and keep trying. It is no fault of yours. Have faith and keep going.

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