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How to Cope with a Negative Pregnancy Test

When you’ve decided to start a family it’s natural to want it to happen as quickly as possible, and it can be upsetting if it’s not happening the way you’d hoped. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for some time, every pregnancy test can trigger a different range of emotions. There’s no right way to feel or right way to cope, but here are some suggestions you may find helpful if you’re staring at a negative test.

Have a good cry

If you feel like crying – do it. Crying can actually release feel-good chemicals that may have a soothing effect and can help relieve physical pain1. Crying is a visible response that can really help as well as encourage support from those around you (like a partner or a friend that can give you a cuddle and shoulder to cry on).

Let yourself be sad

Seeing a negative test can really hurt, but often people feel the need to brush it off and go about their day. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself the time and space you need to feel sad. Your feelings are completely valid.

Lean into your support network

Many people feel isolated when trying to get pregnant. It’s an incredibly intimate and personal phase in your life and not something you may want to share with everyone. However, opening up to a close friend or family member can be really beneficial in helping you feel supported.

Shut down unhelpful thoughts

A negative pregnancy test not only comes with feelings of sadness about not being pregnant now, but the plans and dreams about your future family get questioned and this creates worry and concern. Please remember that the result of this test doesn’t mean you’ll never get pregnant.

Find your solace

Whether you’ve had a good cry or not, you may find that surrounding yourself with things that bring you comfort and joy can help process your emotions. Read a good book, cosy up with a cup of tea or binge-watch a new series on TV.

Respect the differences in coping strategies

You and your partner may manage your emotions differently. Being optimistic, hopeful, realistic or pessimistic will not have an impact on the outcome, so be sure to listen to each other and respond to each other’s needs. Some problems don’t need to be fixed, just listened to.

Know when it’s time to see a doctor

If you’re under the age of 35, are generally healthy and have no reason to believe you or your partner have reduced fertility, usually, your GP will require you to have been trying for a year before investigating you for infertility2. If you’re over the age of 35 or if you have a known cause of fertility problems (such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome or low sperm count)3 you should visit your GP after 6 months of trying.

We hope this article helps you to process the many emotions that can come with a negative pregnancy test. Remember, whatever you’re feeling is valid and take whatever time or space you need to process these emotions.

References:

  1. Is crying self-soothing?
  2. NHS | Fertility Problems
  3. NICE | If you’re concerned about your fertility