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The first thing that usually comes to mind if you’re feeling kicks, flutters, or movements in your stomach is that you’re potentially pregnant.
So you rush to the nearest grocery store to spend your money on an overpriced pregnancy test. Get home to urinate on it while holding your breath anxiously… and now you’re downright confused.
The pregnancy test says negative, but you’re absolutely sure you’ve been feeling movements in your stomach. So what should you do now? Research is always great but my guess is that’s what brought you here.
Good work and you aren’t crazy! Believe those sensations because there are a number of other reasons that women feel movement in their stomach that has nothing to do with pregnancy.
Rest assured we can give you a bit of direction at this confusing time in your life, while you eagerly await an appointment with your primary physician.
Be sure to schedule that appointment sooner than later, and if nothing comes of this you’ll be confident nothing more serious is happening.
Table of Contents
It’s Possible You’re Having a Phantom Pregnancy
A phantom pregnancy is defined as the belief that you are pregnant accompanied by physical symptoms to go along with it. You’re experiencing all the markers for a normal healthy pregnancy just the fetus is not in the womb.
While this an uncommon occurrence, it can happen to both men and women. Having a phantom pregnancy happens due to physiological and physiological imbalance or disorder.
Which is why you experience all of the physical symptoms too; nausea, bloating, backache.
People who experience these types of pregnancies take a pregnancy test and it says negative on it. For men, this can happen when their partner is indeed pregnant. They begin to experience the symptoms of their partner’s pregnancy.
The medical term for it is pseudocyesis but is called a hysterical pregnancy or false pregnancy. Listed under a somatic disorder by medical professionals. Other symptoms include; vomiting, irregular menstruation, and even breast changes such as milk secretion.
You should seek to have an ultrasound done if you believe you’re experiencing a phantom pregnancy or consult your physician.
Peristaltic Movement In Your Gut
Everybody needs it but could you be actually seeing it?
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Peristalsis occurs in multiple places as the body takes food on its journey to being broken down and properly digested. It’s the body’s way of using slow movement muscles to create contraction like movements as it pushes food through the intestines.
You can’t see it happening on everyone, but it certainly isn’t uncommon for people to notice these contractions happen as they look down towards their bellies.
It might first be brought to your attention through the sensation of it happening before actually seeing it. Don’t be concerned if this seems to be the case. There are generally three types of intestinal motility that can be seen outwardly by certain people.
Three Different Types of Gut Contractions
The gut has contractions happening all the time. They are harmless and have to happen in all healthy individuals.
Creating contractions that are actually quite visible in the colon – Hausta. This is where the chopping action happens within the intestine. Additionally mucous is added to food at this time to prepare it for the rest of the digestive process.
This part seems a little backward, it works to temporarily slow the digestion process by slowing the food movements. This time of sluggish movement in the intestine gives us the most optimal time to absorb electrolytes and any remaining water from food.
Mass movement contractions are very long and slow movements. This is only seen in the intestines, happening only when the intestine works to completely clear a section of the intestines.
This takes quite a lot of work though, producing prolonged intense contractions by the intestines, making movement visible for a few hours while this is happening.
Between meals, our intestines are typically dormant, not causing any disruption within the stomach. Pay attention to the timeframe you witness these contractions take place in your stomach if it adds up to your body digestive a meal.
Voila! You might have pinpointed the cause of the questionable movements you’ve been experiencing.
Prepping for A Bowel Movement Requires Your Bowels to Physically Move
When the intestines aren’t busy processing and digesting foods, they are mostly dormant. Then once the nervous system gives the go-ahead to digest a meal, they become a lot more active than you’d expect.
The digestive processes activate right after a meal for a few hours, causing an awful lot of contractions, movements, and flutter like sensations from gasses.
All three of the reflexes mentioned above are the body’s way of keeping the food in the right regions of the digestive tract, and the rectum clear as often as possible.
Colon Spasms the Spontaneous Contraction Related to Irritable Bowell Syndrome
The muscles within the intestines are contracting on a regular basis. These harmless contractions aren’t always obvious even though they’re necessary to digest food.
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In comparison, a person with irritable bowel syndrome might experience symptoms of frequent spasms that’ll constantly have their muscles contracting. These unnecessary spasms are more evident than regular muscle contractions.
Spasms due to irritable bowel syndrome are also known as spastic colon because they occur so frequently. It’s only a portion of people diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome that actually experience spastic colon as an additional symptom.
If you’re experiencing these contractions you’ll be able to see them externally, yet you will still have a negative pregnancy test. If you’ve been diagnosed already, this might make sense.
Be sure to see your health care provider and discuss this possibility whether you have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or haven’t.
There can be other symptoms with colon spasms due to this that condition, such as abdominal pain, an urge to go to the bathroom, cramping, and bloating.
Signs Pregnancy Is Possible Even After A Negative Pregnancy Test
You had a very light last period or have a bout of spotting
If your period has slowed down significantly the last time you had one, then it’s still possible you are pregnant and took the test too early to detect a positive result. Wait a few weeks and retest for a potential pregnancy.
Spotting sometimes happens after a woman becomes pregnant, or right when the egg is implanting in the uterus wall.
It can happen right around the time you’d expect to see your period or two or three weeks after your last period. Keep in mind that not all women experience spotting or bleeding after pregnancy.
Constipation and Bloating, Common Pregnancy Signs
When progesterone levels rise significantly in the first few weeks of pregnancy, it brings about the undesirable sensations with it. Bloating, constipation or gas happens in the early stages of pregnancy more often than not.
If you find a negative pregnancy test and feel movement in your belly, it’s quite possible that you’ll end up confirming your pregnancy in the near future.
Having to pee more often
Hormonal changes cause a pregnant woman’s body to store water retention more than a non-pregnant body.
These hormonal changes coupled with the bladder filling up more often and needing to be emptied more often due to a bit more pressure on the bladder from the growing fetus make pregnant women have to pee far more than they are used to.
Feeling extremely off-put by foods you once liked or turning to foods you don’t like
One of the first signs I ever notice upon becoming pregnant, similar to many other pregnant women is a strong distaste for foods that I once enjoyed.
Even the smell of certain foods would make my stomach turn completely. While at the same time I was finding that foods I never enjoyed were now…really good.
If you find that you have aversions towards certain foods or smells, this could be a solid indicator that you are pregnant even after a negative pregnancy test.
It’s can happen from day to day, many women find relief in following their cravings rather than fighting them. It’s always best to listen to your body over your mind.
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You’re far more irritated than ever before or overly emotionally
Mood swings aren’t uncommon in pregnant women, they might feel happy one moment then angry the next. This is caused by the hormones changing so rapidly within the body.
As your body continues it’s pregnancy in the early stages the neurotransmitters in your brain are changing too, this can cause you to feel overly emotional positive, and negative.
The chemical transmitters in the brain are shifting just as rapidly. For many people, it’s similar to PMS symptoms but for others, they describe it as feeling instinctively ‘off.’
If you’re feeling movement in your stomach but keep getting a negative test result. It could be due to many factors outside of pregnancy.
Most of them are harmless or easily fixable. Seeing your primary physician will ultimately point you in the right direction – on your way to healing.
Or maybe it’d something as natural as your peristaltic. The natural movement of the bowels required for digestion.
Everybody will be different, just know you aren’t crazy just because the pregnancy test came negative and you’re seeing movement in your lower abdomen. Get it checked out for peace of mind.
False Pregnancy (Pseudocyesis) – Grow by WebMD
Seeing and feeling movement in my stomach but not pregnant – Babycenter
I’m not pregnant, so why do I feel kicking? – Yellow Pages
It feels as if a baby is moving inside me but I’m not pregnant. What can it be? – Quora
Can You Confirm Pregnancy Without Taking A Test? – Mom Junction