Reasons For A Missed Period And Negative Pregnancy Test Result
Susana has worked extensively with pregnant women and families. She runs a pregnancy website and a pregnancy support group on Facebook.
A late period but a negative pregnancy test result? Here are nine possible explanations.
Do you feel sure that you’re pregnant but ended up with one or more negative pregnancy test results and still no period? You’re not alonegetting a negative test with a missed period is more common than you might think.
Many women become concerned about the reasons for a negative test when they feel sure they are pregnant. For instance, if a medication they’re taking could affect the pregnancy test result, which is extremely rare but not impossible. .
Often the answer as to why a pregnancy test is negative is more obvious.
Consider Taking A Home Pregnancy Test
If your period is more than two weeks late, then you can consider taking an at-home pregnancy test. These can be purchased from most drug stores , and usually arent too expensive. Make sure to read and follow the directions when you take the test. If it comes back negative, then you may not be pregnant. If it comes back positive, then
What If My Period Is Late And Pregnancy Tests Are Negative
If your period is late yet your pregnancy test keeps coming back negative, youre not aloneDr. Price notes that this happens very frequently, as there are a number of reasons for late periods that have nothing to do with a potential pregnancy.
Some women do not always ovulate on a perfectly regular basis, he says. And if you dont ovulate, then youre going to not have a period or will be late on your period.
However, if irregular periods are a routine occurrence, then this could signal an underlying issue. If its a chronic occurrence, women that just have irregular periods, there are several medical disorders that can cause that, says Dr. Price.
This could include disorders such as thyroid conditions and polycystic ovary syndrome . Aside from medical disorders, factors like stress, excessive exercise and a low body weight can also cause someone to miss their period.
Also Check: Why Am I 5 Days Late On My Period
If You Continue Your Pregnancy
If you choose to continue your pregnancy to term, then you most likely wont get your period back until about six weeks after you give birth. Factors that impact the return of your period after birth include things like stress, whether youre breastfeeding or not, and if you start using hormonal birth control.
So there you have it how to find your period when it goes missing!
Abortion Information You Can Trust
carafem medical standards and guidelines have been composed and approved by Board-certified Ob/Gyn Physicians as part of the carafem medical committee. Still have questions? Check out our FAQ page, or call us at , or find a location near you.
What Should You Plan For This Week
If your period is late or if you have an irregular period, you may want to take a home pregnancy test. If the result is positive, you can try to schedule an appointment with a health care provider, although many health care providers wait to see you until you are 8 to 12 weeks pregnant. If your test is negative and your period is late, then you should wait a week before testing again. Some women take 2 to 3 weeks after a missed period before producing a detectable level of the pregnancy hormone. You also want to begin looking for a health-care provider and decide where you will have your baby. Many doctors and midwives will allow you to arrange an appointment so you can meet them and ask questions before deciding if they will become your provider. For more information on choosing your health care provider, see our information on your birthing choices.
Rare Causes Of A False Negative
In rare cases, an ectopic pregnancy can cause a false-negative test result. An ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo implants somewhere other than the uterus. This usually occurs in the fallopian tubes, but it can also happen elsewhere.
An ectopic pregnancy does not develop properly and is not viable. The formation of the placenta is delayed which impedes the production of hCG. An ectopic pregnancy can be dangerous if it causes the fallopian tube to rupture.
Ectopic pregnancies are rare, occurring in around 1 in 40 pregnancies. However, they can be fatal. Around 9% of pregnancy-related deaths are caused by an ectopic pregnancy.
If your period is late and you are experiencing severe pain, call your provider right away or go to the emergency room.
Another rare cause of a false negative test is gestational trophoblastic disease , more commonly known as a molar pregnancy. GTD is a rare type of tumor that forms from a developing embryo. In less than 1 in 100 cases, a healthy baby can develop from a molar pregnancy. Usually, however, a molar pregnancy ends in miscarriage.
GTD causes extremely high levels of hCG. As mentioned above, elevated levels of hCG can throw off an at-home pregnancy test and give a negative result. While GTD is a tumor, its rarely cancerous. The treatment is usually having a D& C. If pregnancy hormone levels remain high, chemotherapy might be needed.
Could My Medications Be The Culprit
Painkillers, antibiotics, or other forms of medication unrelated to fertility wont affect your hormone levels or delay ovulation. Although fertility medications can produce false positives, they rarely produce false negative results.
However, birth control, blood pressure medications, or allergy relief meds could interfere in other ways . Some may change when you ovulate or create irregularities with your period, leading you to suspect pregnancy.
Also Check: Can You Get A Yeast Infection On Your Period
You Stressed Yourself Out
If you had strenuous academic, emotional or physical stress for a long time, your body reacts by sending signals to your brain, where ovulation and period are controlled.
Stress may not always mean getting physically work-out. If you are worried either psychologically or emotionally, your hormones may be secreted in an abnormal way
The body hypothalamus may not work properly by either blocking or reducing hormone release.
8 signs you could be stressed without knowing are
- Memory problems
- Lack of sexual desires
What steps may help out?
Ways you can get your period back is by talking to a therapist, taking some time off to relax, or talking to friends and family about issues bothering you.
Blue Dye Pink Dye Or Digital Test
Over the years, many different home pregnancy tests have made their way onto the market. But with pink dye, blue dye, and even digital pregnancy tests, which one should you choose?
We recommend anything but a blue dye. Thats because blue dye tests are notorious for evaporation lines. These evaporation lines tend to have a grey tint because of the blue dye running across during the testing process. This can make them look like a faint positive when, in fact, no HCG was picked up.
So, with blue dyes out, should you reach for a pink dye test or a digital test? It depends on where you are in your cycle.
While digital home pregnancy tests are easier to read, they tend to be less sensitive than pink dye tests. If you want to test before you miss your period, we recommend using a pink dye test.
If you get a negative result but dont trust the test results, repeat the test. Do this after at least three days to allow your HCG levels to increase.
You May Like: Does Plan B Delay Your Period
You Are Pregnant With Twins Or Triplets
Carrying two or more babies causes a woman to produce very high levels of hCG and at-home pregnancy tests may not be able to detect it because there’s actually too much. This is known as the “high-dose hook effect.”
Dr. Gronowski explains that hCG tests work by forming a “sandwich” with two antibodies as the “bread” and the hCG molecule as the “meat.” When the hCG concentration is too high, it saturates both antibodies, and there are so many molecules that the antibodies can’t form a sandwich, resulting in a negative pregnancy result.
Some women report positive results after diluting their urine with water, however, a blood test at the doctor’s office is a better option for accuracy.
Could It Be Menopause
OK, this ones probably pretty unlikely as the average age for periods ending due to menopause is around 50.
However, in extreme cases, missed or erratic periods can begin as early as a womans 30s or as late as her 60s.
Wed say this probably isnt one to think on too much – unless youve missed loads of periods, completely abnormally, or you have a family history of early menopause.
How Pregnancy Tests Work
What exactly causes that line on a pregnancy test to appear? The answer is a little hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin .
Your babys placenta makes HCG to help nourish the embryo. HCG is vital in maintaining the proper levels of the main pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Pregnancy test strips are specially treated so when your urine hits them, they conclude whether HCG levels are detected. The dye does not stick on the test line if no HCG is detected. But if it is, the test line will change colors, making two lines appear in the window instead of one.
If you take a pregnancy test before you have missed your period and get a faint line or even a negative result, do not fret. Not all pregnancy tests are created equal, and some require more HCG to show a positive result than others.
You Are Pregnant But You Took The Test Too Early
Pregnancy tests work by detecting the pregnancy hormone hCG. If you are pretty sure you are pregnant because you’ve been experiencing some early pregnancy symptoms but have a negative test result, one of the most common reasons is that you have taken the pregnancy test too early, and your body has not produced enough hCG hormone for the test to detect it.
You May Like: Periodic Table With Real Elements Amazon
The Pregnancy Test Cant Detect Pregnancy Hormones Because The Levels Are Too Low
It takes at least ten days after conception for your body to produce enough of the human chorionic gonadotropin pregnancy hormone for a home pregnancy test to detect .
There are several reasons hCG levels can be too low to register a positive result, and they include:
- You tested too early
Even if youve already missed your period, you can get a false-negative result. Its not common, but it could happen if ovulation occurred later in your cycle than usual.
For example, you usually ovulate on day fourteen of your cycle. But this month, you were under a lot of stress and ovulated on day twenty instead. So, if you became pregnant, it would have happened about six days later in your cycle than usual, which means you wont get a positive pregnancy test until six days later.
If you get a negative result and suspect youre pregnant, try testing again in a few days if you still dont get your period.
- Your urine was diluted
You can also get a false-negative result if your urine is too diluted when you take your pregnancy test. For this reason, its best to use first-morning urine or test after you havent had any fluids to drink for about six hours.
A rare phenomenon called the hook effect can also lead to a false-negative pregnancy test result . A hook effect occurs when hCG levels are so high that the pregnancy test cant read it.
Situations that could cause a false-negative pregnancy test due to a hook effect include:
Who Wants To Clean That Up
If I were going to have two liquids bubbling, fizzing, and spewing in my house, my last two picks would be using bleach and urine.
Watching YouTube videos of people whove done this test reminds me of the homemade volcano I made with my kids a couple of years ago. That was made of baking soda and vinegar, and it was still a pain to clean up.
I cant imagine cleaning up a cocktail of bubbling urine and bleach. But if you did this DIY test, youd have to.
Ive seen videos of people doing this test on a floor with a towel placed under the cup. I have enough cleaning to do at my house without adding to the workload by doing this.
Plus, if I have to put gloves on to clean something up, I dont want it to be something that could hurt the growing baby in my belly.
Also Check: Why Am I Bleeding When I Already Had My Period
Missed Period But Negative Pregnancy Test: 6 Causes
If youve ever experienced a missed period but had a negative pregnancy test, you may be wondering if you can actually trust the results of the test.
Although it is possible to be pregnant and still have a negative pregnancy test, there are also some other reasons why you might get a negative result with a missed period.
There are six primary causes of a missed period but a negative pregnancy test, including low hormone levels, lifestyle factors, ectopic pregnancy, breastfeeding, medication use, and certain medical conditions.
Negative Pregnancy Test And Pregnancy Loss
Early pregnancy loss and miscarriage without symptoms are sadly quite common. If statistics are taken based on blood tests from just after implantation , as many as 30% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage.
However, if youre trying to conceive and using HPTs around the time your period is due, a negative result does not necessarily mean pregnancy loss. The only clear indication of miscarriage, which would still have to be confirmed by a doctor, would be to have a positive result followed by an increasingly faint line if you tested again in the following days. This would indicate that the hCG levels in your body were falling instead of rising.
Read Also: Can I Be Pregnant With A Period
Negative Pregnancy Tests While Pregnant
Many women can be misled by a negative pregnancy test when they are, in fact, pregnant. Pregnancy tests arent always as accurate as youd think .
Home pregnancy tests detect HCG, a hormone your body produces during pregnancy. For a positive test, the amount of HCG needs to be high enough for the test to recognize it. So if you havent produced enough, youll see a negative result.
Using A Dilute Sample Of Urine For Taking The Pregnancy Test
In the early stage of pregnancy, your body produces very low levels of hCG. hCG level keeps doubling as your pregnancy progresses.
After reaching the peak level, the hCG level then starts declining. The hCG hormone comes out in your urine. It takes the time to achieve a high concentration.
Your urine gets concentrated if you dont excrete even when you feel a full bladder. The water gets reabsorbed, and other waste components add. Even hCG gets concentrated. So one needs to take a concentrated urine sample to have enough hCG in it. Otherwise, the hCG will not be detectable.
Also Check: How To Get Your Period In One Hour
My Period Is Late But I Took A Pregnancy Test And The Result Was Negative Could I Still Be Pregnant
Im 5 days late for my period. I took a pregnancy test when i was 2-3 days late.. could i still be pregnant?
If you take a pregnancy test after your period is late and get a negative result, youre unlikely to be pregnant. Home pregnancy tests are very accurate about 99 percent but a false negative is still possible. Try taking another pregnancy test in a day or two to double check.
There are many reasons your period could be late other than pregnancy. Stress, illness, and changes in weight or nutrition can all affect your menstrual cycle. If youre taking hormonal birth control or took emergency contraception, that can also change your period.
If youre still worried, you can contact your nurse or doctor, who can give you a pregnancy test and help figure out what might be going on with your period.
Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. is a registered 501 nonprofit under EIN 13-1644147. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.
The Truth About False Negatives
Depending on when you took the test, you could get a false negative result. Home pregnancy tests arent always perfectly accurate especially if you take them too soon after your missed period. Different brands of tests have different guidelines about timing.
Even if the test you bought claims to be accurate on the first day of a missed period, youre better off waiting at least one more day. Your body needs to have a high enough level of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin for the test to detect.
Early in pregnancy, HCG levels double every few days. Since your ovulation date could be slightly different each month, it may take a week or two after conception to get a reliable pregnancy test result.
Wait several days, and if you still dont get your period, take the test again. Its best to take a pregnancy test first thing in the morning, before your urine has been diluted with fluids from food and water.
If the second or third test is negative, its time to look at other potential causes of your missed period. Amenorrhea can happen for many reasons, and you may need to see a healthcare provider to get things back on track.
Here are eight possible reasons for a missed period and a negative pregnancy test.
Recommended Reading: How To Take Birth Control Pills To Stop Period