As a woman, one of the most annoying things is when your period is late, but your pregnancy test came out negative. Whether you are trying to conceive or hoping you aren’t pregnant, a late period that goes along with constant negative results on a pregnancy test can make your life incredibly stressful and confusing. It can also mean that you have no idea what is going on and whether or not you are really pregnant.
Missed Period with a Negative Pregnancy Test—Why?
There are multiple reasons you may have missed your period or it may be late but you aren’t pregnant. Just some of them are Premature Ovarian Failure (POF), high levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
|The hormone prolactin||It is possible to miss a period (or even more than one) if your body produces abnormal prolactin levels. It is common to occur while breastfeeding as the body will produce more of the prolactin during this process. Prolactin may be the cause if you aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding and have a milky discharge coming from your nipples.|
|Polycystic Ovary Syndrome||PCOS occurs when you have high levels of specific hormones and this encourages your ovaries to create many follicles that can’t mature sufficiently to produce an egg. You won’t have a period because you haven’t ovulated. Additional symptoms include acne, a tendency for weight gain in the tummy, facial hair growth, and pain in the lower abdomen and chest.|
|Premature Ovarian Failure||This is also known as Diminished Ovarian Reserve. If there are high FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) levels on your third day of your cycle, your body may be working extra hard for follicular development stimulation. The tests can suggest if you have low ovarian reserve using FSH, AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone), and AFC (Antral Follicle Count).|
|Low sensitivity of home pregnancy test||Pregnancy tests work by detecting whether a certain level of hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, which is considered the pregnancy hormone) is present, but tests have different levels of sensitivity. If you think this is the case, get a more sensitive test.|
|Irregular cycles||In some cases, a missed period may be because of an irregular cycle. This irregularity can be due to an ovulation disorder, stress, sleeplessness, or anxiety. Even things such as being underweight or overweight, excessive exercise, or jet-lag may make your cycle irregular. You may also have irregular cycles if you recently stopped taking birth control.|
|Take a test too soon||Right after your egg becomes fertilized, your levels of hCG may not have increased enough for a pregnancy test to register it. Different tests will use different methods in order to detect hCG and this means that how soon you can use the test may vary as well. Most tests recommend waiting until the day your period should have started for accurate results.|
|Chemical pregnancy||A chemical pregnancy is an early pregnancy loss and may be shown by falling or low hCG levels.|
|Miscalculating||Many women forget to account for the first day of their menstrual cycle. You can use ovulation prediction kits or chart your basal body temperature to get a better idea of your menstrual cycles.|
Want to get more information about missed period with a negative pregnancy test?
What Should I Do Next?
1. Wait for Another Test
Most pregnancy tests suggest that you wait about a week before retesting after a negative result. If your test is still negative or if you think you know why your period isn’t there, then talk to your doctor and schedule a physical exam. In some cases, they will also perform blood work or write you a prescription to help encourage your period to start with a popular option being Provera.
2. Keep a Healthy Lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle is especially important when you want to conceive. You should focus on doing regular exercise and following a healthy diet as this will not only help you get in better shape, but it can also reduce your stress and balance out your menstrual cycle. Every woman is different, so talk to your doctor to figure out the best lifestyle based on your medical history, age, and body.
Certain medications such as Depo or birth control can make your cycle irregular or lead to missed periods. The same is also true if you have recently stopped taking birth control. This is because certain medications work because they change the balance of the reproductive hormones in your body. If you are unsure about whether a medication change is affecting your period or results on a pregnancy test, talk to the doctor that prescribed the medication.
4. Consult Your Doctor
In cases where your period is at least a week late and you have had two or more negative results on home pregnancy tests, consider talking to a fertility doctor. Ask them whether it would be helpful to give you an Estradiol level test.
Credit: Rel Facts