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No Period But Negative Pregnancy Test?

Whether or not you are actively trying to conceive, one of the most aggravating sensations a woman can experience is the one which occurs when she has missed her period – but the home pregnancy test comes back negative. Am I pregnant or aren’t I?

The first thing you should know is that there are reasons for having a late period, yet still have a negative test result.

There could be other factors delaying your period. Or you might in fact be pregnant, yet this does not show up on the test.

In the case of the latter situation, where you have experienced a symptom of pregnancy (a late period), but receive negative results on your home pregnancy test, the most likely culprit (assuming you are, in fact, pregnant) is the test itself. Some tests are simply not sensitive enough to detect lower levels of hCG (the pregnancy hormone).

You may also not be following instructions perfectly. For the most accurate results, try one or all of the following: try another brand, be sure to follow all instructions, wait up to 10 minutes for the result to appear in the window, and use your first urine of the day for the test. This last recommendation is important, because that urine will not be diluted by other fluids.

You must also remember that hCG levels vary from woman to woman and from conception to conception. In a few cases, some women’s hCG hormone composition does not bind well with the reagents used in the home pregnancy test, further delaying a positive result.

There also exists the remote possibility that the inability of the test to detect your hCG levels indicates that your pregnancy may have failed (miscarriage) or that you are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy – either of these can delay your period, but not produce or stop producing hCG levels high enough to be detected on a pregnancy test.

However, there are many reasons that you can have a very late – or even missed – period, which are unrelated to being pregnant. Some women have irregular cycles, meaning that being “late” is par for the course.

Variation in cycle length is actually quite normal. However, if you are on birth control, such as the Pill (which regulates your cycle), and experiencing a late period, it may be a good idea to see your doctor.

In addition, conditions such as anxiety and sleeplessness can affect your period. Stress causes your body to produce specific hormones, such as cortisol, and disturb the balance of reproductive hormones, thereby delaying ovulation or menstruation. It is also possible for long travel and jet-lag to delay the onset of your period.

To prevent these kinds of irregularities – indeed, for anyone trying to conceive – it is important to maintain a healthy diet and weight, and exercise on a regular basis (though without overdoing it, as extremely low body fat negatively affects fertility).

In any case, if your period is extremely late, and you are asking yourself how you can have no period but negative pregnancy test, see your doctor. She can definitively determine if you are pregnant, and also help you with any fertility concerns you may have.

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