When you are trying to get pregnant, not having your period show up is super exciting. You take a pregnancy test and eagerly wait for the test results to show up. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. “Wait?!! Why is it negative??? My period is late!!” The negative pregnancy test result is both heartbreaking and frustrating. It just doesn’t seem to make any sense. Either the test isn’t right or your body is not cooperating this cycle.
Reasons Why You Might Miss Your Period or Have a Late Period and Not Be Pregnant
- Weight Loss – If you have lost a considerable amount of weight in a month or have had your BMI drop too low, your body may not ovulate as it should. If you don’t ovulate, you won’t have a period.
- Extreme Amounts of Exercise – If you have increased the amount of time and intensity that you are exercising, your body may be focusing on the extra stress in your body and your hormone balance may become disrupted. If your reproductive hormones are not in balance, you may ovulate later than you think or maybe not at all.
- Increased Stress Levels – Stress is a common culprit of missed or delayed periods, especially because it interferes with hormonal signals from your brain. This can block ovulation, causing your cycle to break from its normal pattern. The stress can come from a sudden upsetting occurrence like a death in the family or it can be the cumulative effect of your daily stress of family, job, finances and so on.
- Birth Control – If you have just recently stopped taking the pill or had a hormonal IUD removed, you may have irregular cycles until your body regains it’s hormonal balance.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – PCOS is a syndrome that affects between 5% – 10% of women of childbearing age (ages 15-44). Menstrual irregularities and anovulation are common symptoms of PCOS. Irregular ovulation makes it very difficult to actually get pregnant. Other symptoms of PCOS can include excess hair on your face (or other part of your body), weight gain or obesity, extreme difficulty losing weight, acne, and thinning hair. You will have to speak to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis of PCOS.
- Potential for Premature Menopause – This is extremely rare and unlikely, however it can’t be ruled out as a cause of your missing period. Menopause occurs prematurely in some women. By getting tested for FSH in your blood on the third day of your cycle, you will be able to determine whether or not this unique situation is the cause of your missed or delayed periods.
Reasons Why You Might Have a Negative Pregnancy Test
It is important to always remember that the pregnancy tests that you take at home aren’t 100 percent accurate. Sometimes, this means that you have missed your period and actually are pregnant, even if urine pregnancy tests suggest otherwise. This is referred to as a false negative, and can be caused from multiple factors such as:
- Taking a Pregnancy Test Too Early – If you miscalculated when you actually ovulated, it could be that you are taking your pregnancy test too early. It’s always a possibility that while fertilization has occurred, your body hasn’t yet secreted enough human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, to make a pregnancy test turn positive. It takes time for levels to become high enough for detection, and by taking a test too early, you’re likely to get a false negative result.
- Personal Errors in Testing – If you don’t use a urine test properly, you might also have a false negative result. This could mean that you didn’t hold the test in your urine stream or did not dip it well long enough. If the urine can not move up the test into the testing area, you will not get an accurate result.
- Following Instructions Incorrectly – Time is of the essence when it comes to home pregnancy tests. If the test sits for too long, the results will no longer be accurate. This can also cause false negative results. Be sure to read the results of the pregnancy test within the timeframe detailed in the testing instructions that come with your test.
What Should I Do If This Happens To Me?
Most women will have an odd period like this from time to time. The best thing to do is wait a week and try another pregnancy test. If that is still negative, and the missed period is of a concern to you, you should contact your doctor. They should be able to help you figure out why you missed your period and put your concerns to rest.