Missed Period and Negative Pregnancy Test - Am I pregnant?
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 20, 2020.
Missed period and negative pregnancy test - can I still be pregnant?
It is possible to get a negative result on a pregnancy test even if you are pregnant. The following reasons may be why the test is negative.
- If you’ve tested too early and your levels of pregnancy hormones may be too low. If the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine are not high enough then the test might not pick it up and return a positive result. If you are experiencing early pregnancy signs like nausea, tiredness or tender breasts wait a few days and try again.
- If you don’t follow the test instructions properly. Take care to read and follow the instructions that come with your test.
- If the test is very old and has expired.
- If the test has not been stored properly.
- In the rare instance that you have an ectopic pregnancy that does not produce a positive result on a pregnancy test. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside of the uterus and it can be life-threatening. See your healthcare provider if you have symptoms like pain in your lower abdomen, dizziness, bleeding, spotting, and nausea and vomiting.
If your period is very late or you’ve missed it altogether and you still have a negative result, then it’s unlikely that you would be pregnant.
Why is my period late if I’m not pregnant?
It’s also possible for your period to be late when you’re not pregnant. Below is a list of factors that can affect the timing of your period:
- Irregular menstrual cycle - It is not uncommon to have the occasional delayed period
- Stress - high stress levels can increase the release of cortisol and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) that help control your body's response to stress. These can suppress normal levels of reproductive hormones and lead to a delay in the menstrual cycle.
- Diet - consuming too much caffeine, not eating enough food or being overweight can have effects on your hormonal system and your body.
- Lifestyle changes - such as starting up intense or excessive exercise, poor sleep patterns or if you have been traveling can all impact your cycle.
- Breastfeeding - your period can be unpredictable after having a baby and take some time to go back to normal. The frequency with which you breastfeed can change as the baby gets older and may interfere with your cycle.
- Medical conditions- such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid problems, or menopause can cause irregular periods.
- Medications - like birth control pills, infertility medications, certain allergy pills, and other medications can throw your cycle out.
If you haven’t had your period for a few months then see your healthcare provider to help find out the cause.
- Clearblue. What does getting a negative pregnancy test result mean?. Reviewed February 27. 2019. Available at: https://www.clearblue.com/pregnancy-tests/negative-results. [Accessed November 20. 2020].
- National Health Service UK (NHS). How accurate are home pregnancy tests?. Reviewed November 13, 2018. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/how-accurate-are-home-pregnancy-tests/. [Accessed November 20. 2020].
- The Ancestral Health Society Of New Zealand. Are You Eating Enough To Get A Period?. Available at: https://ancestralhealthnz.org/are-you-eating-enough-to-get-a-period/. [Accessed November 20. 2020].
- Very Well Family. Why Your Weight Matters When You're Trying to Conceive. Updated February 2, 2020. Available at: https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-connection-between-fertility-and-weight-1960251. [Accessed November 20. 2020].
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