Missed Period but Negative Pregnancy Test

One of the most frustrating and disappointing thing a woman can experience is to have a missed period but a negative pregnancy test. Since both are contradicting situations, it can lead to a great deal of stress, worry, confusion, and conjecture in a woman.
Having a negative pregnancy test but no period is not inevitably a paradox, as there are quite a number of possible explanations for it. In fact, in many cases, there can be reasons other than pregnancy for late or missed periods, and similarly there can be possible situations where a missed period is indeed due to pregnancy, but still you receive a negative pregnancy test result. Therefore, let us have a better look at these two scenarios (missed period, negative pregnancy test) and explore some of the possible causes.

Reasons for a Missed or Late Period

Pregnancy is the first sign that comes to the mind of most women of childbearing age when they miss their period. However, cramps, tender breasts, light spotting, elevated body temperature, etc., are some signs of pregnancy before missed period that shouldn't be ignored. Following are some possible reasons for a missed period and a negative pregnancy test result.
  • Stress is the major reason of missed or delayed periods in women, as it interferes with the normal hormonal signals from the brain and obstructs ovulation, hence causing irregular menstruation.
  • Women having thyroid problems can also have abnormal hormonal changes which can lead to a late or missed period.
  • Birth control pills or contraceptives may also make periods disappear. It is normal to miss periods while taking these medications.
  • Being overweight, underweight, or excessive production of prolactin hormones can also lead to a delayed or missed period.
  • Premature menopause can also be a remote possibility for a missed period but a negative pregnancy test, and it can be detected by measuring the FSH blood level on the third day of your cycle. High levels of FSH would show that your body is working too hard to stimulate follicular development.
Reasons for a Negative Pregnancy Test

One of the most easiest way of detecting whether you are pregnant or not is to have a home pregnancy test. But remember that the home pregnancy test is not always 100% accurate, as there can be chances that you may have missed your period and are actually pregnant but the test shows a negative result. This can happen due to may reasons:
  • One of the main reason for a false negative pregnancy test could be early detection attempt, i.e. conducting the test very early. The test determines a specific hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is released by the developing placenta soon after a woman becomes pregnant. Though you may be pregnant, your body won't start secreting the hormone instantly and it will take time to rise up to a level so that hCG hormone can be detected in the test. Normally, the body starts secreting the hormone six to eight days after you conceive.
  • Another reason can be erratic technique of conducting the test, i.e. not performing the test properly. Like quite often, women drink lots of fluids before collecting the urine sample, thus diluting the quantity of hCG hormones present in the urine. Therefore, it is always recommended to conduct the test by using the first morning urine, as it has the maximum amount of hCG hormones present in it.
  • Reading the test results before or after the stipulated reaction time mentioned on the pregnancy kit can also show false negative results.
However, if you miss your periods but have a negative pregnancy test, you should consult your doctor or gynecologist for possible explanations, suggestions and health tips. After discussing your medical history and conducting a few tests, the doctor will be able to identify the actual reason for the missed periods and negative pregnancy test, and will recommend necessary treatment. A pre-pregnancy check up is also a good option, if you are trying to conceive.
Published: September 15, 2009
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