What to Do with a Late Period and Negative Pregnancy Test?
A negative pregnancy test when your period is late can be a confusing situation, especially when you are trying to conceive. There are many reasons why a period might be late. Often, there is no cause for concern, although some causes of a late period may be more serious than others.
If your period is late and you have taken a home pregnancy test that is negative, here are a few factors to consider.
If your period is only late by a few days, there might not yet be any reason for concern. Sometimes, a pregnancy may not even be detected by a home pregnancy test until a full week after the date of your missed period. Try to be patient, observe your symptoms, and test again in a few days.
If your period is over a week late and you have a negative pregnancy test, take some time to consider other factors besides pregnancy that could be a reasonable possibility for the delay.
Are there other factors in your life that could be delaying your period?
There are a number of reasons a period might be later than expected. Here are just a few of the most common ones. If you have a negative pregnancy test after missing your period, consider if any of these factors are relevant to your life.
Trying to conceive is often a stressful time of life. If your cycles are prone to becoming irregular when you are under stress, pay special attention to your mental state. It could be possible that stress is causing your period to be late.
Many women will have irregular cycles throughout their breastfeeding journey. Even if you have had a few regular cycles in a row, breastfeeding can be a reason for a late period.
If you have a medical condition that causes irregular or delayed cycles, keep that in mind when you have a negative pregnancy test and a late period.
Certain medications can cause irregular cycles. Make sure to ask your doctor about any new med prescribed and the effects it might have on your cycle if you are trying to conceive.
Some women will wonder if they have a false negative when they have missed a period but still have a negative pregnancy test. While very rare, there are a few reasons someone may have a negative pregnancy test when they are in fact pregnant.
While most ectopic pregnancies will result in a positive pregnancy test, there is a small percentage (less than 3%) of ectopic pregnancies that may not be detected by a home pregnancy test. Call your doctor right away if you are experiencing any concerning symptoms and are late for your period.
Low Hormone Levels
Because levels of the hormone hCG (the hormone detected by home pregnancy tests) can vary so widely in early pregnancy, it could be possible that your levels are simply not yet high enough to be detectable. This can especially be the case if you have long or unpredictable cycles, or if you had the date of ovulation wrong.
Using home ovulation tests is an easy way to know when you should be trying to conceive if you have irregular cycles and are unsure when your ovulation falls each month.
Very rarely, you might have had a faulty test that simply did not function how it was supposed to. Having extra tests on hand and waiting a day or two to test again can help alleviate this particular worry.
When should you call your provider?
If you have a late period and a negative pregnancy test, you may be wondering when you should call your provider. If getting a blood test done in order to confirm your negative pregnancy test will bring you peace of mind, do not hesitate to call and ask to have one scheduled.
In the case of low pregnancy hormones causing the negative home test result, blood tests repeated at regular intervals can also give you a clearer picture of how the pregnancy is progressing, and if there are any concerns to keep a watch on.
Anytime you are trying to conceive and are experiencing concerning symptoms, make sure to update your care provider. Finding out the cause of your late period can contribute to being able to conceive the next cycle, if you have not already.
There are a number of reasons you may have a late period and a negative pregnancy test. Consider if lifestyle factors or medical reasons may be the cause. If you are experiencing concerning symptoms or if your period is very late and you would like confirmation of the negative result with a blood test, call your care provider.
Having a negative pregnancy test and a late period while trying to conceive can be frustrating and confusing, but it is not often a cause for alarm. Try your best to be patient and work with your provider to determine the cause.