The first thought that comes to a woman's mind after she has missed her period is that she might be pregnant. So, she might take a pregnancy test and might feel dejected when the it’s negative. In some cases, a woman might be pregnant, but the test result is negative. Women of childbearing age should know that there can be other reasons for missed periods.
Reasons for a Missed or Late Period
It must be noted that cramps, tender breasts, light spotting, elevated body temperature, etc., are some of the signs of pregnancy before a missed period. These signs shouldn't be ignored. The common reasons that might cause a woman to miss per period are listed here.
Hormonal imbalance is often observed in women affected by thyroid problems. Such an imbalance can lead to a missed or delayed period.
Birth control pills or contraceptives may also affect the menstrual cycle. If you switch to another type of birth control or suddenly stop taking the pills, it could lead to a missed or delayed period.
Women who are overweight or underweight could also have irregular periods.
Prolactin is a hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland. High prolactin levels could interfere with the normal production of estrogen and progesterone, which in turn could have an adverse effect on ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). This can lead to missed or irregular periods.
Premature menopause can also be a remote possibility for a missed or delayed period. It can be detected by measuring the FSH level in the blood on the third day of your cycle. High levels of FSH indicate that your body is working too hard to stimulate follicular development.
Reasons for a Negative Pregnancy Test
One of the easiest ways of detecting whether you are pregnant or not is to take a home pregnancy test. However, these are not always 100% accurate. At times, the result might be negative even though one is pregnant. This can happen due to the following reasons:
One of the main reasons for a false negative could be due to conducting the test very early. The test is done to check for the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is a hormone that is released by the developing placenta after a woman becomes pregnant.
Though you may be pregnant, your body may not have started secreting the hormone instantly. It might take time for the hCG level to rise up to a level, so that it can be detected in the test. Normally, the body starts secreting the hormone six to eight days after you conceive.
A false negative could be attributed to using an incorrect technique for conducting the test. If you drink a lot of fluid before collecting the urine sample, the quantity of hCG hormone present in the urine may get diluted. Always conduct the test in the morning right after you wake up, as the urine sample would then have the maximum amount of hCG hormone.
On a concluding note, if you miss your period, but have a negative pregnancy test, you should consult a gynecologist, so that underlying cause for the missed or delayed period can be identified and treated. A pre-pregnancy check up is also a good option, if you are trying to conceive.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.