For any woman who has been trying to conceive, a negative pregnancy test with a missed period can be disheartening. There could be times when the missed period is actually due to pregnancy, but the test is negative, as you took the test too early, or didn't follow the instructions properly. If pregnancy has been ruled out, it's advisable to seek medical assistance to identify the underlying cause of the missed or delayed period.
Causes for Missed Period and Negative Pregnancy Test
Delay in Ovulation
The pregnancy tests that are available in the market are designed to detect the presence of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in urine. This hormone is released by the body, after the woman has conceived, and the fertilized egg is implanted in the lining of the womb. However, in some cases, the process gets delayed due to a delay in ovulation (release of egg by the ovary). Due to this, the period gets delayed, and the pregnancy test is negative. Therefore, it is essential to know when to take the pregnancy test. If the test is taken too early, it may give a false negative result.
Miscalculating the Period
On an average, the menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days. However, the duration could vary from person to person. So, it can be shorter than 28 days or longer than 28 days as well. If your menstrual cycle is of 28 days, calculate 28 days from the start of the last menstrual cycle to determine, when the next period is due. If you have a longer menstrual cycle, then there are chances, that the fertilized egg has not been implanted to the lining of the womb yet. Therefore, the pregnancy would not be positive.
Taking the Test Too Soon
Apart from the aforementioned reasons, another contributing factor for a missed period but negative pregnancy test could be the failure to follow the instructions for the pregnancy test. The outcome could also get affected in case of a pregnancy test with low sensitivity. The test will be positive only when the body is secreting enough Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) for the test to measure. If your body has not yet started producing enough amount of hCG, the outcome would be negative. The test should be taken right after getting up in the morning. Also, one must not drink a lot of water before taking the test, as that would cause the urine to become diluted. This could impact the outcome. Also, women must check the date of expiry on the pregnancy test kit.
Use of Oral Contraceptives
Contraceptives artificially control the balance of reproductive hormones in the body. If you were taking these hormones, and have recently discontinued them, your body might take some time to reestablish the natural rhythm of the menstrual cycle. In some cases, it may take a couple of months for the rhythm to be reestablished. It is absolutely normal to have irregular periods with the hormonal fluctuations, which may be responsible for a late or missed period for a month.
Being overweight or underweight often tends to cause the hormones to go haywire, which in turn could cause menstrual irregularities. Therefore, if you are either overweight or underweight, then you may want to either lose weight or gain weight, as per the directives from your doctor.
Sudden weight loss or weight gain could be a result of thyroid problems. Also, menstrual irregularities are often linked to thyroid disorders. Inadequate and excessive production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland gives rise to hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism, respectively. Missed period could be caused by an underlying thyroid problem.
On a concluding note, you might have missed your period due to stress, or an underlying medical condition. Also, the test could be a false negative. So, you can take the test again, or consult your gynecologist for identifying the cause of the missed period.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.