Do you have a missed period but a negative pregnancy test? You might still be pregnant (or one of these other reasons for a missed period may be the culprit!
“Am I actually pregnant? How common is a false negative?”
“Why isn’t it here?!”
“Do I have some kind of weird disease?”
“Well, I kind of feel pregnant…maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I was.”
“Maybe I just tested too early.”
There are few things in life more stressful than a missed period accompanied by a negative pregnancy test.
Whether you were trying to get pregnant or were hoping to avoid it, it can bring about a whole host of emotions. 55% of women are relieved to find out they likely aren’t pregnant, but if you are missing your period, you might still be wondering if you actually are pregnant.
Millions of thoughts rush through, including those ones I mentioned above. While many women used to make appointments to find out they were pregnant or not (and it was often not until they were about eight weeks a long), home pregnancy tests have changed that.
Well, if you are here because you have a missed period but a negative pregnancy test, you’ve come to the right place.
There are countless reasons why a period might be late, and no, it isn’t always because of pregnancy. Here are a few things to consider:
Thank you to e.p.t. for partnering with us on this post.
Yes, false negative home pregnancy tests do happen.
A quick search of the BabyCenter.com forums will reveal many women who had a false negative and went on to have a bouncing baby nine months later.
So if you were hoping to be pregnant, a false negative home pregnancy test isn’t always the end of your hopes. And if you weren’t ready to be pregnant? Well, don’t stop holding your breath quite yet.
Here are a few reasons why a negative pregnancy test might false:
- Testing too early: While there are tests that claim to be able detect the pregnancy hormone before your missed period, it’s not always fool-proof. However, if you feel like your period is late, it’s always possible that you’ve just miscalculated your dates and just tested too early.
- Expired Test: Always check the expiration date, because tests do expire.
- Not taking the test correctly: It’s important to follow the instructions. It can be tempting to take it right away (a national study found that about 1/2 do!), but you should really take the test in the morning when your urine isn’t as diluted.
There are a lot of pregnancy tests out there, but the brand that I love is e.p.t. It’s over 99% accurate on the day of your missed period (so long as you use it correctly), so it’s one of the most accurate pregnancy tests available. It’s been around since 1977, so it’s very possible it’s the same test your mom used to find out she was pregnant with you!
If you suspect you are pregnant even with a home pregnancy test saying you aren’t, just call your doctor and see if you can get a blood test done. Those are pretty fool proof.
Did you know that December 11th is the most fertile day of the year? According to national birth records, the most popular birthday is September 16th, which would make December 11th the day many of those babies were conceived. So, if that negative pregnancy test really does turn out to be negative, and that is a disappointment, December 11th is coming up. Maybe it will be the lucky day for you!
Breastfeeding can delay your menstrual cycle for months (though it may not always prevent ovulation…so it’s not the most reliable form of birth control).
If you are breastfeeding and you haven’t gotten your period, try not to fret. Many women experience this, at least until their baby starts to eat more solids.
Even after you get your period while breastfeeding, it is still normal to have it be irregular for awhile as your hormones adjust.
There are different medications that can cause delayed or missed periods – particularly hormonal birth control. Some people will never have a period when they are on certain forms of birth control (such as the Mirena or Depo shot).
However, there are other medications that can cause irregularities as well, so always think about what medications you recently started if your period is late. According to WebMD, the following medications can occasionally cause changes in your menstrual cycle:
- Asprin or Warfarin (and similar anticoagulant medications)
- NSAIDs such as Advil or Asprin
- Thyroid medications
This is a huge one – look at your life and see if there’s been any added stress. It can definitely delay the menstrual cycle.
If you are finding that you have a lot of stress in your life, consider
This is a hormonal disorder that affects many women. It often causes small cysts to grow on the ovaries, which can lead to hormonal imbalances, including irregular periods. You can read more about it here. It can be a difficult syndrome to deal with, though there are treatments available.
Many women who have PCOS start displaying symptoms during puberty, but it’s possible for symptoms not to appear until later on in life.
Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep can lead to a lot of different issues, and it can definitely cause a delayed period. Pulling a lot of all nighters lately? It could be the culprit.
Sickness messes with the body, and it can very commonly mess with your menstrual cycle.
Being around other girls
Did you know that when you live with other women, your cycles often sync up? If there’s a new woman living in your house, this could be the culprit.
So, there you have it – plenty of reasons why you may be having a missed period but a negative pregnancy test.
If it turns out that you are indeed not pregnant, don’t be discouraged. Some couples take longer than others to get pregnant.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.