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Negative Pregnancy Test with a Missed Period
Negative Pregnancy Test with a Missed Period? What does that mean?
There are a several possible explanations for a negative pregnancy test with a missed period. Perhaps the most concerning issue when you are trying to conceive is whether or not you have an underlying medical diagnosis preventing regular menstrual cycles.
Some reasons for having a missed or late period without being pregnant include: ovulation disorders or ovarian reserve issues. Conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, and high Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) or Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) can interfere with your menstrual cycle.
Here are some causes of a missed period not attributable to pregnancy:
- Irregular Cycles. For some women, irregular menstrual cycles are the result of an ovulation disorder. Other factors that can influence a missed period are increased stress, anxiety, or sleeplessness. Long periods of stress or anxiety can affect the balance of reproductive hormones and delay ovulation or the onset of menstruation. Other causes for irregularity are travel and jet-lag, excessive exercise and being overweight or underweight. Of course, if you are on birth control, or have recently discontinued birth control, you may experience missed periods as well.
- Premature Ovarian Failure or Diminished Ovarian Reserve. Diminished Ovarian Reserve / Premature Ovarian Failure can be a cause of a missed period. Levels indicating high FSH on day three of your cycle may indicate that your body is working overtime to stimulate follicular development. FSH tests may suggest a low ovarian reserve (peri-menopause). A fertility doctor can diagnose ovarian reserve issues by testing FSH, Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), and Antral Follicle Count (AFC).
If your period is more than one week late and you have received more than one negative home pregnancy test, it might be time to consult a fertility doctor and ask about whether you might benefit from a Estradiol Level test
Other indications of a negative pregnancy test with missed period include:
- Miscalculating your period. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, but far too often we forget to note day 1 of our cycle. Charting Basal Body Temperature or using Ovulation Prediction Kits (OPKs) can help you get a firm grasp on your menstrual cycle to predict when you are most likely to conceive.
- Home pregnancy test with a low sensitivity. A home pregnancy test will only detect pregnancy when the level of “pregnancy hormone” Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) reaches a certain threshold, and it simply may not be sensitive enough to produce a positive result. Try again with a more sensitive brand and be sure to use first morning urine.
- Taking a home pregnancy test too soon. Another reason for a false negative pregnancy test could be that you took the test too early. Pregnancy tests vary in how soon they can detect hCG in your urine. It is possible that although an egg may be fertilized, your body has not started secreting enough hCG to register on a test. Your body needs time for the hormone to rise to a high enough level to be detected. Most brands instruct you to wait until the first day of your missed period to test. Remember, hCG rises differently in each woman.
- Chemical Pregnancy. In some cases, low or falling hCG levels may indicate a chemical pregnancy, or early pregnancy loss.