Having a late period but negative pregnancy test is frustrating. Whether you want to be pregnant or not, the confusion behind a negative test when your period still hasn’t started can cause stress and worry. Because I work at a pregnancy center, I hear this quite often:
“Well if I’m not pregnant, then why haven’t I had my period?!”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“My periods have never been irregular before!”
There are several reasons you can miss a period and have a negative pregnancy test:
1. Testing Too Early
If you take a pregnancy test too early, you may get a “false negative.” Your body needs time for the pregnancy hormone (hCG) to rise to a high enough level to be detected by a pregnancy test. This is why we recommend waiting at least 28 days after your last period. Here at Clarity, we can provide you with free, lab-quality pregnancy testing.
2. Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI’s)
Some STI’s, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, can cause changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle like bleeding between periods or delayed/missed periods. Often, these STI’s do not have any other symptoms, so this is important to look out for!
Stress can cause a hormonal imbalance which may disrupt your period. This is actually cited as one of the most common causes of irregular periods! If you begin to have irregular periods, talk to your primary care physician or OB/GYN.
4. Birth Control
Birth control pills, and other forms of hormonal contraceptives, can cause a change in your period. This is especially true if you recently started a new form of birth control or have not taken the medication exactly as instructed (took pills late, missed pills, etc). If you have questions concerning your birth control, it is important to contact your doctor about these issues.
It is common for women not to menstruate while breastfeeding. However, it is still possible to become pregnant, even if you are not having a period.
6. Weight Loss/Strenuous Exercise
If you have lost weight, have an eating disorder, or exercise excessively, your periods may become irregular or stop altogether. If this happens, it is important to contact your doctor.
No matter why you are missing periods, it is important to pay attention to your cycle and talk to your doctor if needed. And remember, it is totally possible to become pregnant even if your periods are irregular. In fact, the only way to really ensure you can’t get pregnant is to abstain from sexual activity.
And as always, if you think you may be pregnant, please call us for an appointment. Our nurses would be honored to sit down and talk with you.