The technology behind pregnancy tests has advanced greatly. Women didn’t always have an accurate way to find out if they were getting pregnant. Women were unable to confirm their expectations until 1976, when the first at-home pregnancy test was created.
Despite technological advancements that allow women to know when they are pregnant, much remains unknown about a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Even though a woman might have missed or delayed her period, she may still have a negative pregnancy test. She must wonder what is going on in these situations. Is she pregnant or not? Is there something wrong?
There are some reasons why your period could be late even if you have a negative pregnancy test.
If you have low levels of hormones and are trying to get pregnant, good news! Sometimes levels of human chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), which is a hormone that regulates pregnancy, are not high enough to allow for home testing.
According to a trusted source study, home pregnancy tests do not need to detect levels of hCG above 25 mIU/mL to attain the advertised 99 percent accuracy rate. Source, a 1991 study that trusted Source, calculated that a test must detect levels below 12.4 mIU/mL to detect 95 per cent of pregnancies. However, not all home pregnancy tests are sensitive enough to detect 95% of pregnancies.
The hormonal cycle of a woman can be very different. If you have conceived later in the cycle, your hormones might not be at their peak.
A 13-day difference can occur in the time of ovulation. This means that you might think you are four weeks pregnant, when in fact you are only two weeks. It is possible to misinterpret your dates due to pregnancy bleeding, hormonal contraceptive use, breastfeeding, and other factors.
Wait a few days if you suspect you are pregnant, even if you have missed your period. Next, retest. Talk to your doctor if you are still missing your period.
- Ectopic pregnancy
Although it is rare, sometimes an ectopic pregnancies can be negative on a pregnancy test. This is less than 3% of the cases.
If your pregnancy test comes back negative, and you experience these symptoms:
- extreme pain in the abdomen or one side
- lightheadedness or dizziness
- bleeding or spotting
- nausea and vomiting
Learn more: Ectopic pregnancy.>>
- Lifestyle factors
Your menstrual cycle can be affected by many outside factors. For example, stress can cause your period to be delayed. It can also be affected by malnutrition. If you consume too much caffeine, or don’t eat enough, your cycle may fluctuate.
Unexpected lifestyle changes such as extreme exercise or working late at night can cause irregular periods.
Some irregularities can occur in your cycle due to breastfeeding. It may take a while before your cycle returns to normal, even after your baby is born and your period has returned.
Breastfeeding can also be unpredictable from month to month. Breastfeeding schedules can change as babies grow. If your baby experiences a growth spurt or increases night-time feedings suddenly, this could disrupt your cycle.
Continue reading: Why do women have irregular periods while breastfeeding?
- Health conditions
High-frequency periods and missed periods can be caused by medical conditions like polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), or thyroid problems. Some women may experience very light periods while others may have heavy periods. Others may skip their periods entirely.
Women typically experience menopause around the age of 50. Some women may experience menopause earlier than 40 years. Every woman is different. Talk to your doctor if you’ve missed your period for more than 90 days, even if you aren’t pregnant.
Birth control can cause irregularities in your period. You may also experience missed periods due to other medications. Your cycle can be disrupted by blood pressure medications or allergy medication.
A negative pregnancy test can happen for many reasons, including missed periods. It could be that you have an undiagnosed medical condition such as polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or it could simply be a lifestyle problem such as extreme stress. You should wait for a positive test result before you take another one. If your second test is negative and you still haven’t had your period, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor immediately.