When you are trying to conceive, a negative pregnancy test and no period can make your situation even more confusing.
Maybe You Tested Too Early?
A common mistake made by many women who think they might be pregnant is testing too early. Although most of the over-the-counter home pregnancy tests claim to be effective a few days before your period is due, testing before your period is late increases the chances of getting a false negative. This is because the level of HCG, the pregnancy hormone, is not high enough to be detected by the test.
Most women ovulate around 14 days after their period. The days leading up to this and the days immediately after are the most likely time that they will conceive. After conception, the woman's body starts producing the HCG. Depending on when conception and implantation occurs, however, the levels of detectable HCG will vary. For example, if a woman expects to ovulate around February 15, she might conceive anywhere between February 14 and February 18 depending on when the egg is actually released and when it's fertilized.
When it comes time to test for pregnancy, she might be able to get a positive test as early as February 28 if she conceived on the 14th. But if conception happened later, it might be March 2 before she gets a positive test. In the latter situation, a woman could be getting a negative pregnancy test and no period until the HCG levels are high enough to be detected.
Reasons for a Negative Pregnancy Test and No Period
For many women, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. But, women going through fertility treatments or who are actively trying to conceive might notice symptoms earlier. Although it's hard to resist testing and finding out if you are pregnant, taking a test too early will only give a negative test result that will need to be repeated when the period is late.
One of the most obvious and common reasons for a negative pregnancy test and no period is that a woman might not be pregnant at all. Even though a period is late, it's not a definitive sign of pregnancy. Late periods can be caused by many things, including:
- Irregular cycles due to polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Stress and lifestyle changes
- Birth control pills
- Other gynecological health issues
If your period is late or missing for several months, talk to your OB/Gyn. It might be a sign of a medical problem that can be treated.
A woman with an irregular cycle might conceive much later in the month than she expects. This can contribute to having a negative test result even after her period due date has passed. Instead of ovulating around day 14, a woman can ovulate much later in a given month, even if she is normally regular.
In these situations, a woman might not ovulate and conceive until day 25, for example. Her period would be late, but she still wouldn't get a positive pregnancy test for about another week. After taking a pregnancy test and getting a negative result, most women should continue testing every few days until they either get a period or a positive test.
Call Your Doctor
Whether you are trying to conceive or hope to not be pregnant right now, it's always important to find out as soon as possible if you have conceived. A negative pregnancy test and no period makes it difficult to know whether to believe the test or your own body, but there are many reasons for having a late period that aren't pregnancy-related. If your period doesn't start within a week of its due date, take another test or call your doctor.