31 May

My periods are delayed and my pregnancy test is negative - Why is it so?

In earlier times, pregnancy confirmation was largely done in the clinic after a blood test and ultrasound. But, the last few years with the technological advances, urine pregnancy test can help in pregnancy detection within the privacy of your house with the urine pregnancy test.

Many women may have a delayed period or missed period, but urine pregnancy test is negative. In those situations she begins to wonder - Am I Pregnant or not? If I am pregnant, then why is the test negative and if I am not Pregnant then what is the reason for the delayed periods.


Here are a few reasons your period may be late, even if your pregnancy test is negative.

  1. If your hormonal levels are low - In some woman, the HCG ( human chorionic hormone) levels which begin to be detected in the blood in a pregnant women and which also gets in to the urine and is the reason the pregnancy test shows positive may not be high enough for it to be detected in the urine for the pregnancy test to come back as positive. Home pregnancy tests can detect hCG levels above 25 mIU/ml. As every woman’s cycle is different than the other, you may have had a later ovulation and conceived later in the cycle and your hormonal levels may not be high enough to be detected immediately after you miss your period.  In such cases, women are advised to wait for a few days and repeat the test. If in spite of repeating the test, it continues to show negative, then please talk to your doctor to check for other reasons for the delay
  2. Ectopic Pregnancy - In rare cases, Ectopic pregnancy ( when the fertilized egg gets implanted in other parts of the reproductive system, like ovaries, fallopian tubes, etc and not in the uterus) can show up as negative on a pregnancy test. Seek medical attention if your pregnancy test is negative and you have these symptoms:
  • Severe pain in the lower abdomen
  • Dizziness
  • Bleeding
  1. Changing lifestyle is a major factor in irregular periods. Stress, malnutrition and improper diet, taking too much caffeine can also have an impact. Sudden changes in your lifestyle like excessive exercises, night shifts and irregular sleeping and eating habits can all influence periods.
  2. Breastfeeding can delay periods. After the baby arrives, you may bleed for a couple of days and the period may return in a month only to get irregular again or stop, till you are feeding the baby.
  3. Some Medical conditions such as Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or hypothyroidism may cause women to have highly irregular cycles and missed periods. Some women may have very light periods, some may have very heavy periods, and some may skip periods altogether.
  4. Some medications like birth control pills may cause irregularities in your cycle.

So missing periods is not only because of pregnancy. It can be caused by a variety of factors and if you notice a change in the pattern of your menstrual cycle and if it continues for more than 2 to 3 cycles or you don’t have a period for 3 months, then please seek a medical opinion. The doctor may order certain diagnostic tests to look for a cause for the delay.

Last modified on Friday, 03 August 2018 11:00
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.


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