BUY PREGNANCY TESTS & OVULATION TESTS
Search
Close this search box.

No Period and a Negative Pregnancy Test — What Does it Mean?

You may feel perplexed if you have missed your period, but a pregnancy test comes back negative. Are you pregnant? In that case, why don’t you have any other symptoms? Plus, the pregnancy test is negative — could it be wrong?

Whether or not you are trying to conceive actively, a missed period can cause panic, as it can feel like something is not quite right with your body. The first thing to do is to remain calm. You can record no period but a negative pregnancy test might be due to other causes, including a false negative. That said, a real false negative on a pregnancy test is uncommon, assuming you conduct the test under optimal conditions.

Other reasons for no period and a negative pregnancy test include everything from stress to health conditions like PCOS. Continue reading to learn more about the relationship between your fertility health and pregnancy test results.

Can I still be pregnant if the test is negative and no period?
Can I still be pregnant if the test is negative and there is no period?

Negative Pregnancy Test Reasons

Experience a missed period and negative pregnancy test? Here are some of the most common explanations:

  • You are not pregnant, and there is another cause for your late period. This is the most common explanation.
  • You are pregnant, but the pregnancy hormones have not yet reached a detectable level.
  • You are pregnant, but the pregnancy test has malfunctioned.
  • You are pregnant, but there is a problem. This is a less common explanation.

You may get emotional or stressed if you see a negative result when you expect a positive one. Usually, you can resolve the uncertainty within a few days — you will either receive your period or learn you are pregnant after taking another test. Occasionally, something goes wrong, although this is uncommon.

Continue reading to learn about some of the most common reasons for missing your period but still receive a negative pregnancy test.

Missed Period With a Negative Pregnancy Test
Is it normal to miss a period and test negative?

False Negative Results on a Pregnancy Test

If a woman is pregnant and the test returns negative, this is an example of a false-negative pregnancy test. The most common reason for a false negative result is taking the test before the body can produce enough human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG.

No matter how sensitive the test is, you cannot get a positive result on a home pregnancy test if the body has not produced enough hCG. You have to wait until sufficient time passes after ovulation and conception so your body has the opportunity to produce enough pregnancy hormones. The pregnancy hormone hCG that pregnancy tests detect will increase as the pregnancy progresses. There tends to be a fair amount of variation within the typical range for hCG levels in pregnant women.

A test for an early pregnancy may detect extremely low quantities of the hormone hCG. However, it is possible that you do not have sufficient circulating hCG for a sensitive test to identify pregnancy. While this is not immediately cause for concern, there is a point at which you should seek medical advice. It makes no difference how much hCG you have; what is important is how quickly your levels double and continue to increase (and this can only be measured with a blood test).

Another common reason for a false negative result is that your urine does not contain enough hCG. In the early stages of pregnancy, drinking a lot of water before taking a pregnancy test may cause inaccurate hormone levels in your urine. As a result, it’s often recommended that you take a pregnancy test first thing in the morning when the concentration of hCG will be highest.

In addition, it’s possible that you ovulated later in the month, explaining why your period has arrived later than you would typically expect. It is not uncommon to have an irregular or off-cycle once in a while. In addition, your estimation of when your most recent period arrived is probably off by a few days at the very least.

Pregnancy Test Mistakes

A mistake made during testing might potentially lead to a false-negative result. If you read the results too early, there is a chance you could receive a false negative. On the other hand, the likelihood of getting a false positive result increases when a test is read too late. Ensure you read and follow all the directions with the pregnancy test you purchased. Read the result within the allotted time window to reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings occurring.

A false negative might also occur if the test kit is expired or stored incorrectly.

Pregnancy Test Failure

There are certain circumstances where you can still receive a negative result on a test even when you are pregnant and have missed your period. This phenomenon is known as the variant hook effect and is particularly common in those expecting twins or triplets.

This is a rare cause of pregnancy test failure; it occurs when the anti-hCG molecules in the test do not react with the hCG hormone in the individual’s body. You may need to wait a few more days for a positive result, or you could need to have a blood test or ultrasound instead.

Pregnancy Test Kit
Fertility2family at-home pregnancy test kit

Rare Causes of a False Negative Pregnancy Test

In rare instances, an ectopic pregnancy might result in a false-negative test result. A pregnancy is ectopic when the embryo implants outside of the uterus. This often happens in the fallopian tubes but may also occur elsewhere.

A pregnancy that develops ectopically will not result in a viable fetus. The delayed development of the placenta inhibits the synthesis of hCG. If an ectopic pregnancy ruptures the fallopian tube, it may be fatal. If your period is late and you have significant discomfort, you should immediately contact your healthcare practitioner or the emergency department. Keep in mind, however, that ectopic pregnancies are relatively uncommon.

Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), often known as a molar pregnancy, is a rarer cause of a false-negative test result. GTD is a rare tumour that develops from an embryo in development. Typically, a molar pregnancy results in a miscarriage.

GTD results in abnormally elevated levels of hCG. As stated before, increased amounts of hCG might cause a negative result on a home pregnancy test. Although GTD is a tumour, it is seldom malignant, and the therapy is often a dilation and curettage.

How much delay is normal in period?How much delay is normal in the period?

Other Reasons Your Cycle Is Delayed

The most typical explanation for a late period and a negative pregnancy test is that your period was delayed and you are not pregnant. Having one or two irregular cycles yearly is normal and does not indicate a problem. Some of the reasons your period may be late include:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Stress
  • Hormonal contraception
  • Illness
  • Poor sleep
  • Excessive exercise
  • Travel
  • Behavioural modifications
  • Dietary changes

Excessive stress or sickness that occurs shortly before ovulation might disrupt your whole cycle. Following giving birth, you might experience irregular periods if you are nursing. If you’re in your forties and your period is late, it may indicate that you’re experiencing perimenopause.

If you’ve just discontinued birth control tablets, you may also experience disruption to your menstrual cycle. Contraception alters your normal cycle and inhibits ovulation. It may take a few months for your body’s hormones to return to normal after using hormonal birth control.

In all of these situations, it’s not necessarily a good idea to immediately assume you are not pregnant — if there’s a chance, always test to be sure!

Contraception Treatment

Reproductive therapy is another potential reason for a lack of synchronisation. If your cycles are normally brief, fertility medications such as Clomid (clomiphene) may lengthen them. Your period date may change if you undergo IVF or an injectable cycle.

Monitoring was conducted throughout treatment; you probably know when you ovulated. Consider the ‘day of ovulation’ to be:

  • On the day of fertilisation
  • The day of your egg collection

To ascertain if you are late, add 14 days from your ‘ovulation day’ If fourteen days have not gone, your period is not yet ‘late.’

Inconsistent Cycles and Amenorrhea

Pregnancy is not the only reason your period may be absent for a lengthy period. While most women experience menstruation on a reasonably regular timetable, irregular menstrual cycles are the norm for others. This makes it difficult to determine whether a period is genuinely late. You may also omit a period (or more) entirely. This is known as amenorrhea.

When to Contact Your Healthcare Professional

You should contact your gynecologist if you continually record negative pregnancy tests with no period. If your periods are usually irregular, discuss them with your doctor. Depending on the circumstances, many providers may wish to induce a ‘period’ if you haven’t had one for more than two or three months.

If your cycle was formerly regular but has become irregular, or if your periods have been irregular for more than three months after discontinuing birth control, you should see a healthcare professional.

If you experience a late period combined with any of these signs and symptoms, which might indicate an ectopic pregnancy, contact your healthcare practitioner immediately or go to the emergency department. Any symptoms below, in conjunction with abrupt vaginal bleeding, require medical attention.

  • Fainting or severe dizziness
  • Sickness or vomiting
  • Severe abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Shoulder ache

A missing period and a negative pregnancy test might be perplexing, but many possible causes exist.

Regardless of the reason, concerning symptoms should not be ignored. The sooner you have an evaluation, the sooner you can determine what’s going on and, if necessary, receive the appropriate therapy.

Given how common a negative pregnancy test can be, the cost of pregnancy tests can quickly add up if you’re trying to conceive. Mitigate this cost by shopping with Fertility2Family. Our range of affordable pregnancy and ovulation tests will help reduce the costs associated with growing your family and can be relied upon to provide accurate results.

Shop the full range of fertility kits on our website today, and feel free to contact our team if you have any questions.

Sources:

Fertility2Family only uses trusted & peer-reviewed sources to ensure our articles’ information is accurate and reliable.

Betz D, Fane K (2023) Human chorionic gonadotropin – statpearls – NCBI bookshelf. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532950/ (Accessed: 18 October 2023).

Cleveland Clinic (2022) Fallopian tubes: Location, anatomy, Function & Conditions, Cleveland Clinic. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/23184-fallopian-tubes (Accessed: 18 October 2023).

Department of Health & Human Services (2002) Pregnancy tests – maternal serum screening, Better Health Channel Australia. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pregnancy-tests-maternal-serum-screening (Accessed: 18 October 2023).

Department of Health & Human Services (2002) Ultrasound scan, Better Health Channel Australia. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/ultrasound-scan (Accessed: 18 October 2023).

Galan, N (2022) How does clomid work: Treating infertility, Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/how-does-clomid-work (Accessed: 18 October 2023).

Iftikhar, N. (2019) Hook effect: Pregnancy test false-negative causes and meaning, Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/hook-effect (Accessed: 18 October 2023).

Tonic Health Media Limited (2016a) Pregnancy testing, MyDr.com.au. Available at: https://mydr.com.au/babies-pregnancy/pregnancy-testing/ (Accessed: 18 October 2023).

Fertility2Family logo

Evan Kurzyp

Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified Registered Nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

Scroll to Top