Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Causes Of Missed Period And Negative Pregnancy Test

********   Note: This Blog Post First Published on Just Health And Lifestyle  *********

As a lady doctor, I am often asked about a woman’s “private” issues, particularly reasons for a missed period and negative pregnancy test. At times, the lack of knowledge on show from many woman is quite frustrating for me. But you take things like these as a matter of routine and continue to inform as best you can.

Yesterday a distant relative came to visit us at lunch. As I was busy in the kitchen, she quietly approached and asked me about her missed period and negative pregnancy test. I was awestruck as I had no idea that she was going to ask me this in the kitchen. She kept eagerly waiting for my response. I had the feeling that at her age (45+) there is less chances of conception but at the same time I didn’t want to break her heart. She seemed quite hopeful. I simply reassured her, and told her to confirmation from a gynecologist to be sure.

Now I understand, that missed period and negative pregnancy test can be a very nervous situation for women. This rings true for those who want to conceive and also for those who don’t want to. It can ignite a halo of apprehensions and fears like

“I must be pregnant, there is something wrong with the test strips”

“The emotional stress I am undergoing is the culprit for this delay”

Let’s take a periscopic look at the situation and delve deeper into the causes of a missed period and negative pregnancy test.

Causes of Missed Period And Negative Pregnancy Test

When you are not Pregnant

When you are not pregnant but still have late period, a missed period and negative pregnancy test, it could be due to the following reasons:

1.      Irregular Cycles

Many woman don’t have the regular monthly cycles leading to delays which is normal pattern for them.

2.      Stress

Anxiety is also responsible for delaying the onset of period. The uterine wall will shed down late due to thickness of the endometrium.

Regular exercise and healthy diet can cure it.

3.      Weight

Over and underweight females can also suffer from the menstruation irregularities due to hormonal imbalance.

4.      Vigorous exercise

Vigorous exercise causing stress on the reproductive system may prevent the period altogether.

5.      Medicines

Birth control medicines and implants, Antidepressants, Chemotherapy drugs all cause cycle irregularity leading to miss periods.

6.       Premenopause

The rise in FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) as you reach a certain age can cause delay and irregularities in your cycle.

7.      Breast Feeding Mother

Breast feeding mothers may experience late periods or no periods at all due to the increase of prolactin in their bodies.

8.      Thyroid Disorder

Both Hypo and Hyper thyroid patients suffer from periods which are not only irregular but with an altered flow (Heavy and Light)

9.      Uterine Abnormalities

Polyps, cysts, fibroids all contribute to the physical cause of late periods in women suffering from those diseases.

10.  PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition which affects the egg producing ability of the ovaries due to hormonal imbalance. It can lead to a missed period and negative pregnancy test too.

You can learn more about PCOS here

When you are Pregnant

If you are of a reproductive age who is sexually active and experiencing pregnancy symptoms like nausea, altered sense of smell, tender nipples but had a missed period and negative pregnancy test, it is most probably due to a wrong pregnancy test i.e False –ve.

What is False Negative?

False negative is when you are experiencing pregnancy signs and symptoms but the test literally negates any conception. The causes of false negatives are:

1.      The test strip has lower sensitivity

Some tests are more sensitive to hCG (pregnancy hormone) levels compared to others. If it comes negative initially, it is suggested to repeat the test in few days.

2.      Urine is not of correct composition

The urine sample which was tested is either too dilute due to increased water intake. Or the test was done at the wrong time of the day.

It is highly recommended that you use early morning pee as it contains the highest concentration of hCG.

3.      The improper use of Testing kit

The instructions on the testing kit leaflet may have not been followed properly leading to a false negative. Once again, it is best to retest in a few days.

There are many reasons for the late periods. Most irregular periods causes are not at all dangerous and can be easily treated. The best thing to do is to visit your gynecologist if the issue persists.