For sexually-active women in their reproductive years who aren't taking any form of hormonal birth control that is known to have the potential to lead to absent periods, pregnancy is — of course — the main suspect whenever a menstrual period is delayed. What if your first pregnancy test came back negative, and subsequent ones do too, but there's still no sign of "aunt flo", though?
On this thread, inquiring — and worried — minds want to know.
What do the experts say?
On this thread women who experienced delayed periods but had negative pregnancy tests came together to discuss their worries — and this applied both to those women who were hoping to be pregnant and those who weren't. While a missed period seems like quite the mystery if you are not pregnant, it is not that uncommon for menstruation to be delayed slightly.
Pregnant after all?
Some of the women who missed a period but had a negative pregnancy test will turn out to be pregnant after all. This will most often be the case because they tested too early, using a test that wasn't sensitive enough to detect the hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in their body. While pregnancy tests are usually accurate when taken at any time from the day you missed your period, you could wait a few days more and test again. Remember that the concentration of hCG in your urine is highest first thing in the morning, so test at that time.
Ectopic pregnancy, in which an embryo implants outside the uterus in a place like one of your fallopian tubes, is another rare possibility to be aware of. This delays the production of hCG, the hormone detected in pregnancy tests, and can be life-threatening. Always seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following signs of an ectopic pregnancy:
- Sharp abdominal pain
- Shoulder pain
- Vaginal bleeding
- A feeling of faintness, dizziness of confusion
Keep in mind that women who have taken an emergency contraceptive such as Plan B during any particular cycle may also experience a slightly delayed period. They should still start menstruating within three weeks of taking emergency contraceptives, however, and need to take a pregnancy test if they don't get their period within this time frame.
Secondary amenorrhea: causes
Most systemic problems that will cause your periods to stop will not simply show up overnight, but will rather become apparent over a period of time. However, if you miss periods more often, it is time to pay attention. When a woman has experienced normal menstruation before but has now missed three periods in a row, this is called secondary amenorrhea. It can be caused by a wide variety of reasons, including:
- Physiological reasons — these are pregnancy, breastfeeding (during which many women do not have periods), and the menopause.
- Certain medications — these include hormonal contraceptives, certain antidepressants and hypertension meds, and chemotherapy drugs.
- Other medical procedures, such as a dilation and curettage (D&C) and radiation therapy.
- Medical conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, a slow or fast thyroid, and pituitary tumors.
Many discussion participants wanted to know if a delayed period points to pregnancy even if pregnancy tests showed up negative:
- Does anyone have any advice on what i should do next?
- How long does it take to get to get high hcg levels?
- Could I be pregnant?
- My boyfriend asked me if I had any good news and was I pregnant?
- did you ever get your period or go to the doctors?
Some of those women who missed a period also reported other symptoms:
- The week leading up i had terrible stomach cramps expecially in a morning and when walking, i hace severe backache i have had dizziness almost every night enough to go to bed early to sleep it off.
- I have felt sick, and smelt smells that i did in my previous pregnancys (strange i know?) I have heartburn tonight that could be due to a curry i ate for tea I went to the toilet wednesday and when i wiped i had a mucus that was pink tinted.
- I have abdominal cramping, I'm so so tired, off and on "crummy" feeling where I'm not incredibly nauseous but feel just a little sick to my stomach.
- Also I'm eating like crazy.
- I don't have any tender breasts or frequent peeing or any of that.
Those who experienced delayed periods shared their experiences:
- Me and my partner use the pull out method also.My periods have been pretty regular.
- But that was just the once and with my period being close i thought all these symptoms could be because of that even though i dont normally suffer any severe symptoms leading up to my period barring the odd "period vellyach".
- But no sign of it as of yet.i took two pregnancy tests on friday and one this morning and they are both BFN.
- I have always had regular periods, never missed one, never been late, ever.
- I took a few hpt and they were negative and also took a blood test earlier this week but it also came out negative.
What should women who have missed a period but got a negative pregnancy tests do? Among the suggestions offered on the thread were:
- I am thinking i should go to the doctor but my husband thinks i should wait.
- (that can have different causes like ovarian cysts!)Not happy with doctor's diagnose so, will go to the gyn asap.
- My Mum is a retired Doctor and she suspected the same thing (possible UTI and definitely thrush) So I used natural home remedies ( 0% greek yogurt, cranberry juice, tea tree oil etc) to potentially help this while waiting for my gyn apt, and on Monday I got my period!
- That may not work for all though, so I suggest you still see your gyn.
- I say you should relax, and try not to stress.