Period's late, but negative home pregnancy test: Could I be pregnant?

Your period is late, you're having pregnancy symptoms, but you are still getting a negative pregnancy test. Could you still be pregnant? If you're not pregnant, why is your period late and what should you do about it?

Negative pregnancy test, but no period - Could I still be pregnant?

Absolutely! It is not uncommon for a woman to get a negative test result, when she is indeed pregnant, even when testing after her period is due.

The biggest reason for getting a negative test result is miscalculating your period. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days. If you are fortunate enough to have a regular 28 day cycle, you would count 28 days from the start of your last menstrual cycle to determine when your next period is due. The problem with this method is two-fold. One, many women do not have a 28 day cycle and two, this does not account for variations in ovulation dates and more importantly the date of implantation.

Some basic physiology

Your menstrual cycle is divided into two phases. The first half is called the follicular phase and lasts from the start of menstruation until ovulation. The second half is called the luteal phase and starts at ovulation extending outward until pregnancy or until menstruation begins again. During the follicular phase of your cycle you will produce hormones, specifically LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). After ovulation occurs it triggers a rise in a second set of hormones, progesterone and estrogen. The length of the follicular phase can vary greatly. The luteal phase, from ovulation onward, is typically 13 to 14 days. So let's say a woman's typical cycle is the standard 28 days, but for this cycle our hypothetical woman's follicular phase is 16 days instead of her typical 14 days. This would mean if she tested the day her period was "due", she would actually be testing at 12 days past ovulation verses what she is assuming to be 14 days. The two day difference could be the difference between a negative and a positive pregnancy test.

Pregnancy tests and implantation

Another factor to consider is when implantation occurs. You will not get a positive pregnancy test until after implantation occurs. Although hcg is produced almost from conception, it is not until the egg implants that the hcg can be released into the woman's blood stream in sufficient quantities to result in a positive pregnancy test. The time implantation occurs varies. Implantation can occur anywhere from 6-12 days past ovulation.  Some women may notice slight spotting or bleeding, known as implantation bleeding, when the egg implants.

Other causes for a pregnancy test to not detect pregnancy

Other causes for a negative test include diluted urine, expired test, improper testing, and ectopic pregnancy. If you have received a negative test result a day or two after your period is due, it may be as simple as testing too early. Retest again in a week, and if still negative consult your doctor.

Are you pregnant?  Find out your due date with JM's Due Date Calculator.

3.621025
Average: 3.6 (818 votes)
 

355 comments

By JenniferJuniper on 01/15/14 at 6:35 am

:confused: I'm over a week late for my menstrual cycle (which never happens), I'm fatigued and my breasts and especially nipples have never been so sore  ...

By Brittanymarie on 09/20/13 at 6:09 am

[QUOTE=Nayabug;26830166]Im just confused and wanted to know what you ladies think.
I last had my period was Oct 15-20, normally right on time or a  ...

By FOMB on 09/05/13 at 9:00 am

I'm so confused if I'm pregnant or not. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for a year and a half, and haven't had any luck. We both have been  ...

355 comments so far » read more

Sign in to leave a comment!

Today on JustMommies

Savor the End of Summer with Delightful Recipes

Summer is coming to a close as the kids get ready to head back to school. Savor the last days of summertime...

Teens and Sexting: What Parents Need to Know

Teens and texting are two things that go together. Perhaps you have even researched or purchased an unlimited text plan...

How to Lengthen Your Luteal Phase

If you have been keeping a fertility chart, you probably understand what a luteal phase is and know how long yours generally is.

P

From the Message Boards

Due Date Club of September 2014

It's September!

Well, in a few hours anyways :P It is OUR MONTH GUYS! Yay!!! Finally!...

Due Date Club of September 2014

Quick update

I've been away from the forums for the last week because my little one decided to make her appearanc...

Trying to Conceive

Its quite here this weekend......

No one is on... Guess every one is out doing Labor day stuff... Hope you all are having fun......

Due Date Club of September 2014

Holy cow batman

Well I have been having some intense contractions. Some bringing tears. BUT..none consistent.Lots of...

Am I Pregnant

Confused, Bad batch of tests or what??

I am roughly on cd 24, and af comes around cd 28 to 30! Early testing if you must say... Not sure on...

» Check out the friendliest message board for moms and moms-to-be!