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Causes of Late Period when Negative Pregnancy Test

Causes for Late PeriodIs your period late and you have a negative pregnancy test?

Late periods are so scary and nerve wracking, especially when you are sexually active. Even if you’re not that sexually active, it’s worrisome. It doesn’t matter if your period is one day late, or a week late, the sheer fact that your period hasn’t arrived when it was supposed to can be a huge stressor in our already stressful lives.

To the average Jane who is uninformed and may not know anything about menstrual cycles, she may ask herself “Why is my period late? Does this mean that I’m pregnant?”

#1 Cause of Late Periods: Pregnancy — Being pregnant is the number cause of a late period. Since a majority of women will conceive around the time that they ovulate, which is often fourteen days before the start of their expected period, one of the symptoms of early pregnancy is a missed or late period. (When you’re pregnant, the hormones that support your growing baby switch off your regular menstrual cycles. You will not have a period again until after your baby is born.)

Late Period, but Negative Pregnancy Test

When you have a late period, you need to run and buy a home pregnancy test to confirm that you are not pregnant. Once it’s established that you have a late period but aren’t not pregnant, it’s time to figure out what other reasons may be causing your late period.

Your menstrual cycle can be a delicate flower. There are many factors (like lifestyle habits, medications, stress, and etc.) that can throw the timing of your period out of whack. Late periods can be worrisome, but your doctor won’t diagnose you with amenorrhea (lack of menstruation) until you have missed your period for three months in a row.

If you are a healthy woman who has always been regular, a late period can be a symptom of early pregnancy. You may have a negative pregnancy test, but you could still be pregnant. There is always the chance that you took the test too early – the home pregnancy test that you bought has low sensitivity, and it cannot pick up the traces of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. (hCG is the hormone produced by the placenta during implantation, and it only occurs during pregnancy.) You will need to wait an additional week, and if your period is still late, take another pregnancy test.

(Please visit my store for my picks on home pregnancy tests with the highest sensitivity. Recommended Products for Women Trying to Conceive. According to numerous research studies, the home pregnancy test that’s most sensitive at detecting pregnancy early is the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test.)

Other Causes of Late Period if You’re Not Pregnant

There are several reasons for why your period is late, but you’re not pregnant. The most common causes for a late period in non-pregnant women include the following:

Breastfeeding — New mothers who are breastfeeding often experience late periods, or no periods at all. This is due to the high levels of prolactin in their bodies. Prolactin is a hormone that establishes breast milk production, but it also suppresses the hormones associated with your menstrual cycle. Breastfeeding is associated with late periods.

Stress and Anxiety — Another reason for a late period is increased stress and anxiety. When our bodies are stressed, anxious, worried, and just emotionally worn out, they can produce hormones (like cortisol – the “fight or flight” hormone, and adrenaline). Cortisol is produced from progesterone, which is responsible for thickening your endometrium (lining of the uterus) after ovulation to prepare it for implantation. When you are stressed out, this can cause your body to steal progesterone from its normal purpose in your menstrual cycle to create extra levels of cortisol. As a result, this can cause fertility problems and late periods.

If you are very stressed out and have late periods, you need to find relaxation methods to help decrease your stress levels. Yoda, meditation, and other forms of exercise can help de-stress you and make you feel better.

Jetlag — If you’ve been traveling and have jetlag, it’s common for you to have late periods. When you travel over different time zones in a short period of time, your body’s natural rhythms (such as sleep and wake) are thrown off. And menstruation can also be messed up for a few days. Your body has to adjust to the new time zone, so you may end up with a late period.

Certain Medications — There are a number of medications that can cause late periods. Certain birth control pills, implants, and shots can cause you to have late periods, or no periods at all. Antidepressants, thyroid medication, chemotherapy drugs, and antipsychotics can also cause late periods or menstrual irregularity.

Hormonal Imbalance — If you suffer from underlying hormonal imbalances, you may have late periods. Women who are entering perimenopause (“the menopausal transition”) and women with polycystic ovarian syndrome often experience irregular ovulation, late periods, and missed periods.

Thyroid Disease — Women who have thyroid problems can experience menstrual abnormalities. They can experience late periods, no periods at all. Women with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can have infrequent (not regular) or light periods. Women with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can have periods that occur too frequently, and bleeding that’s too heavy.

Vigorous Exercise — A common cause of late periods is too much exercise. Intense exercise regiments can stress out your reproductive system and lead to late periods and fertility problems. Moderate exercise (30 minutes a day) is often the best way to keep your periods regular, and stay healthy.

Poor Eating Habits — When you have poor eating habits, or a diet that’s high in carbohydrates, you can deprive your body of the nutrients that it needs for a healthy menstrual cycle. Poor eating habits and not getting the vitamins that you need can delay your menstrual cycle and lead to late periods. Drinking too much caffeine and excessive alcohol use may also alter your menstrual cycle and cause late periods.

Uterine Abnormalities — Sometimes a physical reason is the cause of your late period. Women who suffer from fibroids, polyps, cysts, and endometriosis (a reproductive disorder that occurs when the cells from the lining of your uterus grow in other areas of your body) can suffer from late periods and other menstrual abnormalities.

Should You Worry about Late Periods?

Menstrual cycles are different for everyone. Some women only get their period four times a year. Others have periods twice a month. Some women have heavy periods of vaginal bleeding every two or three months. Other women spot between periods. Most women who have irregular periods just don’t ovulate regularly.

Most irregular and late periods are not dangerous and can be easily treated. In a majority of the cases of late periods, the cause is a hormonal imbalance or ovulation problem that your doctor or healthcare provider can treat. At some point in your life, you will have a late period (or two) and you’re not pregnant.

In many cases, your physician will tell you not to worry about having a late period, or a missed period once or twice a year. You may suffer from random periods of poor eating habits, high levels of stress, emotional problems, vigorous exercise, and etc.

If you are worried about your late period, please contact your gynecologist or healthcare provider and schedule an appointment to see what’s going on and what is causing your late period.

You May Also Enjoy Reading…

PMS or Pregnancy Symptoms?
Reasons for Missed Period When You’re Not Pregnant
Best iPhone Period Tracker Apps to Track Your Menstrual Cycle
Teen Menstrual Cycles: Why Irregular and Missed Periods are Normal
How to Delay Your Period – Menstrual Cycle

About the author: DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

{ 527 comments… add one }
  • Ashley November 18, 2017, 4:40 am

    I’m 8 days late on my period. I’ve been extremely horny lately so my husband and I been having sex a lot more often than normal and we’ve been having sex without a condom for like one minute and then he puts on the condom. I’ve take. two pregnancy tests in the past week and both have been negative. I’ve been stressed out a lot and have been stress eating and my stomach has been hurting a lot more than normal. I’m having pms symptoms and I’ve been extra moody like getting angry for no reason then getting really emotional and crying and then getting super horny then happy then angry again. Does is seem like I’m just patching myself out or is it something more…?

  • Jana Lynn October 26, 2017, 6:25 pm

    So I have been having sex daily for awhile, and i haven’t had my period when i am supposed too. but the thing is, i have been taking pregnancy tests since my first suspicion.. the first handful were negative, but i think i was testing too early. i took another one, and there was a very faint line of positive.. i decided to take an at home remedy test with sugar and it came out as it would as a positive. i just took a store bought one, in the middle of the day, and it turned negative. am i supposed to wait to take another one with my first urine in the morning and see what happens? i have been having symptoms of first trimester pregnancy but i’m not sure what to do. i am very convinced that i am pregnant, just can’t seem to get a right result.. my partner is wanting a result before he gets excited.. someone please help.

  • Macy September 23, 2017, 6:12 pm

    Me an my husband been having sex every day even on my last period but I’m almost a month late it will be a month in the first of October 2017. I have been having a very high sex drive. But I took a test butt it was negative so I’m thinking maybe I took the test too early. I am having right breast pain and lower and upper right abdominal pain and I don’t know where it’s from maybe you can give me some answers or someone give me some answers be great thank you.

  • Monica August 31, 2017, 4:26 pm

    So I am 9 days late today. My last period started on July 25th. My husband and I had sex around august 3rd or so and a few times after that. We use condoms and to the best of our knowledge none of them ever broke. I don’t really have any symptoms of pregnancy and I have taken 4 clear blue digital tests and they have all come back negative. Do you know what I should do or if there is something going on?

  • jamie February 19, 2017, 8:31 am

    im over a week late and im never late if anything im early… Ive been extremely gasy acid reflux and heart burn is horrible mood swings are horrible like i will go from irritated to arguing about nothing with my fiance to 10 min later being all lovey dovey like we didnt just have a big arguement everytimei justtake a few sips of fluid min later im having to pee im a little bloated have head aches few craving but the craving could just b me hungry ig and side of boobs little tender…. About a year ago i had not 1 not 2 but 4 different preg test come out positive and all thesudden few days later b4 doc appointment felt something was off took another test and it was neg i was heart broken n confused the local health unit told me to do blood work but it was to expensive(well atleast that was the excuse i used to spare myself more bad news i just gave up) but health unit said its vary rare to have 1 false positive so to have 4 it could have been what some people call a chemical pregnancy where basically the egg doesnt settle on the uteran wall but the hgc levels will show until the egg dies or gets out of the uterus and im terrified this round that it might b the same thing even tho there are difference like last time i had breast tenderness had a period but had most syptoms of pregnancy n the positive test and this time i have only a few symptoms breast tendwrness isnt as bad i and a week late and i have few random headaches(more than usual) get light headed n dizzy easy n fast and neg test will retake test weds but will b heart broken n confused if these symptoms r something other than pregnancy and if it is pregnancy im terrified it could b something as serious as ur situation…. Plz give some advice n if u know any early signs of something wrong that u may know or any comment on ur opinion of my situation im 23 love kids id make a great mother great with kids biggest fear since the false poaitives is something being wrong and not being able to get or keep a positive pregnancy

  • Murthy January 30, 2017, 5:08 am

    Hi. I am 41 married no children ever voluntarily. I have missed my periods for 62 days. All my pregnant tests are negative. Blood tests are all normal. Still don’t know the reason. Could you help?

  • myself January 24, 2017, 10:16 pm

    Hello,I am 22 year old and i have an issue of missed period,I am 13days late from my period,I had an unprotected sex on Jan 8 I have tested myself severally using the pregnancy test strip it comes out negative each time,including today.I have a sore nipples,backache tired legs.Should I still wait another to week to test or go to the hospital as soon as possible?

  • J January 23, 2017, 4:43 pm

    Hi. I’m am 42 years old. I have three children. Youngest is two. I have never been late for a cycle morssmi was pregnant. I have taken to hpt and they have both been negative. I am now 8 days late. My cycles run between 21 to 26 days. Average of 24. I should have started January 15th. I did a first response test 5 days ago negative. I did a clear blue digital today and still negative. Had cramping coupe
    Weeks ago and has been on and off since. Minor lower back pain and headaches. I have felt tired a lot
    Lately. Had a fever last week of 39.4. Now my temperature has been sitting between 37.5 and 38. Could I still be pregnant? Or could
    It be signs early menopause?

    • tan January 27, 2017, 11:58 am

      hiiya I’m in the same boat atm. I have 3 children my youngest has just turned 2.
      I have never missed a period in my life other then being pregnant. my last period was dec 15 since then iv had nothing
      took loads of tests since in all different brands all saying neg. I have booked in with doctors Tuesday for bloods to be taken. I just don’t understand it tbh. I have really bad cramps usually come 5ish in evening every day also stomach has got bigger. sore breasts, feeling sick back pain smell of some stuff making me puke up. all sounds like pregnancy symptoms but still neg test. I’m so confused right now.

      • Angela October 21, 2017, 9:28 am

        Hi I am having all the same thing and I have four children and had a tubal but I have had my period for two months and I taken two test and they both came back negative and my stomach is getting bigger I had an increased appetite some things make me sick I’ve had a little swelling but not bad but my stomach looks like I’m six months along I don’t get it any help please

  • Kazia December 19, 2016, 12:43 pm

    Hey, I last saw my period October 10 and now am two months late. I took a home pregnancy test at the end of November but it was a negative result. I’m having all the symptoms of being pregnant. I recently took another test and the same results came back. I used to b on birth control pill but I stopped in may of this year. Please help me. Thanks in advance

  • Jessica December 19, 2016, 9:58 am

    My period is 30 days late today, I’m not sure if that means that i could be pregnant because 4yrs ago i had my tubes tied. My last period was in october 18,2016 i was supposed to get it on November 19,2016 but i didnt get it. Should i take a pregnancy test to rull out pregnancy? Please help i need some advise

  • Mai Lo December 19, 2016, 8:45 am

    I didn’t realize that Yoda is a stress remover exercise. I guess if you ever met him, he can help with stress?? You guys should probably change that to Yoga.

  • Pauline Modeste December 12, 2016, 9:58 am

    Hi I am 40 and my cycle came light and spotting for 7 days and then a next 7 days right after very heavy and stopped abruptly. I am trying to get pregnant as I have no children. I took 2 pregnancy tests long before I had my cycle and it came up negative. I was wondering what is wrong with my period when it came like that since I have never experience that kind of period flow.

  • rita December 9, 2016, 8:25 am

    I want to share a great testimony on this website on how great man of God who
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    after she contacted the man of God . prophet jeremaih.she directed me to him and when i contacted
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    • Incredulous August 11, 2017, 9:19 am

      How much did you have to pay this man of God for his prayer and helping you fall pregnant?

  • Emma December 5, 2016, 12:47 pm

    A late period doesn`t necessarily mean a possible pregnancy. It may involve eating disorders, hormonal or pelvic disorders, various diseases, stress, extreme weight variations, intense physical exercises, and so on. It can be any number of things.

  • Achi November 22, 2016, 8:14 am

    I was sexually active before my ovulation Afgha and last month it came on42 day and now again31 days before marriage I had regular periods Wil ther be any problem

  • Mayra November 15, 2016, 5:37 pm

    Had my last period one full month on march on april i got very sexually active then my period hasn’t come at all. Have taken multiple test but they have been negative. Any taughts. Thanks.

  • Aj November 5, 2016, 10:22 pm

    I am 2 months late with my period and I did take 5 home test and a blood test and all negative I’ve been more moody then usual any thoughts

  • Brittney Harmon September 30, 2016, 11:04 pm

    After taking my IUD out back in May of this year I periods I’ve been pretty regular 27 to 28 days and this time it came 5 days late and it was lighter than normal. Could I possibly still be pregnant or no?

  • arafa September 20, 2016, 3:40 am

    had a test two days befor it ws negative

  • arafa September 20, 2016, 3:38 am

    hi! i am arafa.. and i am 23 years old, i had a son he died when he was jst 3 days old six months before. i really miss him ,i feel i am lifeless, and i want to come out of it..had a c section too…
    and now i feel like iam pregnant, usually my menstrual cycle is irregular lyk 23 days to 31 days.. now i am 29 days still i didnt get my periods but some times i have some of the pregnancy symptoms..am i pregnant??? plz help me…. i am nervous to test again

  • Christy Amedee September 17, 2016, 9:05 pm

    My name is Christy. I am 3 months late. I have taken 2 tests and they are negative. I am usually very regular, I have a cycle every 27-29 days. Never have had a missed period. I have 2 children now 15 and 12 years old. I am a little worried as to why i would all of a sudden not have a cycle and not be pregnant. Please help me if you can!! Need a second opinion

  • ghg September 13, 2016, 11:09 pm

    plz help me my test is neg but still my period is due for 4 days..i cant share it with anyone plz help me .i dont think i am pregant becs their is no any sign an symptom

  • Nadine September 10, 2016, 10:08 am

    I had unprotected sex on August 12, 2016. My Menstrual was August 6, 2016. I have been feelling more exhausted lately. I want to sleep all day can betly keep my eyes open. I have had a white discharge more than I usually see. My appetite has decrease. No urge for certain food or they make me sick. I had weird cramps in my stomach its not my usual period cramps because it was a week or 2 before. I was 4 days late for my period. When it arrived it stayed for 4 days. But those 4 days it was stopping for hours and den start back. Also the lining or the usual clots was not present. I took 4 pregnacny test all was negative solid and negative faint. I went to the doctors and take a urine test it was negative. But im still feel bloated, headaches, and feel sick when i have eaten or wake up in the morning. Can I still be pregnant? I really want to be.

    • Garianne November 1, 2016, 7:09 am

      It may have a slight chance that you are ! Let another month or so pass and take another home test drink a lot of water before doing so and the best time to take the test are early morning… first Response is a very good home test

    • Teressa November 22, 2016, 4:54 am

      Phantom pregnancy maybe?

    • Jerika July 19, 2017, 1:07 pm

      This is how it has been for me only I was a week late last month and then this month I still haven’t started again and I took several test all negative.. I always start the 8th last month I was a week late started the 15th but it was lighter thank normal and all the symptoms as you loss of appetite and tired so this month I waited till the 8th and nothing waited till the 15th still have not started. And today is the 19th and nothing but test are negative I don’t know what’s goi g on

  • Cody September 9, 2016, 1:53 pm

    My girlfriend is about 4 or 5 days late on her period, but she’s not having any major cramps or any pregnancy feelings although today she had a clear vaginal discharge it wasn’t white or milky like a normal discharge for pregnancy or early pregnancy would be but she’s not on her period still…is there a chance that she might just be late and have a Late Cycle I’m just wondering were both worried so anything would be nice to answer. We had sex about a week and a half ago if that adds to the mystery…thanks y’all

  • angelyn faith September 5, 2016, 3:06 am

    hi i’m angelyn my last period was last april 6 2016 until now i missed my period i take 3 times pregnancy but it’s all negative but every morning i have sickness morning and i never understand my feeling because last year i love the smell of a jack fruit but now i hate that?! now i’m so worried what shall i do?

  • Richelle Maglasang September 3, 2016, 2:45 am

    I am 35 yrs old, I don’t have period for 13 months now.

  • Stephanie narvaez August 22, 2016, 3:54 pm

    I’m 24 year old I been 3 day period late I took 4 times its was negative .. help me please . Thank you

  • Li August 14, 2016, 7:39 am

    My period is late

  • Ammi August 4, 2016, 6:37 am

    I m 25 years old i have my last periods on 21st of may until now i have no periods i have taken pragnancy test 2 times and its came negative i have some syptoms of pragnancy plz tell me what to do

    • Stacie August 5, 2016, 1:59 am

      Hi I got my last period in May around the same time I’ve been late since, still no period & I took 7 urine tests all negative & one blood test also negative ? Hmm I wonder if that’s normal ? Help!!!

      • Ambrella August 24, 2016, 5:58 pm

        Go To Doctor!

  • jenell August 1, 2016, 1:45 pm

    Hi my name is jenell and I am 25 days late I have taken to home tests and a pee test at the doctor’s all of them came out neg. Mine is irregular but it’s never been the bad maybe a week or 2 I have 3 other children and they have always showed up is I was butlast year I asked to get my tubs tide well they only tide one they forgot the other but anyways could that cause my hcg level not to show like it’s supposed to?

    • Yvette December 22, 2016, 8:16 am

      I’m 5 days late cramping no period and negative hpt. I have never been late always on time I have no symptoms besides not starting mood swings like crazy been crying for everything. I thought it might be from me fixing to start my period but still nothing am I pregnant.

  • kristen July 20, 2016, 5:44 am

    Hi! I’m a 19 y/o and I haven’t got my period since May 2016 until now it’ll be my period month missing my period. But last week I was discharging so mucus from my vagina and I was thinking that it might be a sign that my period is coming. I’m hoping. From the past 2 months I didnt experience any symptoms of pregnancy. But I’m still worried. I’ve used 3 pregnancy tests and all came out negative. My last intercourse was April 24 and it was unprotected but my boyfriend didnt ejaculated inside me. But I’m not sure if a little of his sperm came out inside. Please help me.

  • Liz July 11, 2016, 3:00 am

    My period is two days late, and lately I’ve feeling nauseous and have had a loss of appetite. I took two pregnancy tests the day I was supposed to get my period (the 9th) and they both came out negative. I’m still very nervous, as I have been sexually active. My period did come early last month plus it was oddly short, and I didn’t have one in December even though I wasn’t pregnant. I just turned 18 on July 9 and I am really scared. Could I still be pregnant?

    • Liz July 11, 2016, 3:06 am

      I forgot to mention that I did have light spotting for about 3 days almost 5 days after my boyfriend and I did stuff. We didn’t have intercourse, but there was seamen and a possibility of it getting inside of me.

  • Emmylou July 6, 2016, 1:34 am

    Hi I’ve always been irregular with my periods but the other day I had a small amount of blood that went from red to Brown and then it was gone by the end of that day. A couple days after that I have been feeling crampy, moody and just not good I have been sexually active before all this happened I have taken two pregnancy test and both was negative. I have no clue what to do!!!

  • Rohanie Isaac July 5, 2016, 11:24 am

    Hi my expected period date is the 23 of June but I didn’t get it at all since now and I took a few test at home and at the women’s clinic and its all negative is it possible that I can be pregnant. Please reply I need answer thanks

  • shenelle June 30, 2016, 12:47 pm

    Hi I haven’t seen my period for the last three months and I’m a bit worry because I’ve tried every type of pregnancy test possible and it all came bk negative. I really need some advise on this

  • Elizabeth June 29, 2016, 4:01 pm

    Hi I’m 23 and 47 days late on my period. I have never been late. I took 2 pregnancy tests and they both said negative. I have had an upset stomach and been tired and I been more hungry then normal. I need some advice.

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