Late Period, Negative Pregnancy Test: Possible Causes

A negative pregnancy test may come as a relief if you’ve missed a period, but it may leave you with more questions than answers. Could it be a false result, or is something else delaying your period? Should you take another test (or two… or three) just to be sure?

We get it. A missed period can be alarming, especially if you don’t want to be pregnant. If you have taken a pregnancy test, and the results are negative, you may in fact not be pregnant, but there may be other reasons why you haven’t started your period.  

Here are a few possibilities recognized by the medical community for why your menstrual cycle may be late:  


A pregnancy test measures hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormones in your urine. These hormones present with a pregnancy, but it takes a few weeks for the hormone level to rise high enough to be detected with a test. Menstrual cycles can vary widely, so if you conceived later in your cycle, your hormone levels may not be high enough at the time of your missed period. In the beginning days of pregnancy, the first morning urine has the highest concentration of hCG.


Outside factors can affect your menstrual cycle. Excess physical and emotional stress can disrupt production of hormones and affect ovulation. Stress can also delay your period. Malnutrition can affect it too. Your cycle can fluctuate if you drink too much caffeine.  Sudden lifestyle changes, such as intense exercise or working the overnight shift can also cause your period to be irregular.  If you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately, your body may be letting you know. Talk with someone who will listen to you and can help you to find the support you need.


Breastfeeding can cause some irregularities in your cycle. The body can prevent ovulation (release of an egg to be fertilized) when a woman is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding changes month to month as milk supply and demand increases with growth spurts, or night feeding changes. These changes can interfere with your cycle.


Birth control such as the pill, shot, patch, implants, etc. can cause your periods to be lighter or stop altogether. You need to contact your physician if you suspect this might be the cause.


Remember that you could still become pregnant even if you are not having a period.

If your period hasn’t started, wait a week, then take another pregnancy test[3]. If that comes back positive, know that Little Way is here to answer your questions, discuss options (parenting, abortion, and adoption), and provide the care you deserve.

Little Way offers free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, so you can confirm your pregnancy, gestational dating, and viability (1 in 4 pregnancies end in natural miscarriage).  This information is important to know when determining your next steps.   

Give us a call at (502) 583-2151 or schedule your appointment online today!  Our compassionate, non-judgmental team of Client Advocates, Nurses, and Sonographers is standing by to help, and our services are always confidential. 

The information above is to educate you on some of the possible causes of amenorrhea (lack of menstrual period). It is not a substitute for an appointment with your physician, as some medical conditions can also affect your cycle.


  1. Can Stress Cause You to Skip a Period? Cleveland Clinic. (2020, September 18).  
  2. 8 Reasons Why Your Period Is Late. Cleveland Clinic. (2023, April 20). 
  3. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, December 23). Home pregnancy tests: Can you trust the results? Mayo Clinic. 

Causes of a Negative Pregnancy Test with No Period

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