Missing a period, especially if you always had regular menstrual periods, is a significant event, so naturally the next question that follows is, "Am I pregnant?"
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Pregnant women have no menstrual period. But not every woman who misses her period is pregnant. Pregnancy can be detected mainly by a missed period and through different ways such as typical pregnancy symptoms, and early positive pregnancy tests. Another way to detect your pregnancy is by taking our "Am I pregnant?" quiz, and the online pregnancy test (OPT).
Miss your period? Answer these 4 questions
- Am I trying to get pregnant?
- Have I had sex during my fertile days?
- Have I not used contraception?
- Did I ovulate?
If you answered "yes" to all questions, there is a high chance that you are pregnant. But only a positive pregnancy test will confirm your suspicion.
What determines when the pregnancy test becomes positive?
If you are trying to get pregnant and you miss a period, you are naturally excited, yet there is no way to know for sure until you take a pregnancy test. However, there are several symptoms that are suggestive of pregnancy, including breast tenderness, nausea and bloating. Keep in mind, these can also be premenstrual signs.
Why did I miss my period but have a negative pregnancy test?
Tested too soon
It is possible that you have simply tested too soon. Home pregnancy tests can detect the presence of hCG (the pregnancy hormone) once it has reached a certain level. Therefore, it is possible to be pregnant, but have a negative test result because you took the test before your hCG level was high enough. Although some tests claim that they can turn positive several days before you miss your period, they are not always accurate. If the test is positive, you can believe it, but if the test is negative, it may simply be too soon. Since the level of hCG should double approximately every 48 hours, you can retest again in two or more days.
It is possible that you may have had an extremely early miscarriage, sometimes known as a chemical pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy means that you got pregnant, but the pregnancy may have stopped growing even before you miss your period. Some experience this as a particularly heavy period, or a period that is a few days late. It is possible to have a positive pregnancy test if you have a chemical pregnancy, but it is equally possible that the hCG level was never high enough to register on the test.
Stopped pill or Depo-Provera
If you recently went off the pill or the Depo-Provera shot in order to get pregnant, it can take months for your periods to return to normal. During that time, you may not get a period at all. You will not be able to get pregnant until you start ovulating again. That will happen approximately two weeks before your period restarts.
Stress, illness, eating disorders and weight change
Stress, illness, eating disorders and recent weight loss can also lead you to skip a period. However, if you have a history of irregular periods, this may not be unusual for you to miss a period.
If you miss a period, it is not a guarantee that you are pregnant, especially if the pregnancy test remains negative after repeated testing. If you are not pregnant, it does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with your body. However, you should talk to your doctor if you frequently miss your periods or have irregular cycles because this could mean that you are not ovulating regularly.