11 Reasons You Might Have a Late Period & Negative Pregnancy Test


Late durations might be annoying, whether or not or not you’re making an attempt to conceive. However a late interval with a unfavorable being pregnant take a look at is usually a supply of confusion as nicely. We spoke with consultants to search out out why your interval could be late that isn’t associated to being pregnant.

Signs of a late interval that aren’t pregnancy-related

The primary symptom of a late interval is, nicely, the late interval. Nonetheless, provided that the menstrual cycle can vary from 21 to 35 days, it’s doable in your interval to be later than regular (for you) however nonetheless throughout the regular vary. So at what level do you have to attain out to your well being care supplier?

“It is strongly recommended to name a physician if a girl has missed a interval and has a unfavorable being pregnant take a look at or if her interval is considerably late or lighter or heavier than regular and is accompanied by different signs similar to extreme cramping, ache or discomfort,” says Dr. Alex Polyakov, affiliate professor and gynecologist at The College of Melbourne.

“It’s also important to see a physician if a girl has not had a interval for 3 or extra months, as this is usually a signal of a medical challenge,” he says.

Every particular person is aware of their very own physique, so should you’re involved a few late interval and a unfavorable being pregnant take a look at, take into account calling your physician to test in.

Associated: 6 signs it’s time to talk to your doctor about your period symptoms 

What causes a late interval?

There are various causes your interval could be late that aren’t associated to being pregnant, from stress to contraception to sicknesses. 

7 widespread causes of late durations whenever you’re not pregnant

Listed here are a number of the most certainly causes of late durations:

1. Stress or journey

Because of an increase in the hormone cortisol, stress can delay the menstrual cycle. Equally, travel causes stress on the body and may have an effect on the circadian rhythm, which might result in a late interval.

2. Important weight reduction or achieve

Researchers have discovered fluctuations in weight can lead to “menstrual irregularity.

3. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

“This hormonal dysfunction may cause irregular or absent durations,” says Dr. Polyakov. Nonetheless, should you’re making an attempt to conceive, know that it’s possible to get pregnant with PCOS.

4. Thyroid issues

“An underactive or overactive thyroid gland may cause adjustments in menstrual cycles, in addition to different signs similar to fatigue, weight adjustments and temper swings,” he says.

5. Perimenopause or menopause

“As a girl approaches menopause, her durations could turn into much less frequent and ultimately cease,” says Dr. Polyakov. Throughout early perimenopause, usually in a single’s early 40s, cycles might become shorter. Nonetheless, throughout late perimenopause, they’ll stretch to 60 days or longer.

6. Medicines

“Sure medicines, similar to hormonal contraception and antipsychotics, can have an effect on the menstrual cycle and trigger durations to be late or absent,” he says.

7. Different well being circumstances

Polyps, uterine fibroids and endometriosis may cause ache along with irregular durations. 

4 much less widespread causes of late durations

1. Intense train

Whereas intense exercise can cause late periods, it’s nonetheless necessary to test in along with your healthcare supplier should you assume your exercises are interfering along with your interval.

2. Breastfeeding

Nursing can result in a interval that’s harder to predict than normal and even lacking till the top of the time that you simply’re completely breastfeeding.

3. Altering types of contraception

Switching up your contraception would possibly have an effect on your menstrual cycle. “If you’re switching from capsule to tablet, then there needs to be no impact should you go from lively capsule to lively capsule or from placebo week and begin a brand new lively capsule,” says Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, the co-founder and CEO of Pandia Well being, a telehealth and contraception supply service. “Nonetheless, if the capsule is decrease dose than the earlier capsule, there might be some breakthrough bleeding.”

Equally, altering types of contraception can even change your cycle. “If you’re going from IUD with hormone, implant or shot to the capsule then there could be bleeding the place there was not bleeding earlier than,” says Dr. Yen. “If you’re going from capsule to IUD with hormone, implant, or shot, then your ‘durations’, which are literally withdrawal bleeds, would possibly go away.”

4. Covid-related points

Whereas the Covid vaccine is secure and advisable, some individuals have reported irregular periods after receiving the second dose within the collection, and menstrual adjustments have additionally been seen as a post-Covid side effect after contracting the virus itself. Nonetheless, each results needs to be short-term, Dr. Yen says. “Covid’s impact on durations ought to solely have an effect on the subsequent interval. It mustn’t have an effect on something larger than 6 weeks.” Nonetheless, take into account checking in along with your healthcare supplier should you’ve had Covid and your interval is unusually late.

Associated: Here’s how to tell if you’re in perimenopause

Speaking along with your physician about recurrently late durations

When you’re not making an attempt to conceive and aren’t breastfeeding or in perimenopause, a interval that’s persistently late may not seem to be an enormous deal. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless good to test in along with your well being skilled in case your cycle has turn into unpredictable.  

“Frequently late durations can signify a medical challenge similar to hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, polycystic ovary syndrome [PCOS], or different circumstances,” says Dr. Polyakov. “The physician could carry out a bodily examination, ask about signs and carry out exams to find out the reason for the irregular durations. The physician could advocate additional testing or remedy if crucial based mostly on the analysis outcomes.”

A word from Motherly on late durations whenever you’re not pregnant

A late interval and unfavorable being pregnant take a look at might be crushing should you’re making an attempt to conceive. Some individuals begin to query the being pregnant take a look at itself.

“… it’s not unusual for individuals making an attempt to conceive to query the accuracy of a unfavorable being pregnant take a look at, particularly if they’ve a late interval,” says Dr. Polyakov. “This is usually a tough and emotional time, because the await a optimistic take a look at end result might be annoying and disappointing.”

Nonetheless, there are methods to assist handle the stress and deal with the uncertainty. He suggests participating in self-care (particularly actions like meditation, hobbies or train), looking for a help group for individuals making an attempt to conceive or speaking to a counselor about the way you’re feeling.

“Do not forget that each particular person’s journey to conception is exclusive, and it’s necessary to hunt help and care as wanted,” says Dr. Polyakov. “Your physician can even present steerage and sources to assist handle the emotional elements of making an attempt to conceive and tackle any medical points that could be affecting fertility.”

Featured consultants

Dr. Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, the co-founder and CEO of Pandia Health, the one women-founded, women-led, doctor-led contraception supply service and in addition offers telehealth companies to fifteen states nationwide.

Dr. Alex Polyakov is an affiliate professor and gynecologist at The College of Melbourne.


Al-Najjar MAA, Al-Alwany RR, Al-Rshoud FM, Abu-Farha RK, Zawiah M. Menstrual changes following COVID-19 infection: A cross-sectional study from Jordan and Iraq. PLoS One. 2022;17(6):e0270537. Printed 2022 Jun 29. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0270537.

Ko KM, Han Okay, Chung YJ, Yoon KH, Park YG, Lee SH. Association between Body Weight Changes and Menstrual Irregularity: The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010 to 2012. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2017;32(2):248-256. doi:10.3803/EnM.2017.32.2.248

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