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    What causes delayed menstruation and negative pregnancy test?

Posted on Thu, 27 Jul 2017 in Pregnancy
Question: Hello. I am 9 days late for my period, but have taken 3 home pregnancy tests that were negative. My husband and I have used condoms everytime we've had intercourse. I have had to be on antibiotics & antiviral meds for shingles. Could those meds be affecting my period and causing it to be late?
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Most likely due to stress of illness.

Detailed Answer:

When a period comes late like this, and the risks of pregnancy are low, the delayed period is most often due to not actually ovulating that cycle.

Condoms without spermicide are not the most effective forms of contraception, but at 1 week after the expected (missed) date of period, home pregnancy tests are quite accurate.

It's unlikely that the medications you used interfered with ovulation, but the stress of having had shingles could definitely have interfered with ovulation.

When ovulation doesn't occur, periods are usually atypical: early, late (more often late), heavier, lighter, longer or shorter, when it does come. There can be spotting too.

In most women who are fairly regular but have been sick and missed an expected ovulation, they usually reset in the next month (sometimes 2).

I am not sure I understand why you are on an antibiotic if you have shingles as shingles is from reactivation of the chicken pox virus (i.e. it's viral, not bacterial). Minimizing any unnecessary medications will be less stress on your body as well. An antiviral such as acyclovir or Valcyclovir is necessary though.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Thank you for answering my question and explaining it in full detail. I only ask because I had an ectopic pregnancy that burst my fallopian tube last summer, and my period was late then. But, we were actively trying to get pregnant. Would a pregnancy test read positive if I had an ectopic pregnancy. I am not exhibiting any other symptoms of an ectopic other than missed period.
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 32 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Call doctor tomorrow

Detailed Answer:
An ectopic pregnancy can produce the hCG that is detected by home pregnancy tests, but usually at a lower amount and more slowly, than a normal uterine pregnancy. So it may not always be picked up by an early home pregnancy test. Since you are at higher risk for another ectopic to occur (because of your previous one), I recommend contacting your doctor tomorrow and having two serum (blood) hCG tests done, 48 hours apart. Serum hCG is more sensitive than the various over-the-counter urine home pregnancy tests.

Most likely this is from anovulation, but given your history, better to be cautious and monitor this.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3136 Questions


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