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My period is really late, but my HPT's are still negative. What's up?
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Starla_94 posted:
For charters: One of the main causes of a delayed period (extra-long luteal phase with high temps) with negative pregnancy tests is a luteal cyst. In a nutshell: when you ovulate, your egg ruptures from a small follicle. This follicle is known as the "corpus luteum" (literally means "yellow body," named for its color, and is the origin of the term "luteal phase.") Anyway, the corpus luteum produces progesterone. In the event of pregnancy, this progesterone will support the growing embryo until the placenta takes over and makes enough progesterone for itself. Then the corpus luteum shrivels up and stops functioning.

In the event that there is NO pregnancy, the corpus luteum also shrivels up and stops functioning-- ending the luteal phase. The drop in progesterone causes your period to begin. SOMETIMES, however, there is no pregnancy, but the corpus luteum turns into a small cyst and continues to secrete progesterone long after it's supposed to stop. This is called a luteal cyst, and is responsible for too many false hopes! (Progesterone also causes PMS and pregnancy-like symptoms, such as tender breasts.) If this is the problem, it's simple to resolve (usually a single injection takes care of it) but your doctor needs to see you! Note: this type of cyst is not the same type associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS.) Women with PCOS are no more or less likely to develop a luteal cyst, and women who develop luteal cysts do not necessarily have PCOS. Luteal cysts do not cause false positive HPT's.

No chart but note the length of cycle: It's much harder to know what's really going on in your body. There are two parts of a menstrual cycle: Day 1 (the first day of your period) until ovulation (which can happen on any day-- the "Day 14 ovulation" is a myth); this phase can vary widely. (Sometimes women do see some sort of pattern-- for instance, I generally ovulate between Day 15 and Day 19; however, it has happened as early as Day 12 and as late as Day 35! This is why the "calendar rhythm method" of birth control doesn't work-- past cycles can't predict future variation. By the way, NFP is not the rhythm method; it has an efficacy rate of 98-99% when used properly.) The time between ovulation and your next period, known as the "luteal phase," is fairly consistent. (A normal luteal phase is 10-16 days; whatever yours happens to be, it will probably only vary by a day or two.) Ovulation is delayed by stress-- all kinds of stress, even good stress-- so illness, travel, excitement, or even a random fluke can cause your egg to be tardy. (Note: stress cannot delay your period once ovulation has occurred.) So, if you are expecting, say, a 30-day cycle and you're having negative tests and no period by Day 35, it's possible that you simply ovulated later than usual, and your period will arrive as normal at the end of your usual luteal phase.

So, to use myself as an example again, I usually have 11 day luteal phases (LP's.) This means occasionally I have a 10 or 12-day LP. So my period would be "late" if it hadn't started 13 days after ovulation. Therefore, if I ovulate on Day 15, I would be "late" by Day 28. If I ovulate on Day 19, I'm not "late" until Day 32. My rare Day 35 ovulation meant I wasn't "late" until Day 48! In sum, if you are not monitoring your fertility in any way (charting, OPK's, etc.) there are a lot of cycle variables of which you may be unaware. If your period is later than expected but your HPT is negative, test again a week later. If it's still negative, you may simply want to wait and test again in a week. If you are taking medications (including hormonal contraceptives) or have other issues that would affect a pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor ASAP if you suspect pregnancy, regardless of your HPT results (a blood test may be recommended.)
Christina - 1 D/S Oct-2003, 1 M/C April 2010, ~oOo~ currently TTC 3 ~oOo~ come on BFP!! ~oOo~
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Starla_94 responded:
found this and thought some of you might find this helpful especially with so many BFN but No AF!
Christina - 1 D/S Oct-2003, 1 M/C April 2010, ~oOo~ currently TTC 3 ~oOo~ come on BFP!! ~oOo~
 
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An_226674 replied to Starla_94's response:
Thanks a lot for this wonderful information.
Gook Luck with BFP


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