What To Do When Your Period Is Late
If your period is more than a week late and you got a negative pregnancy test, you may want to schedule an appointment with your health care provider to be safe. Your doctor can do a blood test to confirm that youre not pregnant.
If the blood test is also negative and your practitioner rules out any other possible concerns, its fine to sit back and go with the flow . Every woman skips a period now and then, especially if shes under stress or has been sick. Relax and do what you can to ease anxiety by eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Why Did I Miss A Period
Missing a period is not uncommon, and most of the time, it is not a cause for concern. Some of the reasons you might miss a period include:
Normal lifecycle changes
There are a number of changes that happen in the female lifecycle that can result in a skipped period. All of these are normal reasons to miss a period and are not cause for concern.
The most common reason for a missed period is pregnancy. If this is a possibility, take a home pregnancy test to see if this is the cause of your missed period. If you skip a period and then have one the next month at the expected time, its possible that a non-viable pregnancy occurred, and the period is actually an early miscarriage.
Breastfeeding can suppress your period, depending on how frequently you are nursing. You may get a period while breastfeeding, and then not have another one for several months or more, particularly if your baby is nursing exclusively. You can ovulate before you get your period, so its important to use birth control during this time, if you dont want to get pregnant.
A skipped period may be a sign that you are entering menopause and your periods are beginning to become less regular, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms of menopause . If you are 45 or older, there is a good chance this is the cause of a missed period.
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What Is The Last Menstrual Period
The LMP is the date of the first day of the last menstrual period you had before conceiving. It is the first day that your last menstrual cycle begins when you see bright red blood, not just a little brown spotting. You should keep track of your LMP each month, either with an online calculator or just by recording it on a calendar each month. That is the date you use when entering the LMP on an online period calculator.
Whether you are trying to get pregnant or not trying to get pregnant, keeping track of your menstrual periods is vital. Besides pregnancy, missing a menstrual period could also be a sign of other issues like missed ovulation.
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Is It Common After Taking Plan B
People take Plan B to prevent pregnancy following sex without contraception.A person should take the medication within 72 hours of sex, as the efficacy of the drug decreases over time. It contains only levonorgestrel, a synthetic version of the hormone progestin.
After taking Plan B, a person can expect to get their period at the usual time, but there may be a delay of up to 1 week.Also, some people experience spotting or bleeding between taking Plan B and getting their period.
It is important to note that Plan B is not 100% effective. If a person does not get their period within a week of taking the drug, it is probably a good idea to take a pregnancy test.
Late Period: Everything You Need To Know
Having a late period might come as a surprise, especially if youre not trying to get pregnant. Should you take a pregnancy test? The truth is, there are many reasons for late periods other than pregnancy. Your health, age, diet, stress, and exercise can all affect the regularity of your menstrual cycle. In this article, well look at the most common late period causes and go over some common questions about delayed menstruation.
What To Expect From Physical Recovery
Your doctor will probably advise you to avoid sex, tampons, and douches for two weeks. This will help prevent infection.
They may also want you to take a pregnancy test after about two weeks. This can help them determine whether your hormone levels are back to normal.
In the meantime, call your doctor if you:
- are bleeding heavier than expected or notice that the blood stays bright red
- are soaking through more than two maxi pads an hour for more than two hours
- notice a foul-smelling discharge
- experience abdominal tenderness or severe pain
- have persistent cramping
- develop a fever or chills
For the first few days, you may notice blood clots and tissue passing, but this should taper off after about a week. It will take about four to eight weeks for your regular period to return.
Mild exercise following an early miscarriage is usually fine, but check with your doctor. It may depend on how far along you were, as well as your overall health.
Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed Period
As stated above, some women can sense that they’re pregnant before a missed period due to some early symptoms, usually 1-2 weeks following the missed period Those symptoms are usually pregnancy fatigue, constipation, an increase in breast size and sensitivity, and frequent urination.
Some symptoms can actually be signs of an upcoming period, though. Many women experience breast changes before a period, along with some bloating of the stomach. On their own, they may not be signs of pregnancy but instead signs of impending menstruation.
Another very early sign of pregnancy may be implantation bleeding, which some may confuse with an early period. Implantation bleeding can occur when the fertilized egg burrows into the lining of the uterus, a week or so before the next expected period. It’s usually light spotting and does not last long. Fewer than half of all pregnant women experience implantation bleeding.
If you are experiencing some of these early signs of pregnancy, it would be wise to wait until you miss your period to begin taking pregnancy tests. It will give your hCG levels a chance to build up in your system to be detected by the tests. Despite how early some pregnancy tests say they will detect pregnancy, it’s best to wait so that you are not wasting money taking multiple tests.
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Reasons For A Late Period
Now that weve explained what qualifies as a regular menstrual cycle, lets go over why some people have late or irregular periods.
During the early stages of puberty, its common to have irregular cycles. Its normal for adolescents to have irregular cycles for the first three years after they get their period. This is because the ovaries may not be releasing an egg every month yet, since hormone levels are still changing. However, for people who are already past that phase, there are lots of other things that can cause a late period and irregular periods.
Here are eight common causes of a late period:
How Many Days After A Missed Period Is A Pregnancy Test Positive
Once youve missed your period, most pregnancy tests are accurate. But some people might have lower hCG levels that cant be detected by tests quite so soon. You can repeat a test 5 to 10 days after missing your period for more accurate results. A blood test can also accurately measure your hCG levels.
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When Would Pregnancy Begin
Here are some early pregnancy symptoms that are different from signs of PMS:
- Menstrual bleeding is heavier than pregnancy-related spotting.
- Fatigue from PMS usually goes away, for the most part, once the bleeding starts.
- Nausea is a common pregnancy symptom, but not so much with PMS.
- Food cravings or aversions are more intense with pregnancy.
- Cramps can be intense before menstruation but are milder in the early stages of pregnancy.
During The First Trimester
When a miscarriage occurs in the first five weeks after fertilization, its called a chemical pregnancy. Its so early that you might not have known you were pregnant.
Although your period may seem heavier than usual, there might not be any other noticeable sign of miscarriage.
Miscarriages in the first trimester often have to do with chromosome abnormalities that interfere with normal development. Missing or extra chromosomes are linked to 50 percent of all miscarriages.
Sometimes, a fertilized egg simply doesnt develop into an embryo .
It may help to know that having sex, exercising, morning sickness, and previous use of oral contraceptives dont cause miscarriage. Even an accidental fall doesnt necessarily cause it.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , smoking and alcohol consumption in the first trimester may result in a slightly higher risk of miscarriage. But the research on this is mixed.
Its also worth noting that drinking less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day doesnt appear to increase the risk of miscarriage.
Some things that may increase the risk of early miscarriage are:
- fibroids or other abnormalities of the uterus
- use of cocaine or similar drugs
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The Facts About Irregular Or Late Periods
Approximately 30% of women have irregular periods during their fertile years, and whilst an irregular cycle is not usually a problem it can occasionally signal health issues.
When a woman stops getting her period this condition is called amenorrhoea. Primary amenorrhoea is when a young woman, usually an adolescent, never had her period, to begin with during puberty. Secondary amenorrhoea is when a woman who has had her period in the past stops getting her monthly period for three or more months.
Having a regular, moderately pain-free period each month is always a good indication that the female hormones are in balance and the reproductive system is working properly. Women with a regular cycle, and normal ovarian function release one egg about every 25 to 28 days. The average time between periods varies depending on the woman, especially during puberty and the peri-menopausal phase. However, most women will have their periods once a month providing they are in good health.
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Food And Odor Aversions Or Cravings
Aversions to certain foods or odors are caused by your bodys hormonal changes during the first trimester of pregnancy. You may start to despise the way your favorite dinner smells or tastes, or, on the flip side, you may crave certain snacks, meals, beverages or food combinations.
When it comes to cravings or aversions, listen to your body. Its okay to occasionally indulge in late-night ice cream runsjust don’t overdo it. Talk to your OBGYN if youre unable to stomach major food groups like vegetables or whole grains. The two of you can discuss foods that can easily be substituted in.
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Youre Likely To Have Had An Early Miscarriage If:
1) Your period comes 3 or more days after its actually due and/or
2) Your luteal phase extends to 18 days in length or more
It can help to do a pregnancy test as soon as your period is overdue. If hCG is still being produced at that stage , you are likely to get a positive result.
If you get a positive test followed by your period, youll know that sadly, you did experience an early miscarriage. A positive pregnancy test followed by a period is known as a biochemical pregnancy.
Its also possible to get a negative pregnancy test, and still have had a very early miscarriage.
Knowing that youve had an early miscarriage can be absolutely devastating especially knowing that a pregnancy was so close. The silver lining is that an early miscarriage can help to answer a number of critical questions about your fertility.
And its important to remember that most women who experience a miscarriage, will go onto have a healthy pregnancy in future.
When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start
“Usually 1-2 weeks following the missed period,” says Dr. Trolice. “This is 5-6 weeks estimated gestational age.”
Did you know that when you’re pregnant, your first week is the first week of your last period?
It may seem confusing, but healthcare professionals have tracked pregnancies beginning with the first day of the last menstrual period. Forty weeks after that is when birth occurs on average. They did not and do not track from the moment of conception, simply because it is nearly impossible to determine the actual date and time of conception when the sperm meets the egg. Sperm can live from 3-5 days inside of a woman’s body after intercourse, so there’s no way to know exactly the moment of conception.
In the time after your last period, your body is preparing itself for a pregnancy. In a 28 day cycle, an egg will be released from the ovaries around the 14th day of the cycle, in a process called ovulation. That time is considered your most fertile time when there’s potential for sperm to fertilize an egg if you had intercourse. If they do meet and the egg becomes fertilized, it is considered conception.
For most women trying to have their first baby, the first noticeable sign then of a pregnancy would be the missed period. Others who are more in tune with their bodies or who have already experienced a pregnancy would notice other symptoms, like fatigue, a few days sooner, suspecting pregnancy before the missed period.
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Missing a period every once in a while is usually not cause for concern. That said, you should see a healthcare provider if you miss more than one period, or your missed period is accompanied by new or unusual symptoms.
Seek medical attention right away if you also experience any of the following:
- New or worsening headaches
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Late Periods And Pregnancy
In the movies its become a cliche, a woman misses her period and you know she must be pregnant. While a late period is indeed one of the signs of early pregnancy, there are also so many other things that can influence the regularity of your cycle and push back your period.
To get pregnant you have to have unprotected sex within your fertile window, which is in fact only 6 days in any menstrual cycle.
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Im Not Pregnant So Why Is My Period Late
So the pregnancy test came out negative, and you still havent got your period, what then? There are many reasons why you may miss or skip a period, or why your periods may stop altogether.
If pregnancy cannot be ruled out after a negative test result, you may be late or have skipped your period due to:
There are many reasons why your period is late or skipped, and most, like stress, are no cause for alarm and your periods can return to normal with a few healthy lifestyle changes.
However, to rule out any causes for concern, if you miss more than one period you may want to see your doctor for medical advice.
Is It Normal To Have A Period After Menopause
After menopause you will no longer be able to get pregnant and you will no longer get a period. If you have any type of vaginal bleeding after menopause, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Vaginal bleeding after menopause is not normal and can mean that you have a serious health problem. Low hormone levels.
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How Do I Know If I Am Pregnant
The only way to know for sure if you are pregnant would be to get a positive pregnancy test, whether it be a home pregnancy test or a blood test. Symptoms may show up prior to taking a test, but they could be a sign of impending menstruation, so it’s best to wait and see if you miss your period.
Best of luck to you!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Not Everyone Is The Same
If you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy and understand that not everyone is the same. What might be severe symptoms for some women might go unnoticed by you.
Also, keep in mind that not everyone experiences every symptom, and some people experience different symptoms at different stages of pregnancy. No two pregnancies are alike!
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