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.
Extreme Diet And Exercise
Major lifestyle changes, like drastically reducing your calorie intake or engaging in excessive exercise, can put stress on the body and cause late or missed periods.â·
It is estimated that female body fat percentage should be approximately 22% for menstruation to occur.â¸ Insufficient fat stores make it hard for the hypothalamic axis â the interactions of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands which drive menstruation â to get the energy it needs to do its job. Thatâs why calorie-restrictive eating disorders, excessive exercise disorders and intense athletic scenarios where lean body mass is essential can affect the menstrual cycle. In these cases, low body fat leads to low estrogen, which leads to interrupted menstruation. This scenario can also be bad for your bone health, so be sure to talk to your doctor if this sounds like you.
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.
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The Best Time To Take A Pregnancy Test
If you have a regular menstrual cycle , then you are only at risk of pregnancy if you had unprotected heterosexual sex or had a high risk of sperm touching your genitals during your fertile window. This is the six days leading up to and including ovulation, usually around the middle of your cycle . You can take a pregnancy test about two weeks after your estimated ovulation day, but the earlier you take a test the less accurate it may be and some brands are more sensitive than others . You should probably take a pregnancy test or contact your healthcare provider if your period is nine or more days late.
If you have an irregular cycle , then unprotected sex or exposure of sperm on your genitals at most times represents a risk. You can take a pregnancy test about two weeks after your last unprotected sexual encounter, though the earlier you take a test the less accurate it may be and some brands are more sensitive than others .
If you get a negative result at first and your period still hasnât come after a week, you might want to try taking another pregnancy testâjust to be sure. The sooner you know if you are pregnant or not, the sooner youâll be able to develop a plan . You can get confidential testing and counseling in most healthcare providersâ offices and clinics.
It Could Be A Sign Of Pregnancy
While one of the clear signs of pregnancy is missing your period, it turns out that some women continue to experience bleeding or a light version of their period when theyre pregnant, says fertility expert Janet Choi, M.D., medical director at CCRM in New York. In fact, shes had patients whove been struggling to get pregnant go out drinking after a light version of their period shows uponly to later learn that they really are pregnant.
Unusually light periods or spotting could also indicate an ectopic pregnancy , which can be very dangerous. When in doubt, take a pregnancy test.
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How Long Do You Wait After A Missed Period To Take A Pregnancy Test
Most pregnancy tests claim they can give you an accurate reading as early as the first day of a missed period, and sometimes before. If you really want to be sure, its always better to wait one week after your missed period. Check out this post for everything you need to know about taking a pregnancy test.
How To Regulate Your Menstrual Cycle
There are certain measures that can help to prevent delayed periods and regulate the menstrual cycle, like:
- A healthy lifestyle, with regular physical exercise and a healthy and varied diet, rich in fruits and vegetables
- Taking the contraceptive pill, as it can help to regulate the menstrual cycle
- Avoid extreme or restrictive diets, which, as well as doing harm to your health, end up making your menstrual cycle irregular
- Follow the indicated treatment if you have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or thyroid disorders
- Maintain a healthy weight.
While these measures help to keep your cycles regular, you should still consult a doctor if you experience irregular periods.
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What Is Considered Late For A Period
All womens cycles vary, so its hard to define what is normal and not normal. But if youre wondering why is my period late, generally speaking, medical professionals say:
- A period is considered late if it hasnt started five or more days after the day you expected it to start.
- A period is considered missed if you havent had menstrual flow for 6 or more weeks after the start of your last period.
Youve Upped Your Workout Intensity
A strenuous exercise regimen can also cause missed periods. This is most common in those who train for several hours a day. It happens because, whether intentionally or not, youre burning way more calories than youre taking in.
When you burn too many calories, your body doesnt have enough energy to keep all its systems running. More strenuous workouts can increase hormone release that can affect your menstruation.
Periods typically go back to normal as soon as you lessen training intensity or increase your caloric intake.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a set of symptoms caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. Many people with PCOS do not ovulate regularly.
As a result, your periods may:
- be lighter or heavier than standard periods
- arrive at inconsistent times
Other PCOS symptoms can include:
- excess or coarse facial and body hair
- acne on the face and body
- thinning hair
- weight gain or trouble losing weight
- dark patches of skin, often on the neck creases, groin, and underneath breasts
- skin tags in the armpits or neck
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You Took Emergency Contraception
If you had unprotected sexual intercourse and took emergency pills, your period can be delayed for days.
Emergency pills function by preventing ovulation from taking place. If taken as soon as possible and prior to ovulation, your chances of becoming pregnant are slim.
However, you could still get pregnant if pills are not taken properly.
What can you do?
If you are worried about pregnancy, you shouldnt. Pills, when taken within 24 hours of intercourse, have an increased chance of protection. However, if you took your pills very late or have symptoms of pregnancy, you can confirm your pregnancy status by testing.
Can Stress Make Your Period Late
Absolutely! Stress and anxiety can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to many symptoms such as diarrhea, rapid breathing, abdominal pain, and late periods. Stress can suppress the action of certain hormones that are needed to regulate your menstrual cycle. Thats why finding effective stress management techniques can be helpful in regulating your menstrual cycle.
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An Existing Chronic Condition
Any chronic condition has the potential to affect the menstrual cycle. Some good examples include uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid disease or reproductive causes like polycystic ovary syndrome.Â¹â°Â¹Â¹ Maintaining healthy habits, such as eating a healthful diet and exercising regularly, can help prevent chronic conditions from flaring and affecting your menstrual cycle.
How Much Delay In Periods Is Normal
Menstrual cycles are considered normal if they last anywhere between 21 to 35 days. Your cycle can vary, but your period is considered late after five days from the date when you expected it to come. A period is considered to have been missed if its been six weeks or more since the first day of your last menstruation.
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Referral To A Specialist
If your GP thinks a medical condition might have caused your periods to stop, they may refer you to a specialist.
Depending on what your GP thinks is causing the problem, you may be referred to:
- a gynaecologist â a specialist in treating conditions affecting the female reproductive system
- an endocrinologist â a specialist in treating hormonal conditions
You may have a gynaecological examination and various tests, including:
- blood tests â to see if you have abnormal levels of certain hormones
- an ultrasound scan, CT scan or MRI scan â to identify any problems with your reproductive system or the pituitary gland in your brain
What To Do If Your Period Is Delayed
If your period is late, the first step is to complete out a pregnancy test from the pharmacy. If you havent had a period for more than 3 months and you cannot identify the cause, you should go to a gynecologist so that he or she can identify the cause and treat the problem. In some cases, the use of medication is recommended to stimulate your period.
The doctor may order bloodwork to assess progesterone and prolactin levels, which may help to identify the reason for this delay and guide the most appropriate treatment.
Also, depending on what is causing your period delay, you may need to reduce the intensity of physical exercise, take it easy, avoid stress and maintain a varied and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. These are all factors that contribute to a regular menstrual cycle.
It is also recommended that you see your doctor regularly to identify possible health problems or diseases such as polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, anorexia, bulimia, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, all which can cause changes to your menstrual cycle.
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When To Visit The Doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you can’t pinpoint the reasons for a late period they may want to check for various conditions. It’s also important to note that vaginal bleeding after a late period may not be the monthly visitor you were expecting. “Anybody who experiences heavy bleeding and pain after a missed period and/or a positive pregnancy test should go to the doctor,” says Dr. McDonald. “All bleeding is not a period, especially in a setting where something is off.”
Are There Other Reasons Im Cramping Without A Period
Thanks to the fairly central location of our reproductive organs, its pretty easy to mix up other cramp-causing conditions with your period. For example, a fairly serious cause of abdominal pain is appendicitis. You can check for this by pressing on the right side of your body, between navel and side, and then letting go. What youre looking for is more pain in the release than the press. That rebound tenderness and fever are two sure signs its time to get to the hospital ASAP!
With an urgent issue like appendicitis ruled out, several other things might be the culprit. It could be that certain penetrative sex positions have irritated your cervix, or that you have a urinary tract infection . Or, its a digestive issue like lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, an ulcer, or IBS.
This wide range of causes means that seeking medical attention if the issue persists is a pretty good idea. If you miss more than three periods, definitely seek medical care.
And as medical self-advocacy best practices suggest, you can bring a list of things youve ruled out or things you think it might be along with you. You might not know what is or is not significant, and a good doctor will understand that. Its better if you tell them everything than leave something out!
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You Are Close To Menopause
If you are more than 40 years with a delayed period, then it could be due to peri-menopause.
Perimenopause, which occurs between 40 and 50 years in women, can cause your period to be delayed for three days. You may also notice other symptoms like hot flushes, thinning of bones and very dry vagina.
What can help?
If perhaps you have got these symptoms, systemic estrogen therapy or vaginal estrogen creams can help relieve your symptoms.
Breast Pain And Swelling
Do you experience increased pain in your breast before your period starts? Do you notice your breasts are slightly larger before your period?
Before period, some women may experience breast pain and swelling. This is a sign of period coming soon. Some women may have a lump in their breast that disappears after period starts.
Changes in the breast before your period is due to the effect of hormones. Hormones Estrogen and progesterone, will cause your ducts to enlarge and your glands to swell.
In women with a 28-day menstrual cycle, breast tenderness usually occurs 4 days before period .
What to do?
- Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen can ease your breast pain
- If your breast pain is persistent, you should talk to your doctor
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While Were On The Topic Of Stress
Lets break down some of the most common triggers of stress which can delay or halt ovulation .
Its easy to think of psychological stressors in our lives like deadlines, difficult relationships, arguments and caring for small children.
However, there are many other forms of stress which can wreak havoc on our cycle, even without you feeling overly stressed. The most common forms of non-psychological stress which cause delayed or missing periods are:
Cant click the image to sign up for my Heal Your Cycle Masterclass? .
How Late Can A Period Be
A typical menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but depending on the woman, a healthy cycle can be a short as 21 or as long as 35 days. Track your period over several months to look for cycle patterns and changes . This will help you figure out what a normal menstrual cycle usually looks like for you.
A period is usually considered late if it hasnt started within seven days of when you expect it .
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