Ask Me Anything: I am starting to get worried.

I get email.

Hey, so my girlfriend and I are starting to get worried a little
bit, she should be on her period right now but, nothing is happening. For
the past few nights she has felt sick and I am wondering if it just sounds
like her period is running late or if it is what I think it is.

Eek. I’ve had 2 scares myself and I don’t look back upon them fondly. Both in my teens. Both unnecessarily traumatic. Part of the trauma was self-inflicted, so if you’re stressing out hellahellahella right now: woosah, baby. Wooooooosah.

First, let’s think about how likely it is that you could be pregnant. Generally speaking…

A. If you are having sex without birth control or condoms, your risk of getting pregnant is higher.
B. If you are having sex with birth control/condoms that you sometimes forget to take or put on, your risk of getting pregnant is low-moderate.
C. If you are having sex with birth control (taken on time as directed) or condoms (used every time), your risk of getting pregnant is low.
D. Having sex about 2 weeks after your period (during ovulation) increases the likelihood of getting pregnant.

What else could cause a skipped period?
A skipped period can happen when you’re stressed, if you’ve changed your diet/exercise patterns, if you’ve gained or lost a lot of weight in a short period, if you’ve started taking certain medications (like, say, birth control!), or if you have been battling illness.

Could the nausea I’m feeling be morning sickness?
Possibly. Morning sickness and a stomach virus can feel alike. On average, morning sickness kicks in when you are about 6 weeks pregnant. Experiencing morning sickness before that point is less likely, although it does happen, especially if you sometimes experience nausea during your period.

Experiencing fever, diarrhea, achiness, and cramps with nausea/vomiting suggest that it’s a stomach virus.

Experiencing a sensitivity to odors/tastes, tender breasts, and increased need to pee with nausea/vomiting suggest that it’s morning sickness.

If you think you might be pregnant, take a home pregnancy test.
You can get these pretty much anywhere (grocery stores, department stores, sometimes smaller market places, even the dollar store). Pregnancy tests have a wide cost range. In the past, I think I paid around $8 for 2 sticks. The more expensive tests ($10-20) are often more sensitive so they can be taken sooner. Check the box for info about how early you can take the test & follow the directions on the box. 2 tips: (1) Use both sticks, preferably two mornings a few days apart and (2) Don’t be scared of generic brands! What’s more important is the test’s listed sensitivity. Often, you can get the same sensitivity in a generic brand for cheaper.

If it’s positive: you may be pregnant. Visit your doctor, Planned Parenthood, or another trustworthy (for me that means: clean, properly licensed, and they don’t exist to pressure you into pregnancy) health clinic to have another test taken. They may do another urine test or a blood test for more accuracy.
If it’s negative: you are most likely not pregnant! Home tests are about 97% accurate. Unless you think you are at a very high risk (or you need the peace of mind!), it’s not necessary to get another test done.

Managing a Pregnancy Scare
A missed period can be one of the first indicators that you are pregnant. However, try not to get paranoid too soon. Wait till it’s at least a week late before you freak. Take a test as early as you can (but not too early or it won’t be accurate!), it will ease your mind. If it’s positive, remember you have options and you are still in control. Take care of yourself & assess the situation as best you can so you can make the right choice for you. And yes, it is YOUR CHOICE. *ahem* For those who test negative, just try to relax and wait for your period to come! It will come. Waiting can be stressful, and that stress can actually delay it even longer.

Shitty….I know.

Alas. Go forth fearlessly & next time, do what you gotta do (hinthint) to avoid getting pregnant till you wanna be parents! :]

Related video: The Pregnancy Scare!

28 thoughts on “Ask Me Anything: I am starting to get worried.

  1. I live in Montreal, (QC). And they sell pregnancy tests at the dollar store here, which I have found to be no more or less accurate than 20$ tests.

    • i live in toronto and they also sell dollar store pregnancy tests here. i took about 3 of them and they were all negative, im now 8 months pregnant! lol had to find out i was preg through a physical.

  2. I had a friend once that has had a pregnancy scare already, shes 15! cray cray, I miss my period pretty often because as the seasons change i rapidly go from getting 0 exercise to getting tons of exercise after school.

    • sounds a little like slut-shaming what you just said. When I had a pregnancy scare I was 15 as well but I was nowhere near a slut, I had just started having sex with my boyfriend of a year. if you’re judging people why are you on this website? haha

  3. I used to give girls a pregnancy test as a birthday present. The look on the faces of the cashiers, seeing me wrap one up in gift paper, still makes me smile when I think of it.

    OT: I have nothing useful to add, so I will refrain from adding something useless to this topic.

  4. “Go forth fearlessly & next time, do what you gotta do (hinthint) to avoid getting pregnant till you wanna be parents! :]”

    Is that a suggestion for Anal?…

      • Actually, I’ve been wondering about that NuvaRing too. I mean, after having experience with it you should write a review!

        • Yes she did do a review but I believe I remember her saying that she switched to an IUD because the hormones that go along with using nuvaring were affecting her moods.

          I can give you my opinion on the nuvaring as I’ve been using it for about 2 years now. I was using the daily pill for about 3 years and I really wanted something else. Taking a pill each and every day became a chore- one that slipped my mind now and again. When I switched to nuvaring- it was delightful! You insert it vaginally for 3 weeks, then take it out for 1 week, and finally reinsert for another 3 weeks…etc. Just be sure to wright the date down of when you need to take it out/put it in- because it’s easy to slip your mind. For the most part stays in very securely- I’ve only had about two instances where it came out during intercourse so just be cautious of that. Btw- it is okay for it to come out for short periods of time- just reinsert. The hormones are lower than the pill and I overall really like it. I have personally had a great experience using nuvaring.

  5. Laci,

    You should write about Natural Family Planning sometime (I mean actual NFP, Sympto-Thermal or Creighton, not the calendar method). It is clearly best practiced by a committed, long-term couple, but the advantages are incredible.

    No body altering hormones, no strange chemicals, no barriers, no surgery, no artificial devices, no large corporation making loads of money, no suppression of our very human and beautiful fertility, cheap, and natural. I’m curious as to what you think!

    • Yeah I would love to hear about this, my husband and I hate a lot of the options because of all the chemicals and hormones they have. Don’t want to take the risk of ending up with cancer. Could you talk about some of the other options? We don’t want any more children either so it has to be really reliable.

      Thank you and we love your site and videos :)

    • “NFP is a way of following God’s plan for achieving and/or avoiding pregnancy.”
      Source: http://www.nfpandmore.org/

      If she’s going to do an article about this subject, I wonder if it’ll be what you expect…

      I am all for keeping things natural and keeping your body free from medication when you can (though, in ‘communist’ Europe you can be 99% certain that the medicine you’re getting is safe), but there are certain things you don’t want to fool around with. If you can’t sleep because your head hurts, take some paracetamol or ibuprofen (or a placebo, hint hint), cause getting sleep in that situation is the most, most, most important thing. And if you want to have sexytimes but don’t want to risk catching an STD or getting pregnant, use a condom. Those things are almost(!!) bulletproof and don’t effect your hormones ‘n stuff (unless for some reason you are against spermicides). And just in case, getting the hell outa there before the dynamite goes ‘boom’ never hurt anyone either.

      Also, not laying your woman down for sexytimes when she is at her most fertile, just seems plain unnatural to me… This means you both won’t be getting any like 50% of the time (real sailors also ride the red sea, but in the real world it’s not really that simple…).

      Anyway, to each his own. I just think that jumping through flaming hoops when you don’t have to, is kinda strange…

      I wish the couple from the question all the best. Whatever the outcome, I hope they stick together and get out stronger. Get the right help and make your own mind up. All the best!

        • Wikipedia:
          “Paracetamol [..] is a widely used over-the-counter analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretic (fever reducer). It is commonly used for the relief of headaches and other minor aches and pains and is a major ingredient in numerous cold and flu remedies.”

          It takes care of the thing that is keeping you from getting sleep… I might be weird, but I can’t sleep well when my head feels like it’s on fire and ready to explode… ;)

  6. It’s odd how they didn’t mention anything about what birth control they’d used in the email.

    Also, I wrote a post about you and your initiative over at The Nameless, for our Pop-up Thursday, because I really admire what you do. I hope you like it! ^^

  7. You left out the VERY high incidence of spontaneous abortion. It often happens that non-viable fertilized eggs (30-60% of all fertilizations AREN’T viable) don’t implant, but also many do implant and are flushed later in a relatively normal menstrual period.

    But yeah, testing is the thing. Do it. Do it NOW.

  8. “If it’s positive: you may be pregnant. Visit your doctor, Planned Parenthood, or another trustworthy (for me that means: clean, properly licensed, and they don’t exist to pressure you into pregnancy) health clinic to have another test taken. They may do another urine test or a blood test for more accuracy.
    If it’s negative: you are most likely not pregnant! Home tests are about 97% accurate. Unless you think you are at a very high risk (or you need the peace of mind!), it’s not necessary to get another test done.”

    Great article! Except this part isn’t quite right. If your test is negative early on, you could still be pregnant. It’s possible the test didn’t pick up the hormone–false negatives are common. HOWEVER, if your test is positive, you are pregnant. False positives are very rare indeed.

  9. What do you mean by low?… lol I’m currently on birth control which I take religiously every morning at 8am and use condoms EVERY time. Is there really any reason to worry at all? … I always try to be very responsible cuuuuzz I REALLY DON’T want a baby right now ..but I still wanna you know ;)

    • The pill is 99.99% effective. Condoms break or are used incorrectly. People do become pregnant using these 2 forms but it’s much rarer than those who use nothing. Using both at the same time however, seems EXTREMELY unlikely.

  10. Pregnancy scares are not fun. Not for anyone.

    I’m a particularly anxious person. I over-think a lot, and tend to stress. Because of this my periods were delayed all the time. I would think up the worst possible situations … even though my partner and I had used protection during sex on a consistent basis.

    It got to the point that some months I’d have to purchase a pregnancy test just to relieve my anxiety and “tell” my mind to go ahead and tell my body to have my period.

    /facepalm.

    If you do have a scare and you have the extra money, I’d suggest getting a pregnancy kit right away. If you believe you are going to have sex on a regular basis, look into getting the pill through planned parenthood, or your family doctor (if possible). Be consistent with your birth control to avoid these scary situations.

    There is nothing fun or sexy about a pregnancy scare. Protect yourself, and protect your partner.

  11. I am definitely NOT encouraging unprotected sex; however, I am on the Mirena IUD and I have unprotected sex with my fiancé and have not ever gotten pregnant. I love it. Granted you cant rely on a period to know because the Mirena has made my period stop all together. I may get my cycle once a year. I know my body and know that if I’m feeling iffy I need to get it checked out (common sense). I’m in a monogamous relationship and my fiancé is my only partner and i am his only ever so unprotected sex is not an issue for us.

  12. A motivating discussion is worth comment. I think that you ought to write more about this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but generally people do not talk about these topics. To the next! Cheers!!

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