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.