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Am I pregnant?

By August 27, 2009 - 2:13pm
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Hi, I have a history of irregular menstral cycles. My usual pattern is to have two or three periods in a row and then skip a month. It's rare that the periods I do have start at the same time of the month, it usually varies from the middle of the month to the end and so on. I recently skipped a period in June, had one in July which started on the 7th and so far it looks like I'm skipping august. This has me concerned because I don't ever recall missing a period again so soon after I've just missed one a month before my last. My husband and I practice natural family planning and I have a pretty good sense of my body and when I ovulate so I can avoid intercourse or use protection during that time. We've been doing this for almost 6 years now and haven't had a pregnancy scare other than the times I skip a period and just as a pre-caution, I would take a HPT in case. I've been thinking over all of the possibilities and I know that stress can cause a missed period but I honestly haven't been stressed at all. My breasts are slightly tender but that's really all I can say that's different at this point. I don't remember ovulating this month so this has me worried. Is this just another missed period? In the past I've jumped the gun and taken HPT but they always came up negative and the period that I missed at the time was completely normal for my cycles. Should I take a HTP this time or let it ride and wait another month to see if I miss another period? Thank you.
Note: I've never been pregnant before so I'm unsure what to expect if I were.

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I wish we could give you an answer, but your symptoms of missing a period could either mean this is another irregular cycle for you, or you are pregnant, or you have a medical condition.

Since you have a history of irregular periods---have they ever been diagnosed? Do you know the reason for these (and if not, that is OK...some women naturally have irregular periods and that is normal for them). I just wanted to make sure that you see your Gynecologist on an annual basis, to rule out any type of medical condition.

Otherwise, sore breasts are indicative of hormonal changes, either an upcoming period or early pregnancy. Early pregnancy signs are almost identical to pre-menstrual signs, as they are both hormone-related. Since you "know" your body to such a great extent, some early pregnancy signs include sore breasts, complexion issues (acne), headache, fatigue, mild cramping/pulling in uterus, bloating, nausea, changes in mood, lower back pain. (I dislike providing this litany of symptoms, as inevitably after reading them, we all feel like we are pregnant!)

What type of natural family planning are you practicing (or, the new name is "Fertility Awareness-Based Methods...thought you would like that!) You can read about the different types at Planned Parenthood.

I'm curious how this method is working for you? It sounds like has been effective for you both, as this has been your method for 6 years, but I am wondering about how much stress this is causing, as it sounds like you have taken a few HPT (which could be stress-inducing to many of us, especially when coupled with the wonder and the wait). You did mention that you use other protection (condoms, I assume), which can increase the effectiveness of FAM from 75-88% effective to 98% effective (at preventing pregnancy).

August 27, 2009 - 2:51pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

Thanks Alison, I know I guess I'm gonna have to take a HPT to know for sure. My cycles have been irregular since I started at age 12 and my gyno says it's normal for me because they've been that way since the begining. I am over due for an exam though. My husband started a new job and the medical benefits will not start until January. I'm considering a visit to a local free clinic to get examined in the mean time just in case there is something medically wrong with me.
The type of natural family planning we practice is basically just being aware of when I ovulate by paying close attention to when my cycle should begin again, as well as observing ovulation through secretions. On those days, we either don't engage in intercourse or use condoms. I don't mean to be graphic or inappropriate but even when I'm not ovulating my husband never ejaculates inside of me. So I've always thought this was a fool proof method.
Yes, ever since my husband and I became sexually active with each other I have always been an overly cautious person just in case I was pregnant because I didn't want to do anything to harm the baby. This does cause stress on someone like me because of my irregular cycles.
Do you think I should wait until next month to test or should I do it now?

August 27, 2009 - 3:30pm
(reply to StephStyle)

I must add that there was one time at the begining of the month during intercourse that my husband had an "accident" and ejaculated inside of me. This has played a huge role in my worries because I didn't think it was a big deal at the time because according to my records I was supposed to start my period again in a few days anyway. What do you think?

August 27, 2009 - 3:38pm
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