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ask: My period is 19+ days late. Pregnancy test said negative. What's going on?

By Anonymous
 
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My period was supposed to come around the 20-24 of December. I took a pregnancy test (in home, urine one--First Response) on the 6th of January, and the test read negative. I haven't had any unprotected sex during the month of December or January, my partner and I use only condoms, so I realize there can be a chance of failure (possibly by hands or getting too close during foreplay?)
Back in August I had to take Plan B twice and my periods were a bit irregular since, but only by 5 days late at the most. I usually expect them around the 20th of each month.

There hasn't been any drastic changes in my life, other than I've been eating and exercising a bit less and my stress levels have been up since the start of January.

What's going on? Could I possibly be pregnant or are there other things that could effect my period?

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Anonymous

Thanks both of you.

I'm 21 years old. I have experienced fatigue, quite frequently at work, and only two incidents where I felt some mild nausea over this entire month. But other than that, I've had no other symptoms.
The reason I ask is I don't have a doctor at the moment since I moved to a very small town for education, and there's no openings for new patients anywhere--hence why I ask here, so I can skip a visit to outpatients.

Thanks for the information!

January 13, 2010 - 4:15pm
Diane Porter (reply to Anonymous)

We're glad to help, Anon. Do come back and let us know what happens, and if we can help you any further. It's hard to be a new person in a new place -- especially when that place is small and everyone already knows each other! Take care and know we're here for you.

January 14, 2010 - 8:56am
Diane Porter

Anon,

You didn't say how old you are. But when I was in my 20s, I would even occasionally skip a period. It was a rare occurrence and always worried me (as it's doing you) but time would go by and another normal period would come, and things would be OK.

Stress has a direct effect on our hormones. Yes, just the fact that you've been eating less, exercising less and have had higher stress levels can result in changes in your cycle. Especially since you have had slightly irregular cycles since August, this doesn't seem especially worrisome.

If you were pregnant, you would be having some other symptoms by now. Things like tender or swollen breasts, nausea, fatigue and more frequent urination would have begun. Have you noticed anything besides the late period?

If I was in the exact situation you are, I would probably wait another couple of weeks until the 20th or so of January and see what happens (because if you skipped one completely, that's about when you'd expect to have one again), and if one doesn't come, check with your doctor.

Would you come back and update us?

January 13, 2010 - 8:34am
drtenney

Hi and thanks for your question,

If you are using condoms correctly they are 99% effective against pregnancy. A negative pregnancy test 19 days after your expected period indicates that you are not likely pregnant.

Irregular menstrual cycles are very common and can be due to a hormonal imbalance, which can be affected by things like changes in nutrition, stress, activity level and certain medications.

A normal menstrual cycle is 21-35 days long (maybe 5-7 days longer in puberty). The duration of flow is normally 4-6 days long and 78% of blood loss occurs in the first 2 days of menstruation.

If your cycle continues to be irregular you should see your doctor for an evaluation.

January 11, 2010 - 9:18pm
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