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Pregnancy or stress induced missed period?

By February 28, 2009 - 6:25pm
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Hello. I'm 19 years old and am new to this board.

I guess to start off... I've been sexually active with my boyfriend since age 16. On our first two sexual encounters, the condom broke but he DID NOT cum. Since then, I've always been paranoid after having sex; thinking that A) The condom broke or B) The condom is faulty and isn't effective, even if it didn't break.

This year, I had my last period on January 18th. We had sexual intercourse on the 24th and 25th. Then again on February 14th and 15th. It's now February 28... 10 days late if my cycle were 30 days. HOWEVER, my cycle is incredibly irregular because I am easily stressed and paranoid. I know before, my period was as late as 16 days until I took a pregnancy test that came out negative.

Again, I'm 19 years old already. Almost sure that I'm done growing. Shouldn't I have regular periods by now regardless of stress or amount of sexual activity? If anything, stress should only delay it for what? 4 days?

I took two home pregnancy tests. on the 24th and 25th of February. Both came out negative.

Is it even likely that I'm pregnant? If you have any other questions or would like to know the details about my situation... feel free to ask.

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EmpowHER Guest

im 19 years old and i had my last period on the 4th-7th of september. my bf and i had protected sex on the 10th. i am pretty sure there was no breakage or leakage. we messed around again on the 13th, however there was no pre-cum. my periods were due on the 3rd of October however i am now 5 DAYS late. i have tested for pregnancy by using home kit 5 times and all have turned NEGATIVE.
i have been studying, travelling and giving exams this month which has added to the tremendous pressure and stress of my missed period!
pls help me and let me know what is going on!
im 5 days late with 5 negative tests?! is it stress or what?

October 7, 2014 - 10:59am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Your periods are probably irregular due to your schedule. I know it's a pain while waiting for it but just put a light panty liner on so you don't have an accident and go along with your life until it comes. 

Learning to de-stress your life a little can help with regulation too.



October 10, 2014 - 5:49am
EmpowHER Guest

I would like to know as well why im 6 days late from my period ik im not stressed but idk im scared im only 17

December 15, 2012 - 7:56pm

Alright, well it's not March 5th. Guess it's time to update.

Still no sign of a period. Had that stretchy discharge between February 16-February 19. My breasts did hurt a lot that same week and the week after.

Week of March 1... nada. No cramps. Some discharge but not a lot. Breasts stopped being sore and tender. As each day goes by, I become more and more paranoid AGAIN. Even if it's not pregnancy, I'm freaking out.

Also, I'm getting stressed out with work and looking for a gynecologist. I keep trying to call at work but somebody just ends up giving me more work. So I'm forced to hang up. By the time I come home, all the OBGYN medical offices are closed at 5:30/6:00. Or when I call and get through, they're no longer accepting new patients. What's worse is, I'm even having trouble finding a gynecologist open on the weekends.

*Sigh* So frustrated!

March 5, 2009 - 7:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hey Paranoid,

I love your sense of humor. Seeing an OBGYN is certainly a priority since you have become sexually active.

There are always side effects to anything you put into your body. Some people react different to contraceptives and your friend should certainly see her physician if she is experiencing the emotional roller coaster. There are several different types of (the Pill) and different doses so she may be on one that is too strong and they can change her prescription to offset the emotional portion. That happened to me also. It took three times to the OBGYN to get the right one that had no side effects.

The Mayo Clinic provides a substantial amount of information on the different forms of birth control methods and you can read about them here http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/birth-control/BI99999.

Some of the birth control methods will cause you to NOT have a period and if you are looking for regularity, you may want to try the pill.

Also, when you go see your physician, make sure you talk to him about all the choices that you have, he/she will be able to prescribe you what would be best for your body. Let us know what you end up choosing.

March 1, 2009 - 10:40am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Paranoid,

I agree with what Allison said above. Irregular periods are very very common. I had irregular periods for most of my life. When I was in my teen years, I would even go 8 months without a period and that was a scary time in my life because I also was sexually active.

I went on birth control when I was about 17 years old, mainly for the purpose of having regular periods. It certainly worked for several years but I got off of them when I was approximately 22 years old. After I was off the pill, I did have an 8 month spout of not having a period again, then all of a sudden, I have periods monthly now. It was very common for me not to have regular periods. Somehow they just catch up to you.

Stress is definitely a factor in missing periods because all my life I was been stressed in one way or another. But getting on birth control will relieve your fears. I hope this helps.

March 1, 2009 - 10:05am

Yes, thank you very much for all your answers!

I was considering the pill at first. But I'm really worried about possible side effects. Both of my older sisters take/or have taken them. One experienced noticeable weight gain. The other experienced emotional change. I mean, I would go into details if you like. She's "emotionally unstable" if you compare her to how she was before taking the pill.

What's your view on the IUD contraceptive? After doing some online research about it, I see both good and bad.

And no, I've never been to the gynecologist. I'm looking to make an appointment next time I visit home. Especially since my mother has a history of uterine polyps(sp?).

Can a change in physical activity affect cycles as well? Seeing different opinions about it such as 1) Exercise causes irregularity or 2) Exercise regulates your cycle. So I've started going to the gym regularly; about 3 times a week since January 26th. Before then, I've never worked out in my LIFE! Do you think this could be another factor in my late period?

Again, thank you very much for helping me out. At this point, I am not as concerned with the possibility of pregnancy. Now I'm just frustrated because it's missing. I really hope it doesn't decide to show up the day I visit home. Four and a half hour bus rides with a period totally suck.

March 1, 2009 - 10:02am

I'm sorry you are concerned about being pregnant. Let's walk through some of the dates together, then I can provide you with some information.

One clarification point: did you and your boyfriend have protected sex on all four of those days, and you are just worried that the condom may have broken, and you didn't know if it broke or "was faulty"?. If you had protected sex, and the condom did not break (you or your boyfriend would know!), then there really is no other way for the condom to be "faulty" without your knowing it. When condoms do not work it is primarily because of user error---not there being something wrong with the condom! The chance is slim that you are pregnant if you used a condom consistently and correctly with each act of intercourse, especially on the days you mentioned (they were not during your most fertile time, if I calculated correctly).

To go through the dates again:
If your last period was on January 18th, and you have a 28-day cycle, then your next period was scheduled for February 14th/15th. From the dates given above, you had sex on days 7, 8, 28, 29 of your cycle. The optimal time to have sex (if you want to be pregnant) is on/around day 14, when you ovulate in the middle of your cycle. Then, adding 3-5 days on either side of "day 14" (sperm can live up to 3-5 days inside you, "waiting" for an egg to fertilize when you ovulate). So, that means days 9-19 are potentially your "fertile days". To put dates on "days 9-19", that time frame is: January 26-February 5th, and you did not have sex during that time frame. Of course, if you ovulated before/after "day 14", then you add or subtract the 3-5 days from the day you ovulated. How to know if you are ovulating? Some women can tell; others can not. The biggest sign is that there is a change in your discharge (cervical mucus), and you can read about that here: signs of ovulation.

HOWEVER...women's cycles are not like clockwork. You mentioned that your cycle is irregular. Ovulation can occur far beyond the "day 14" from the scenario I provided above.

Good news:
Home pregnancy tests are fairly accurate (up to 99%) at detecting a pregnancy after a missed period. If you are still unsure, you can go to a walk-in clinic or a local Planned Parenthood for a urine pregnancy test to make sure.

Since you are sexually active, and are 19, have you been to the gynecologist? It is highly recommended that you begin seeing a gynecologist for pap smears, HPV tests and general exam. You can ask him/her about birth control options, and irregular periods. Have you considered using hormonal contraception, like the pill?

For future reference, if you have sex and the condom does break, there is something called Emergency Contraception that you can take up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, and it is over 80% effective at preventing a pregnancy. (It is not the "abortion pill" and does not work in this way; it can prevent implantation in numerous ways, so you are not getting rid of a viable pregnancy...it actually prevents a potential pregnancy in the same way as birth control pills).

Regarding your question, "shouldn't I be having regular periods by now...". The answer: no! Some women never have "regular periods", regardless of age, stress level, etc. If you are interested in having a more regular cycle, hormonal contraception can help.

Here are some Birth Control Options from Planned Parenthood.

Did I answer all of your questions?

March 1, 2009 - 8:12am
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