For the last three days or so, I’ve been somewhat convinced that I may be pregnant. For the most part, this belief still reminds paranoid, but also not entirely outside the realm of possibility. Fact is, I had a proper affair few days ago- no two ways about it, and at one point there was a broken condom situation, though he realized it was broken and replaced it with a fresh one prior to, ahem, any fluids reaching its apex, so to speak. But I know how babies are made and I’m a total hypochondriac, so when my period failed to arrive on the day it’s supposed to, and the day after, and the day after that, I started feeling gassier than usual. In other words, I’m beginning to panic. So at this juncture, I’m tempted to type “Gas Sign Of” into Google and the search engine, seemingly reading my mind, auto-dialed the rest with “early pregnancy.” I think I might be carrying his baby, I announced dramatically to myself. I really doubt that though.
But why don’t you take a pregnancy test to be sure, a colleague at work asked? As practical as that idea sounded, I wasn’t quite ready for the confirmation of the status of my uterus just yet, mostly because I didn’t quite know how I felt about possibly being pregnant. So I decided to research all the possible reasons why my normally prompt period might be late before this unnecessary panicking bury me alive for naught. Here are the seven most likely reasons I found;
1. A Change In One’s Regular Routine: This point came with these sailing questions: Did you start a new job? Change your wake up time? Go on a Vacation? It can take your body a little time to adjust to a change in your regular routine and that can impact your regular cycle, especially if the change started at the time you would normally ovulate, causing a delay or even a skipped cycle. My IQ was at work here, so I asked myself;
Is There a Likelihood That This Is Impacting My Period: My response was, High. Because, I made a trip to Nairobi during my ovulation period but I did spend just a week doing nothing but eating, sleeping and touring.
2. Stress: A woman’s emotions, particularly stress, can have a major impact on the regularity of her menstrual cycle. And if she’s stressing about why her period is late, that could actually delay its arrival even more. Mother Nature is a cruel mistress!
Likelihood That This Is Impacting My Period: High. Looking back over the last few months, I’ve been stressed a lot, about work, dealing with family issues, etcetera and I might just be seeing the effects of that on my cycle now, I said to myself.
3. Illness: Being sick at the time a woman normally would ovulate can delay ovulation and if she ovulates late, she’ll get her period late. So if her period hasn’t arrived on schedule, that could cause a delay too.
Likelihood That This Is Impacting My Period: Minor. I haven’t been sick recently, unless my usual migraine and the frequent feverish temperature fluctuation.
4. Pill Popping: Taking a new medication or changing the dosage on an existing medication can affect all aspects of a woman body’s well-being, including her menstrual cycle, that’s why doctors, including gynecologists, always want to know each and every medication that you’re on.
Likelihood That This Is Impacting My Period: Moderate. I took a preventive pill after the act, but I couldn’t meet the timing interval though.
5. Weight Issues: A major change in a woman’s weight either by gaining a lot or losing a lot of weight can throw her ovulation cycle off. People who are underweight or extremely overweight sometimes don’t have a period at all of which is not very healthy. Overall, an incredibly wonky or nonexistent period is a sign of possible health issues.
Likelihood That This Is Impacting My Period: Minor. Well, I’ve gradually put on a little, but I don’t consider that a “major” change in my weight, my weight has generally fluctuated for years now. Suffice to say, my weight issues have been on and off.
6. Exercising Excessively: Have you been hitting Soul Cycle every day after work? Training for a marathon? If you’ve taken up a new and intense exercise routine, your period might be thrown off. In fact, people who engage in extreme physical activity sometimes see their periods delayed.
Likelihood That This Is Impacting My Period: Minor. Umm, I’ve never worked-out for more than 30mins. And I’ve never engaged in any Soul Cycle class ever before. The most exercise I generally get is from manically cleaning my apartment or climbing the stairs every morning from the ground floor to the tenth floor where my quadrant is situated. Fitness fiend, I am not!
7. Miscalculation: The average menstrual cycle is 28 days after the last resort, but many women have shorter or longer cycles and don’t chart them correctly, so it may be that the person in question is not actually late. Additionally, the majority of women have cycles that are irregular and don’t necessarily realize it. If your period is early even by a few days by one month, it may arrive late the following month.
Likelihood That This Is Impacting My Period: Major. As I obsessively looked back through my calendar and tried to remember when I had my last few periods, I realized that the first day of each period was either on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. I had always thought of myself as having a regular 28 cycle. But this time, candidly speaking, my cycle is slightly irregular and so what I consider “late” may actually be late.
These are a few of the more basic, every day reasons that an otherwise healthy woman, who is not pregnant, might have a late period. There are of course other, more serious reasons that’s, a thyroid condition, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or an eating disorder (this I also consider to be a factor because my eating habit is very poor). If you’ve taken a negative pregnancy test and your period is more than a couple weeks late, you should see your gynecologist just to make sure everything is okay.
At this point, I’m a bit tensed because, I am now looking forward to taking a pregnancy test, that is if my period still doesn’t show up. And trust me, this is the most nerve-racking experience ever because I have to drink like a gallon of water at night before I get my FMU(First Morning Urine). Then use that for my test and wait for my answer. Obviously, I wish to see a Negative/Not Pregnant result. No baby Francisco or Aquila for me. For now, a tiny part of me feel a little sad cos I’m planning on having a baby in the next few years but I mostly felt relieved, because I am really committed to having a child on my own terms, at the right time.
Till then, watch out for the Part II after the test.
Tags: menstruation, periods, pregnancy, women’s health