So you could ignore it for a few days, but now it’s been almost a week and you’re starting to get nervous – why is my period late?!
Take a deep breath, and go through this checklist:
Double-check when your period was due.
Check your period tracker app, if you use one. (If not, here are some to consider for future use!). If you don’t use an app, try to think back to when you had your last period. A trick we like to use is thinking back to a holiday or special occasion and working from there, especially if you don’t have regular periods. If your period is only three to eight days late, it might just be – late! Believe it or not, things like stress, diet, exercise, and illness can impact your cycle length. If your period is less than two weeks late, then it may very well just be that you had a long menstrual cycle this time around. You could wait another day or two to see if you start bleeding, or…
Consider taking a home pregnancy test.
If your period is more than two weeks late, then you can consider taking an at-home pregnancy test. These can be purchased from most drug stores (think CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and so on), and usually aren’t too expensive. Make sure to read and follow the directions when you take the test. If it comes back negative, then you may not be pregnant. If it comes back positive, then –
If your take-home pregnancy test comes back positive, you might be pregnant.
At this point, you have a couple of options. You can take another at-home test to confirm the results from the first one, or you can go to a doctor and have them do a pregnancy test to confirm. If you weren’t planning to be pregnant, you definitely have a lot to think about at this point. Check out some of our resources that can help you process and come to an informed decision.
If your take-home pregnancy test comes back negative – but you’re still worried about your late period
Do some reflecting on your recent activities and ask yourself – have I substantially increased my exercise intensity? Have I significantly changed my diet? Did I start any new medications? There’s a variety of reasons why your period may be late, so keep breathing, stay aware of any changes in your body or activities, and – if it gets to the point where you’re really worried – check in with your doctor.
If you don’t want to be pregnant and just want your period back, then call carafem!
We talk with you about your options, and can oftentimes make next-day appointments. If you decide that you don’t want to be pregnant (and you are less than 11 weeks along), then we’re happy to guide you through the process of a calm, educational, and non-judgmental abortion experience.
Our appointments are about an hour long, and you spend the entire time with a knowledgeable and compassionate clinician who can answer your questions and assist you, every step of the way. And – bonus – we’ll even talk about birth control options so that you can determine the best method for your life! If you choose to have an abortion, then your period may return as soon as two weeks after your appointment.
If you continue your pregnancy
If you choose to continue your pregnancy to term, then you most likely won’t get your period back until about six weeks after you give birth. Factors that impact the return of your period after birth include things like stress, whether you’re breastfeeding or not, and if you start using hormonal birth control. (Its important that you start thinking about your family planning needs right away, since its also possible to get pregnant within a month of giving birth!)
So there you have it – how to find your period when it goes missing!