If you have missed your period you may be wondering “am I pregnant?” This is a valid question to ask if your period is late. It is important for you to know that there are a variety of reasons why your period may be late, besides being pregnant. Even if you know that there are other reasons why your period may be late, you may be asking yourself one question. Am I pregnant? No matter what, we are here to support you and help you! If you are pregnant, we are here to walk with you every step of the way. If you are not pregnant, we are also here to help you get your questions answered about why your period is late.
Take a test
Your first step in determining if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. A urine pregnancy test works by testing for HCG, a hormone that is produced during pregnancy. Urine pregnancy tests are most accurate if you take them one week after you miss your period. A pregnancy test can be taken sooner, however it is harder for the test to detect HCG if you take it too soon.
Keep in mind you may have a false negative test if you take a pregnancy test too early. Taking a test before you miss your period or a day or two after you miss your period can result in a false negative. If your pregnancy test is positive, you will need to have your pregnancy confirmed with an ultrasound. You can take a test at home, or your local pregnancy resource center may be able to offer you a free pregnancy test.
Schedule an appointment
After you take a pregnancy test, it is important to schedule an appointment. Scheduling an appointment at your local pregnancy center will give you the opportunity to speak with a medical professional and let them run a pregnancy test for you. The staff provide a supportive, non-judgmental environment because they want what is best for you.
During an appointment, they will be able to answer your question, “am I pregnant?” The nurse will be able to let you know if your pregnancy test reads positive or negative and all the staff will support you no matter what. Setting up an appointment to confirm if your pregnancy test is negative can give you peace of mind. If your pregnancy test is positive, being with trained staff members at your local center can help you feel supported as you figure out what to do next.
What if my test is positive?
If your pregnancy test is positive, your next step will be having an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy. Your local pregnancy resource center can off you a free limited ultrasound. During the limited ultrasound, the staff will be able to determine three things. An ultrasound will see if your pregnancy is viable, if your pregnancy has a heartbeat, and how far along your pregnancy is. It is very important to get these three pieces of information before you make any decisions about your pregnancy. If your pregnancy is not viable, you will need to see a doctor for follow up care. If your pregnancy is viable, the staff at the center will be able to discuss your pregnancy options with you.
Discover your options
Before you read any further, it is important to remember that you do not have to make a decision right away about the outcome of your pregnancy. You can take as much time as you need to think about your options and make a decision that you feel confident about. It is your life and your decision to make. Just remember, you are not alone.
If your pregnancy test is positive, you have options! Whether you were planning on your test being positive, had a gut feeling that it would be positive, or hoping that it would be negative, your nurse and advocate will be there to support you through your next steps and beyond. If your mind is swirling and you don’t know what to do next, talk to your nurse and advocate. They are trained to discuss all your options with you, even if you are unsure what decision you want to make.
Your nurse and advocate are ready to discuss your three options with you. Abortion, Adoption, and Parenting are all choices that are available to you. You can choose to talk about all of them, one of them, or two of them. The choice is yours and the staff will not pressure or coerce you into talking about any of your options. You are free to decide what you want to talk about and when you want to talk about it.
Maybe you only want to talk about one or two of your options at your appointment. That’s okay! You can always call back and schedule another appointment to discuss your other options. You can also schedule another appointment to come back and talk with your nurse and advocate about any other questions you may have thought about after you first met with them.
Your nurse and advocate want to be a resource of information for you and answer your questions. They are ready to support you no matter what options you are considering or what decision you make. They will also call and follow up with you after you appointment to see if there is anything else they can do for you.
What if my test is negative?
If your pregnancy test is negative, it is still important to see a doctor. There are a variety of reasons why your period may be late. One of the most common reasons for a missed or late period is stress. Stress can temporarily alter the function of you hypothalamus. This is an area of your brain that controls the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle. Increased stress can therefore cause your period to be late. Excessive exercise can also cause your period to be delayed. This is due to several factors including low body fat, stress, and exerting a lot of energy.
Some people may have hormonal imbalances, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS. Another common hormonal imbalance that may delay your period is an over active or underactive thyroid. Some forms of birth control or hormonal contraceptives can affect how often you get your period. If you have recently started a new type of birth control or have been on birth control for a while, talk with your doctor to see if your birth control may be causing your cycle to change.
Your doctor will be able to discuss your health history and lifestyle with you to determine what may be the cause of your missed period. They will determine if you will need further testing or not and what your next steps will be. Your doctor can also discuss lifestyle modifications with you, such as ways to decrease stress, if your doctor determine lifestyle changes are best for you.
There are probably a lot of questions and scenarios spinning through your mind if your period is late. It can be very overwhelming! Take a deep breath and reach out for help! You will be supported no matter what. You will be able to be with someone who can help you straighten all your thoughts out and get the answers you need. It all boils down to scheduling one appointment for a pregnancy test, limited ultrasound, and options discussion. It can be scary, but you will receive so much support and all the answers you need. Appointments typically last about an hour, but can take longer than that if you want to continue discussing your options. Call today to schedule your free appointment.