Skip to main content

Late period, but not pregnant?

Share |
Anonymous asks:

I am concerned about my period, which as of today is a week late. Although I am not the queen of regular cycles, usually I am never more than two or three days off. My boyfriend and I are sexually active, and although I'm not on any form of birth control, we have been diligent and careful and always used a condom. We are each the others first partner though, and are still very much in a "trying this out" phase. He also hasn't been able to ever get more than an inch or so in, as at that point it gets to be too uncomfortable, so we have never actually had full intercourse. The last time we tried was at the beginning of June; we used a condom, again did not get beyond a slight initial penetration, and he did not ejaculate. We haven't done anything since. I took two pregnancy tests, one two days ago and one today, and both were negative. I know that the tests can be incorrect, but I don't feel like my risk of being pregnant is too high. Still, that leaves me wondering where my period is, and I wanted to post on here to see what another opinion might be. I am also getting my annual exam next week, and I plan to talk to my gynecolgist then too. Thank you for your time with my question!

Heather Corinna replies:

I just want to start by debunking something first, okay?

There really is no distinction to be made between "some" intercourse and "full" intercourse. In other words, an inch or so in, is as much of intercourse as a few more. Given how much penis sizes can vary, as well as the fact that the nerve endings which are inside your vagina are at the front -- in that first inch or two -- rather than the back -- defining intercourse by how many inches of penis are inside the vagina isn't very helpful. If a penis is inside a vagina, at all, it's vaginal intercourse.

Mind, no amount of inches here changes the issue of your risk. If, as you say, your boyfriend has always had a condom on for ALL direct genital contact and intercourse, and you have no reason to believe the condom failed -- it didn't slip off or break -- then there's no reason to suspect you've had a pregnancy risk. And that'd be the case whether he did or didn't ejaculate, too.

With two negative tests, and no reason to suspect a birth control failure with your condoms, we can pretty safely say you're not pregnant.

Periods can be late for a LOT of reasons, and if your periods are usually within a couple days of each other, than you really are very regular normally. If that's as off as you've been before, this may be the one time you have NOT been regular, but now and then, some irregularity -- even to the degree of skipping a period entirely now and then -- is both common and normal. That can happen for any number of reasons: a hormonal shift, a change in diet, body weight or activity, due to stress (or more accurately, how we tend to change our behaviour and lifestyle when we're stressed), as well as due to other physical or medical conditions.

The golden rule, when you know you're not pregnant, is to not sweat cycle weirdness until it's gone on for two or three cycles. So, for sure, ask your GYN when you see him or her if you're still late, but they'll likely tell you, given you're not pregnant, not to worry about it for now, and to just keep an eye out.

written 07 Jul 2007 . updated 13 Dec 2012

Related Content

Ever feel like there’s a mass market for wrong information about pregnancy and pregnancy risks? Do you leave a conversation with a friend or finish reading an article or website and wonder if what...

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.