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I just recently found this site and I am grat3ful that I did. I'm about four to five days late with my period and I'm freaking out. My cycle is normally 28 days, and it's been that way for a year now. I have been stressed out this month because of my finals, graduation, and college stuff, so I know it's a possibility that stress is causing this, but I'm still freaking out. I am sexually active, but my boyfriend and I are always careful. We always use protection, we even check to see if the condom had broken or not. And it wasn't. I keep getting stomach aches, and I haven't been getting any cramps, which are normally a sign to me that I'm about to get my period, or any other symptoms that I normally get. I'm just not sure what's going on and I would really just like some advice on what to do or not to do.
I was supposed to get my period about 2 weeks ago and although my periods are never exact and to the day, they usually aren't that late. But about 4 days ago I started getting brown spotting, like old blood, which sometimes signals the begginning of my cycle, so I was quite relieved. But I've been getting this exact same brown spotting for the past 4 days and it's really confusing and worrying me. The only sign of any actual flow I've had is right after I went for a run yesterday and there was just a tiny tiny bit of actual red color. I took a thorough biology course and I know a lot about the menstrual cycle and pregnancy and all the hormones involved and that knowledge is making me paranoid I think (and I'm already a worry wart by nature). I just can't figure out, hormone-wise, why I wouldn't be shedding my endometrium, unless my progesterone levels haven't in fact dropped - indicating pregnancy. I am still a proud virgin at 18, but about 2 and a half weeks ago my boyfriend and I fooled around. He didn't ejaculate anywhere near me. The only thing I'm worried about is that maybe his semen (or pre-cum) got on one of our hands and it came into contact with me, and I know that even then, the chances of the 100 odd sperm actually making it all the way to my fallopian tubes is slim to none, (especially since he didn't finger me, and that I most likely had already finished ovulating by then considering I was supposed to get my period any day, at the time). It's just worrying me because my periods have never done anything odd like this, and on top of that, that was the first time I've fooled around before. Coincidence?? I'm just wondering if you have any alternate conclusions, which I hope are more plausible than mine, for this prolongued brown spotting. It'd be nice to have my mind at ease :)
And I just wanted to add that even though I'm not a regular to this site, I have been using it for the past 4 years when I have any questions and you're always so quick to reply and non-judgemental. I appreciate it and it's great to know that everytime I need questions answered I have somewhere to go!