For the last week or so, I’ve been somewhat convinced that I’m pregnant. For the most part, this belief was paranoid, but also not entirely outside the realm of possibility. I had a proper French affair when I was in Paris a few weeks ago and at one point there was a broken condom situation, though we realized it was broken and replaced it with a fresh one prior to, ahem, any fluids reaching their 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 was supposed to, and the day after, and the day after that, and I started feeling gassier than usual, well, I began to panic. I started to type “gas sign of” into Google and the search engine, seemingly reading my mind, autofilled the rest with “early pregnancy.”
Oh god, I thought. It was all but confirmed.
“Everyone, I think I might be carrying the French waiter’s baby,” I announced dramatically to my coworkers.
“I really doubt that,” said Ami, “But why don’t you take a pregnancy test to be sure.”
As practical as that idea sounded, I wasn’t quite ready for 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 for why my normally prompt period might be late and I (and you, if you’re in a similar situation) shouldn’t be panicking. Here are the seven most likely reasons your period might be late besidespregnancy … and if you make it to the end, you’ll find out whether or not my panicking was all for naught.
1. A Change In Your Regular Routine: Did you start a new job? Change your wakeup time? Go on 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.
Likelihood That This Is Impacting My Period: Moderate. I mean, I did just spend a week doing nothing but eating cheese and drinking wine in France. Usually my routine consists of working and then eating cheese and drinking wine, so…
2. Stress: Your emotions, particularly stress, can have a major impact on the regularity of your menstrual cycle. And if you’re stressing about why your 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 stresseda lot — about my dad’s death and dealing with his estate, about work, etcetera — and I might just be seeing the effects of that on my cycle now.
3. Illness: Being sick at the time you normally would ovulate can delay ovulation — and if you ovulate late, you’ll get your period late. So if your period hasn’t arrived on schedule, think back a few weeks — were you under the weather?
Likelihood That This Is Impacting My Period: Minor. I haven’t been sick recently, unless you count being hungover.