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Am I pregnant? I sure hope so!
October 23, 2011 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Hopeful pregnancy filter: please help me figure out what's going on with my body.

My husband and I are trying to become pregnant. I am a 27/f in good health and have had periods I could set my watch by for the last ten years. For the past six, I have been on birth control, which I went off of in late July. My husband and I have been actively trying to get pregnant since late August, and have been having sex regularly every other day (give or take) since late August.

My period should have started on Wednesday (10/19) if I were to not be pregnant. Period has been late by 4 days, but when I woke up yesterday, dark brown discharge (which would indicate old blood). Since then, the discharge comes and goes; sometimes it's there when I am using the restroom (only when I wipe), but other times it doesn't show up at all when I wipe. My cramps have been pretty steady throughout. If this were a normal period, it should be going full bore by now. A few minutes ago, I used the restroom and it was bright pink/red with some dark brown discharge again. This has happened twice since Saturday morning. Since I have never been pregnant before, I don't know really what it is that I'm looking for here. I know that a missed period is a classic sign of pregnancy, but my period - if this is one - is late and I have never been late and have never missed a period ever. Otherwise, my only identifiable systems are mild fatigue. Online searches (which vary widely) seem to point to implantation bleeding, but the timing is off. According to what I've read, implantation bleeding should be happening a week prior to my period and not during the actual time that I should be having my regularly scheduled period, which is now. So what in the hell is going on?

FWIW, a month ago I was at the doctor and suspected then that I was pregnant, and had both a urine test and a blood test, both of which were negative for pregnancy.

My hope is obviously that I'm pregnant, but I know that 4 days late and weird spotting might not mean anything. If things continue on like this until this coming Wednesday (my projected end of cycle), I plan on taking a pregnancy test Friday morning.

So, fellow pregnant and already-moms of Metafilter, please help me figure out what's going on with my body. I'm trying to be positive, but I don't want to get my hopes up either in case Mother Nature is in fact, a bitch.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You can actually take a pregnancy test the day you miss your period. I recommend the ones they sell at the dollar store.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:29 PM on October 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yes, take a test now! Some tests can even tell you before you miss your period (I think some claim 10 days after ovulation) so if your period is 4 days late, pretty much any test should be able to tell you by now.

And I recommend this in every pregnancy thread, but you absolutely should get a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It's an amazing book that will tell you how to identify and chart your fertility signs to tell when you are ovulating (and thus, when you should time intercourse for the best chances of conception). It will also tell you things like whether you ovulate every month, if ovulation is on a regular schedule, if you are pregnant (before the typical signs), etc. It's amazing and so empowering to know so much about your body. It helped my husband and I conceive right away, and I cannot recommend it enough.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 2:44 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is no way any pregnancy test will be less accurate than random guesses from mefites. My pregnancy test was positive 5 days before I missed my period. Just do it. You're causing your self unnecessary stress by way overthinking this.
posted by peep at 2:46 PM on October 23, 2011


Periods do weird things, so I'm prooobably going to say that you aren't, but do take a test, and might as well do it now. I've been pregnant twice, and both times got cramps around the start of my period, but no spotting at all (although, as we all have learned from I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, you can still spot heavily when you're supposed to be on your period!). I know firsthand how disappointing it is to finally get your period after that period of "maybe i am!", so I hope that you are! Take a test!
posted by kpht at 3:04 PM on October 23, 2011


Get a pregnancy test now! Is there a reason why you're waiting until Friday?
posted by Sassyfras at 3:06 PM on October 23, 2011


Yes, take a test! And do get your hands on Taking Charge of Your Fertility. There are only a few days of your cycle during which conception is possible. TCOYF will help you pinpoint those days.
posted by apricot at 3:09 PM on October 23, 2011


Pregnancy test. Generally they are accurate 2-3 days before your period is due. Some say 5 days, but 5 days early is only accurate for like 20% of women.

The weird bleeding could be implantation spotting, your period, or you implanted and are having a very early miscarriage (which is really common - like 50% of pregnancies are lost in the first few weeks and get chalked up to a late period).

Let us know what happens!
posted by QuantumMeruit at 3:10 PM on October 23, 2011


Yep, nth-ing the pregnancy test. I am pregnant now and tested positive the day I thought my period was due... Which worked out later to be just 11 days post-conception (confirmed with early ultrasound. My period was late because I was still breastfeeding my 20 month old)! Woot for that crazy-sensitive dollar store test!
posted by LyndsayMW at 3:10 PM on October 23, 2011


It very well could have been implantation spotting, in which case I'd actually wait a couple days to test. I tested the day after my implantation bleeding and got a very faint positive, which became a more definite positive over a few days of hCg ramping up.

I'm also super regular and predictable, so I knew something was up when my "period" (a day late) didn't kick in full force. Most women, with an average luteal phase will have the bleeding prior to the missed period, but I have only ever had it after I was already late.
posted by sunshinesky at 3:12 PM on October 23, 2011


Get a pregnancy test now! Is there a reason why you're waiting until Friday?

My thought here is that by then, I'll be a week and a half past the start of my period, thus being a week and a half late. The consensus seems to be that I can take a test now if I want.

Update: It seems as though that I'm bleeding like a normal period, although it's very light. Should I still take a test?
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 3:36 PM on October 23, 2011


You should still take a test. It might be (faintly) positive, and then when you take one again next week, it might not be. That would be useful information indicating that this delayed onset period was actually a very early miscarriage. (I'm sorry, if that is the case.) But it's good to know about these things so if it becomes a pattern, you can talk to a doctor about it.

(A friend of mine got a lot of early positives that turned into negatives, with the only other indication a few days' delay in her period and that's exactly what was happening for her.)
posted by lollusc at 3:49 PM on October 23, 2011


You're probably not pregnant, though if it makes you feel better, go ahead and take a test. This is one of the reasons I recommend the dollar store tests! Not only are they quite sensitive, but you can buy, like 15 of them for the price of one at the drugstore, so you can pee on a stick every day if you want!

Seconding Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It really helps you understand what's going on in your body.

Also, anecdata: the only symptom I had before I had a positive pregnancy test was the ends of my nipples turned white.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:51 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Drugstore tests are really cheap, seriously. Take as many as you want, you really have nothing to lose and it can't hurt anything.
posted by tristeza at 4:15 PM on October 23, 2011


I just took a test and it came back negative. :(

I still don't know why my period is late and acting so strangely, though.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 4:19 PM on October 23, 2011


Order some ovulation test strips online as they are sooo much cheaper than typical pregnancy tests and you don't feel as guilty if you take them earlier than you think they might work.

For your current situation it could be implantation bleeding or it could be a early miscarriage. Try to relax and not freak out either way (easier said than done, I know).

Take good care of yourself, take your prenatal vitamins and hang in there!
posted by HMSSM at 4:25 PM on October 23, 2011


I'd say your period might be acting strangely because you've been waiting to see if it comes or not, and probably been anxious about it. Anxiety can definitely mess with all aspects of your period.
posted by artemisia at 4:26 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gah, instead of ovulation strips I meant pregnancy test strips. I got a bundle that came with a ton of both for under $15.00. So worth it.

For what it's worth, it took me and husband almost a year of trying before something took hold. It's hard to go through every month waiting to see if your period comes. Being totally disappointed when it does, going crazy when it's late... Hugs.
posted by HMSSM at 4:30 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry about the negative test. :( It took us more than a year to get pregnant with Kid1, so I understand the frustration.

I actually recommend getting an ovulation predictor kit and using an on-line ovulation calculator. The on-line calculator helps track exactly what's happening with your period and pinpoint when you ovulate - the kit makes it double sure. If it doesn't help you get pregnant, it's good info to take to a drs appt later (if you get to that point, which I bet you won't!).

Good news is, after learning to track things, it only took us 1 month to get pregnant with Kid2. And we were ooooold at that point (in relative terms).
posted by hms71 at 4:45 PM on October 23, 2011


I don't mean to thread sit, but I am wondering now if I've miscarried. I am bleeding now, although it's pinkish-reddish/sometimes brown, and hasn't really accumulated on the pad. I took the test late in the day (against the recommendations on the box), but I'm not sure I'll be getting a good answer tomorrow morning. My symptoms seem to come and go. I don't know what's going on.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 4:57 PM on October 23, 2011


A few months ago something similar happened to me. I was off the pill for various reasons (getting pregnant was NOT one of the reasons) and my period was late (and I am the definition of regular!). Then I started to get this brownish discharge with horrible horrible cramping. I was relieved (yay! period) but it lasted two days of this weird discharge. Reading up on it I was convinced it was implantation bleeding. Yes, I freaked out. I took a bunch of pregnancy tests, all came back negative. A few days later I then started my regular period - with bright red streaks here and there at first and then it continued on to my regular period.

From artemesia above: I'd say your period might be acting strangely because you've been waiting to see if it comes or not, and probably been anxious about it. Anxiety can definitely mess with all aspects of your period.

I'm pretty sure that's what happened to me.
posted by Sassyfras at 5:09 PM on October 23, 2011


Call your OB if you are very concerned, but if you were miscarrying several days after your period was due, you would probably still be getting a positive pregnancy test. The pregnancy hormone doesn't immediately leave your body.
posted by peep at 5:34 PM on October 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't mean to thread sit, but I am wondering now if I've miscarried. I am bleeding now, although it's pinkish-reddish/sometimes brown, and hasn't really accumulated on the pad. I took the test late in the day (against the recommendations on the box), but I'm not sure I'll be getting a good answer tomorrow morning. My symptoms seem to come and go. I don't know what's going on.

That still sounds well within the realm of implantation bleeding, given my experience. As I said, wait a couple days and test again. The hormones haven't had a chance to get quite high enough necessarily to show up on a test yet, if the embryo is just implanting today/yesterday.
posted by sunshinesky at 5:50 PM on October 23, 2011


Even "regular as a clock" isn't really so; in the many periods you have probably had, I bet a few were weird/off a little, but since you weren't trying, you weren't paying attention.

Not saying that to bring you down, at all! For one thing, you've only been trying and off your BC since August...that's hardly any time. For another, you'll know in a few days if your period comes in all the way or not.

Those pregnancy signs checklists are crazymaking, because nearly all of them could equally apply to "wonky period symptoms this month." And in the meantime, you can't think about anything else.

All the stuff that makes it into books/online is stuff that happens to a certain number, but not all, of women, and there is a LOT of room, judging by the stories I get from friends, for variation on the non-average side...everything from not getting any symptoms to getting weird symptoms no one else ever heard of.

And even then, get pregnant a second time, you'll get totally different symptoms that time.

So, buy a lot of dollar store tests and test whenever you need to (for me, it was often "is it ok for me to go out drinking tonight?") and try to just not freak out yet.
posted by emjaybee at 6:06 PM on October 23, 2011


It took me a year and a half to get pregnant, and every month I was sure I was pregnant. I was paying attention to every minute detail, no period seemed "normal" anymore. By the time I was actually pregnant, I didn't even trust my own instincts anymore, and the first two tests came back negative.
posted by pinky at 6:25 PM on October 23, 2011


What you are describing is exactly how my earliest miscarriage went. Late period, positive test, brown blood, pink blood, negative test, full heavy bleed. A miscarriage that early is also called a chemical pregnancy, and they are incredibly, INCREDIBLY common.

FWIW, I had brown and pink-red spotting in both my keeper pregnancies, too. And a friend of mine had a bleed at 10 weeks that was heavy enough to ruin not just her underpants and her pajamas, but her sheets and her mattress pad, but still delivered a healthy and full-term baby boy. Pregnancy is absolutely fucko bazoo, and it will make you crazy. You can memail me any time if you want to obsess or vent, I am literally always happy to talk about it.
posted by KathrynT at 7:26 PM on October 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


On the other side of things here, my period has been off or unusual on occasion from stress, but more from worrying if I was pregnant (in the non-desirable sense). Periods can be weird sometimes, don't worry about it. But definitely re-take the test and good luck!
posted by DoubleLune at 9:20 PM on October 23, 2011


Update again: my period is going full bore now, and my test came back negative, so I'm assuming I was never pregnant to begin with and have not miscarried. I'm disappointed, but I will keep trying.

I ordered the book several people have mentioned this morning. Thank you so much for everyone's kind words and support. It means a lot.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 5:57 AM on October 24, 2011


I went off birth control earlier this year, and 3 months later, had a period arrive a whole week late, which had never happened before. Before it came, I had three negative pregnancy tests, then I went to the doctor, who basically said, Eh, sometimes it takes awhile for your cycle to get back to normal after going off birth control; come back if it doesn't arrive next month. So this might just be your body adjusting to the lack of hormones - I wouldn't worry about it too much.
posted by Safiya at 7:17 AM on October 24, 2011


I still don't know why my period is late and acting so strangely, though.

Taken any ibuprophen lately? It messes with my period in almost precisely that way.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:08 PM on October 24, 2011


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