Period but still pregnant?
August 12, 2010 5:45 AM   Subscribe

What are the chances that she is pregnant? Can you have a period and still be pregnant?

I had sex for the first time 2 months ago exactly.

We had sex twice with a condom, but she wasn't on birth control.

Here are the facts afterwards

Her period was a week and a half late.
She has since had her second period.
She has gotten negative results on five pregnancy tests.
She doesn't have any/none of the symptoms of pregnancy.

Is it too soon to stop worrying? Because I'm worrying a lot.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (23 answers total)
Stop worrying. Two pretty normal periods, a condom and 5 hormonal pregnancy tests say she isn't. Periods are often late by a week and a half, particularly when stressed about about whether or not one is pregnant.
posted by sunshinesky at 5:49 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]

Sounds like you're feeling paranoid (and maybe guilty). I think you're in the clear. One period early in a pregnancy might be normal, but two seems pretty unlikely.
posted by parkerjackson at 5:51 AM on August 12, 2010

Yeah, definitely stop worrying.
posted by TooFewShoes at 5:53 AM on August 12, 2010

I think your worries are unfounded, but it doesn't matter what I think; if you don't listen to the evidence of two periods and multiple tests you're not going to listen to me. So go see a doc, who can give a blood test to find out for sure for sure (or whom you'll maybe trust when s/he tells you it isn't necessary).

What's that? you can't afford it/don't want to involve the parental units/are scared? Get thee to a Planned Parenthood. Their fees are sliding scale, and they will be good with your privacy.

While you're at it, to prevent future freakouts, find out about other birth control options besides condoms (there are several, some hormonal and some not). They can also make sure you're using the condoms correctly, give you info on their failure rate, and teach you about emergency contraception should you ever need it. And they've got plenty of other info re: STDs and sexual health in general, so you'll be prepared with real information next time you have a concern (instead of just paranoia).

(if you're not in the US, I'm not sure what the relevant organization instead of PP would be, but they have a website which will give you somewhere to start looking).
posted by nat at 6:01 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]

Stress and other things (other than pregnancy) can delay a period. Like sunshinesky says, by now you have a lot of confirmation that she isn't pregnant.

If this is something that is going to keep worrying you, in the future you might want to double up on birth control (eg: condom plus pill, condom plus diaphram, etc) which gives you a little more certainty and gives both of you some control over the process.
posted by Forktine at 6:02 AM on August 12, 2010

ScarletTeen is an excellent place to get yourself a solid sex education without the fearmongering and guilt that frequently masquerades as sex ed these days. The tone of your question makes me think you might have been the recipient of some abstinence-only sex ed. That stuff is bunk. Let this be a wake-up call to you to educate yourself. There is good information out there on building yourself a healthy, happy, fulfilling sex life, and you deserve to have that. Start with ScarletTeen and work from there. Planned Parenthood's site also has good sex ed resources.
posted by jennyjenny at 6:09 AM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]

Oops, answered the question-within-the-question and forgot to answer the question: yes, stop worrying, two periods + condom use + five negative pregnancy tests = totally not pregnant.
posted by jennyjenny at 6:11 AM on August 12, 2010

Chill, OP.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:24 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]

It's also okay to be this nervous about it. The possibility of pregnancy is a scary thing, and irrational fears are just that: irrational. Dipping your toe into a new experience can be scary at the same time that it is fun. No amount of education can make you entirely comfortable with risk, even when the education assures you that the risk is very slight.

I had a boyfriend who went through a similar freakout the first time he had sex, despite condoms, The Pill, *and* understanding parents who'd made sure he had excellent sex ed. It happens. It's okay.

On the other hand, yeah, at this point you guys can relax; she's not pregnant. And it still would probably help both of you to go ahead and talk to Planned Parenthood as advised above.
posted by galadriel at 6:29 AM on August 12, 2010

Note that it is possible to GET pregnant while on your period. Best possible thing you and your partner can do is go talk to a doctor/planned parenthood/resource provider. Some great reasons for this:

1. most people have to educate themselves about safe sex, and the best & most knowledgeable source is a doctor. This will eliminate confusion & misconceptions right off the bat. Ask lots of questions! And if she doesn't want to go to an OB/GYN, you can still talk to Planned Parenthood or your own doctor yourself.

2. once you know what can and can't happen, you'll stress much less. And if you have a future scare, you'll know exactly what to do and what your rights are.

3. birth control - there's a huge variety of birth control out there right now, with many affordable and non-invasive options.

4. for her, at least, getting a regular checkup with an OB/GYN will let her start getting yearly pap smears ( - which the CDC recommends she star getting when she turns 21, or w/i 3 years of her becoming sexually active. This is a quick swab test that looks for HPV and screens for cervical cancer. Even if she doesn't have HPV, like doing breast self-exams, it's good to get in the habit of screening for cervical cancer, and to establish a baseline for what "normal" looks like for her. (this makes it easier for a doctor to note when something is "abnormal").

5. STDs - the other thing to worry about when sexually active (and sexually active doesn't just mean vaginal penetration - it includes the whole spectrum of sexual activities, including oral sex). It's worth its weight in gold to educate yourself about STDs, transmission, treatment, prevalence, and prevention.

if you're underage, or concerned about your family finding out, talking to a healthcare provider falls under patient confidentiality. But if you're having sex, you're ready to educate yourself about sexual health - no matter what anyone else will say.
posted by Geameade at 6:39 AM on August 12, 2010

Mod note: comments removed - do NOT turn this into an abstinence lecture or discussion please, thank you
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:54 AM on August 12, 2010

She is very, very, not pregnant.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:59 AM on August 12, 2010

Not pregnant.

Please never, never, never watch that TLC show "I didn't know I was pregnant". It's like a panic attack wrapped in anxiety.

A week late period is perfectly normal, especially for teens, and anyone under large amounts of stress.

Planned Parenthood can give you both an overview of your birth control options, and the effectiveness of them. Most will have free condoms as well. Birth control prescriptions can be filled there for a very low cost, (and in most states) if you are over 14 you are of the age of medical consent, and do not need a parent's approval.
posted by fontophilic at 9:39 AM on August 12, 2010

She is so not pregnant. She is the least pregnant person ever.

Your period can be late for a zillion reasons outside of pregnancy, mostly having to do with delayed or absent ovulation. If you and your lady want both some additional information about her cycles and some additional peace of mind, she might try temperature and fertility sign tracking using the method found in Taking Charge of Your Fertility. If you use barrier methods like condoms every time you have sex, PLUS abstain during her fertile period, the chance of her getting pregnant is as close to zero as it would be with an IUD or if she had her tubes tied. In addition, she'll be more aware of the variability within her cycle and more comfortable with the occasional long or short cycle.

But seriously don't rely JUST on fertility charting to avoid pregnancy. It can and does work great for a lot of people, but it is nowhere near bulletproof enough for a situation in which an unanticipated pregnancy would be catastrophic.
posted by KathrynT at 10:15 AM on August 12, 2010

Prepare to freak out every time you have sex for the next half year, because that's what happens when you start and you REALLY don't want to get anyone pregnant. My husband and I went through the paranoia EVERY month. Have pregnancy tests handy, they're cheap on the internet. They really help with the freaking out. And of course, use a condom every time!
posted by cobain_angel at 12:38 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

You cannot have a period while being pregnant. period.
posted by sero_venientibus_ossa at 3:32 PM on August 12, 2010

well, you can't have a period. You can, however, have bright red bleeding of a quantity and duration comparable to a period, it's called a subchorionic hemorrhage. But those occur under circumstances different than what the OP is talking about.
posted by KathrynT at 4:06 PM on August 12, 2010

If she gets her period, she's not pregnant, even if that period is late. (Assuming it's not just "spotting" from a pregnancy, though most women could tell it's not a full period.)

You sound like you might be a little new to this. Scarleteen (NSFW, though completely educational and clinical, not erotic) is a good resource for safe sex. It's aimed toward teenagers, but is a good resource for any age in my opinion.
posted by vienaragis at 5:54 PM on August 12, 2010

You cannot have a period while being pregnant. period.

If she gets her period, she's not pregnant

Uh, guys? It may not happen in every pregnancy but it does happen to some people. Some even continue to have normal monthly bleeding throughout. I am not posting this to alarm the OP (sorry, dude), but these comments are outright incorrect.

Now, 5 pregnancy tests coming out negative, that's a lot more solid.
posted by galadriel at 10:19 AM on August 13, 2010

Uh, guys? It may not happen in every pregnancy but it does happen to some people. Some even continue to have normal monthly bleeding throughout. I am not posting this to alarm the OP (sorry, dude), but these comments are outright incorrect.

No, actually you are incorrect. Menstruation and pregnancy are mutually exclusive, sorry. Please stop perpetuating that myth. Bleeding can occur during pregnancy, e.g. implantation bleeding, spotting related to cervical ripening, etc., and most women can tell the difference between that and menstruation.
posted by sero_venientibus_ossa at 1:10 PM on August 17, 2010

You know, I've had bleeding within a (normal, healthy) pregnancy that was actually within spec for my menses, which is quite variable. And my very best friend, 11 weeks into her (normal, healthy) pregnancy, had a SCH which, if she'd not known she was pregnant, she would have absolutely thought was an extremely heavy period. So while actual menstruation is incompatible with pregnancy, bleeding which may superficially resemble menstruation -- particularly if menstruation is what you're expecting -- is not. It's kind of the height of pedantry to say "OK, well yes, you bled bright red for 3 days and then tapered off to brown for 2 days, but that wasn't really MENSTRUATION because it wasn't the shedding of the endometrium, bla bla bla."
posted by KathrynT at 2:16 PM on August 17, 2010

WHICH IS NOT TO SAY THAT THE OP SHOULD WORRY, because five negative pregnancy tests is pretty damn definitive.
posted by KathrynT at 2:17 PM on August 17, 2010

Yeah but the comment was "Some even continue to have normal monthly bleeding throughout." And that's not true.

They may have bleeding, but, despite appearances, it's NOT "normal monthly bleeding" (i.e. menstruation) For what it's worth, I also had a subchorionic hematoma early on and it was nothing like a period.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:46 PM on August 17, 2010

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