Period’s very late suddenly, not pregnant, what do?
June 22, 2016 5:18 PM   Subscribe

My period is very late. I’m not pregnant, I will be seeing my doctor but not until the 12th, what should I do now? What should I ask them? Ugh!

My last period started on May 6th. I am not pregnant as far as I can tell and shouldn't be.

I’m 26
On the pill for 8 years, stopped for a month, had Nexplanon from Oct to Nov 2015 (it didn’t like me.)
Hormone free since then.
Husband got a vasectomy nearly a year ago and was cleared in Nov. when I got my Nexplanon out.
Have POTS/vertigo/bad chronic illness stuff.
However, my periods since getting off pills have been 28 to 30 days with only a couple being 33 and 34.
They did fluctuate by a few days before I got on the pill in my teens.
Already suspect a fibroid or endometriosis type issue.
Had very slightly elevated prolactin about a year ago before coming off the pill.
Have a small pituitary tumor that they told me not to worry about other than getting it check again relatively soon (it’s been about a year since they found it and said they check it after a year and go from there. It hasn’t been on the top of my list.)
I’ve had some slight PMS symptoms (and PMS makes my chronic illness stuff flare up) but no bleeding.
Took a pregnancy test last week - negative. Took another one Monday - negative.

I can’t get in to my GP until the 12th (I may be able to get in earlier but she’s on vacation until the 5th and is only part time.)
I can’t see my OB/GYN until the 20th (which is also booked because I’m due for a PAP)

Is this a head to the walk-in clinic or Planned Parenthood this week situation?

What tests should I bring up and have checked?
Obviously we should see my prolactin. (And double check for pregnancy but again… vasectomy & two negative tests.)

What can I do to chill or feel better while this is all getting sorted?
I just feel so bloated and crappy like my hormones are trying to do their job and making me feel really crummy.

I also feel mildly itchy and hope it's not yeast infection territory but picked up monistat just in case. I have had a couple infections as my body adjusted post-birth control but haven't had one in months.
posted by SockWombat to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here are some things that may help if your period is en route:

Drink water, avoid caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, and sweets. Eat leafy greens. Get enough sleep and maybe take a multivitamin. Do things that feel relaxing to you.
posted by aniola at 5:25 PM on June 22, 2016

If I was wondering if I needed to go to urgent care, I would call my insurance's advice nurse (it's free) and ask them.
posted by aniola at 5:27 PM on June 22, 2016

Is this a head to the walk-in clinic or Planned Parenthood this week situation?

One missed period with multiple negative pregnancy tests (plus severely reduced likelihood of pregnancy) would be a "wait until the 12th" thing for me. Mainly I'd just want to avoid the time and the hassle of trying to explain my history to people who don't know my history. But, my gonads are weird so missed/strange periods have been par for the course for me for my entire adult life.

What can I do to chill or feel better while this is all getting sorted?
The things that you think it might be (fibroids, endometriosis, a pituitary tumor that was NBD a year ago) are not things that will silently escalate to DANGER mode in the next 3 weeks. So, remember that if something were seriously wrong, your body would be doing more than giving you mild PMS symptoms. And if that changes in the next 2-3 weeks, you can go to urgent care or PP will be there for you.

And treat yourself like you have PMS. Long baths or showers if you like those, ice cream if it makes you feel better. Try to sleep and walk every day. Let yourself veg out to media that you enjoy.
posted by sparklemotion at 5:28 PM on June 22, 2016 [13 favorites]

Were you traveling or otherwise under stress during the time you would have normally ovulated?

My sympathies. My periods have always been somewhat long and irregular, but I've had two 40+ day cycles in the last year. They were very stressful, with bad PMS symptoms and lots of peeing on sticks. When my period finally showed up last month, it did so while I was waiting for a fourth negative pregnancy test. I'm breastfeeding, which can cause funky ovulatory stuff, but both times I was traveling or had family visit during my normal ovulation time, which seemed to cause me to skip ovulation.

I'm sure everything is fine. I agree that engaging in self-care is a good idea. If you're experiencing bad PMS symptoms, calcium and magnesium supplements can help. There are some old wives tales about drinking parsley tea to bring on a period--I was desperate enough that I tried it last time--but it did diddly squat for me.

Mostly this is probably just a matter of being patient. Sorry! Keep us updated.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:44 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Why not go to a clinic and ask for a blood test for pregnancy?

It doesn't sound like there is much chance you are but the main issue here seems to be your anxiety about it. And this would answer your question immediately.

Stress in itself is enough to make a period late. You sound really worried about your health and this situation, which won't be helping at all.
posted by Stephanie_Says at 6:05 PM on June 22, 2016

People do miss periods sometimes. Even if they usually don't. Everyone I know who has tried to conceive has had at least one month with a mystery missing period - not pregnant, not a chemical pregnancy or missed miscarriage, just a random skipped period.

Periods are weird.
posted by tinkletown at 6:41 PM on June 22, 2016 [7 favorites]

There is no health issue associated with a single missed period. You are fine. If you're not pregnant, most doctors are completely uninterested until it's been a year at minimum, unless you are also having extraordinary pain or some other very unusual physical symptoms.

I always get super jacked up periods around the time change and (checks calendar, yep) solstices. It's some kind of length-of-daylight thing, and it started around age 28.

While it is good to track your period and understand your body and trends, very few women actually get to experience extremely regular periods, and almost none do for their entire menstruating lives.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:05 PM on June 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Unless you cannot sleep without having a blood pregnancy test, don't go to Planned Parenthood or urgent care. Also, regular drugstore urine pregnancy tests are actually highly sensitive, especially at the point where you're 2 weeks late for your period, so it's quite unlikely that the tests you've taken are false negatives.

Because you have "chronic illness stuff" and a history of a pituitary tumor, you need tests that PP/urgent care aren't going to do for you (like a prolactin level), so the visit would be a waste of time.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:47 PM on June 22, 2016 [9 favorites]

This has been happening to me a lot lately. I've had 2 straight weeks of severe, life-disrupting PMS before my period decided to show up 10 days late. It's nothing to freak out about (unless you start having weird excruciating pain or something, then get medical help ASAP). Periods suck. Sorry.
posted by a strong female character at 7:48 PM on June 22, 2016

After I went off the Pill (in my early thirties) I just stopped getting periods. Then, five years later, I started getting them again (and still do at 46). At the time they stopped, the doctor said she could prescribe me something to induce them again, but why bother, if I didn't plan to get pregnant and my husband had a vasectomy?

Seriously, you're not pregnant. Get a blood test if you need peace of mind, but two negative tests and a vasectomy really do confirm that.

(And I say that as someone who used to freak out regularly about the possibility of pregnancy while on the Pill. I really do understand your anxiety.)
posted by tully_monster at 8:47 PM on June 22, 2016

Sometimes you just skip a period, especially when you've been using hormonal birth control. Scary! But if you're not in pain, it's unlikely to be anything serious.
posted by my-sharona at 8:58 PM on June 22, 2016

Have you been eating less or exercising more lately? I've missed a few periods due to undereating + increased activity even when I haven't been trying to lose weight - just lots of extra walking on top of my regular workout routine and smaller meals because I'm too busy to cook properly can do it.
posted by aerobic at 11:08 PM on June 22, 2016

When I'm off birth control, I will also occasionally get very late/missed periods, especially if I'm in some sort of new situation/especially stressed/travelling/something else out of the ordinary. It's not linked to any other health issue, just my body can get out of whack on occasion. If you have other symptoms associated with endometriosis/fibroids, of course you should get that checked out. But I would not get freaked out that one missed/late period is a sign of bigger problems (and I do not think your doctor would be particularly concerned either, aside from ruling out pregnancy, which it sounds like you have done).
posted by rainbowbrite at 6:14 AM on June 23, 2016

Nthing what everyone else said. After having very irregular periods in my early 20s, my periods are now like clockwork - every 26-28 days, every month. Except for the odd month here and there where I just don't have a period. Sometimes I can identify something that went on approximately 2 weeks after my last period that might have caused delayed ovulation (like illness or a particularly stressful event), and sometimes I can't. Either way, I eventually get my period and they go back to very regular and normal until the next missed period several months later.
posted by devinemissk at 12:13 PM on June 23, 2016

I've skipped 2-3 months for no reason at all that anyone could find. More than once. It happens. I was fine. I also had my period change when it showed up, in fact as a teen I got good at reading my symptoms precisely because the calendar was useless--I was all over the place, or skipping, or having a really light one, or having a heavy one. Wasn't having sex or even using hormonal BC; it was just random body weirdness.

It's entirely possible that stress + changed birth control + random changes in your body could do this. How your periods act in terms of reliability and volume can change over time, even if you do nothing unusual, even if you're not close to menopause yet. It happens. I would not worry unless you are in pain.
posted by emjaybee at 3:00 PM on June 23, 2016

Thanks all. Feel free to add anything else.

I guess I was spoiled by regular periods on the pill, then I was prepared for them to be wacky when I stopped but then they were (surprisingly) regular so this one has freaked me out. Growing up I never talked with any women around me who told me about missing their period - I was also a semi-late bloomer. It has been a stressful month but my life is with the illness is stressful too. At this point unless something changes I'll likely wait until my appointment on the 12th. I'm happy to not have a period at all but I feel super crummy. My PMS includes lots of nausea and headaches and stomach acid and lightheaded-ness and uhg. Trying to veg out and be a little more liberal with meds to help.
posted by SockWombat at 1:59 AM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you haven't already, read Taking Charge of your Fertility. It will help you get context about this kind of thing, like why stress can make you ovulate late.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:28 AM on June 24, 2016

As a late followup for future-ers - if anyone had their bets on day 57!! Ding Ding Ding you win... something. I dunno. Hopefully I'll start feeling a little better now. In other news - ouch.
posted by SockWombat at 12:56 PM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

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