One missed period and two negative pregnancy tests
February 23, 2018 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Can I drink?

My period is not that late at all--only a couple of days. But I always get a very specific set of symptoms beforehand and this month I've had absolutely nothing. I've been thinking since last week that my period isn't coming this month. I'm aware that it may still come, but at this point I'm as sure as I can be that it's not for whatever reason.

I've been getting my period for 13 years and I've never skipped a month. I haven't been particularly stressed. My car got totaled last month, but I still got my period that month, and I think it's unlikely that this is some weird delayed physical response to that drama. I did start having sex with someone new at the beginning of this month, right around the time that I was ovulating, and we've had sex a few times since. I'm not on birth control and we used condoms. They did not break. He wore one the entire time.

I got a negative result on Monday, then another one today. I'm going to go to the doctor more toward the end of next week if it never comes, just to confirm I'm not pregnant and talk about birth control. I don't think they'll start looking into the cause of the missed periods unless this continues. I'm not particularly concerned, just confused because this is really strange for me.

Informally, do you think should hold off drinking until I get a negative blood test? I was leaning toward that, but my friends are acting like I'm overreacting and we're all going out tonight. Truthfully I'd love to have a drink, but I've been thinking that I should wait just because this is so bizarre to me. But is that overly cautious? If I were pregnant I'd be less than a month along, but again, I've had 2 negative tests.

posted by Amy93 to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
I think the car accident could have made your body ovulate later than normal... in which case you might not have missed your period yet. But if you were pregnant and wanted to keep the baby then I wouldn't drink- that sounds like a recipe for worry and guilt until you do get your period.
posted by catspajammies at 4:43 PM on February 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Not trying to threadsit, but real quick--I got my period about a week after the accident. Could it still have affected it this month? I'm not sure if I would keep the baby yet.
posted by Amy93 at 4:45 PM on February 23, 2018

Informally, do you think should hold off drinking until I get a negative blood test? I was leaning toward that, but my friends are acting like I'm overreacting and we're all going out tonight.
I mean it's one night of drinking. You've got a week until your doctor's appointment? You can not drink for a week right? That seems worth the peace of mind for me. Assuming you don't get your period before then, which still seems likely (although not 100%!) given the two negative tests.

And you didn't ask but - in future, tell your friends you're on a short course of antibiotics for a stomach bug or something, so you can avoid the frankly never-great advice people give pregnant/maybe pregnant/generally fertile women. Or find more sympathetic friends, because who rags on their friend for not drinking because she thinks she might be pregnant?? Jesus.
posted by aiglet at 4:45 PM on February 23, 2018 [7 favorites]

I don't think I'd worry about a night of regular level drinking. Or a few nights of every day style drinking during this point in time where, really, it's very unlikely that you're pregnant. When I was TTC I honestly stopped quitting drinking during the 2 week wait because I'd had so many disappointments that changing my life every month sucked.
posted by vunder at 4:49 PM on February 23, 2018 [11 favorites]

"A drink" won't have any effect if you are pregnant. But if there's any chance you would keep a baby, don't drink more than that.
posted by chaiminda at 4:51 PM on February 23, 2018 [5 favorites]

Are you having unprotected sex or trying to get pregnant? If neither are true, then I would drink like a normal person (not getting black out drunk) and try a pregnancy test a week after you would normally have your period. Some drift can occur, and not being spot on one month is no a sure sign you're pregnant.
Blood tests aren't any more accurate than a urine test these days. Buy a ton of those dollar store tests and use them as often as you like.
posted by fiercekitten at 4:51 PM on February 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Which test did you use and how many days late are you? You can conceive several days after sex and implantation happens 6 ish days after sperm meets egg and then HCG doesn’t get produced for another day and isn’t detectable in urine for two to three days after that. The eeeeaaarrrliest you could see a positive pregnancy test on a super sensitive strip would be 8 days after intercourse and usually the latest you’d first see a positive is 16 or so days. This all assumes you know when you ovulated and are using First Response Early Result tests (or similarly sensitive tests). The earliest I ever detected a pregnancy (I’ve had 6) is 9 days post ovulation and even then I had to tweak a photo of the strip.

This is all to say that you could be and drinking at this point is up to you and your comfort level. Personally I’d feel fine about having a few drinks.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:52 PM on February 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've had sex every weekend in February. I ovulated around the first weekend in February and have had sex every weekend in February. I've taken 2 of those early detection tests, not sure of the brand. I normally get sore boobs after I ovulate but this month I've gotten nothing. I'm only a couple days late but I don't think it's coming.

Thanks y'all. I really just want a moscow mule. I'll just hold off on having seconds until I know.
posted by Amy93 at 4:58 PM on February 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have had super duper regular periods that you can set a clock to the symptoms and starting. The older I got, the wackier they got. Not experiencing PMS in the normal for you way might be about food or caffeine or water intake or medications or allergies, or about a million things. I wouldn't be so sure you're positively going to miss your period. But even if you do, that is a thing that will just happen sometimes as you age even if you've been regular until now. The fun is after about 30 when they just wanna double up sometimes or act like they're done but restart for 4 more days or suddenly reduce the cycle to 21 days. A lot of that stuff is just how it is unless you're specifically trying to conceive (which I see that you're not). Were it me, I would drink, but I also wouldn't consider taking a pregnancy to term. If you're at all worried and don't want to argue, quietly order a club soda with lime or something similar.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 5:05 PM on February 23, 2018

"A" drink is fine no matter what point you're at in the pregnancy. Emily Oster's Expecting Better looks at the studies and concludes the following:
There is no good evidence that light drinking during pregnancy negatively impacts your baby. This means:
  • Up to 1 drink a day in the second and third trimesters.
  • 1 to 2 drinks a week in the first trimester.
  • Speed matters: no vodka shots!
  • Heavier drinking could have negative impacts, especially in the range of 4 or 5 drinks at a time. This should be avoided.
As a recently pregnant person, maybe still get the moscow mule but drink water at the same time and drink it slowly. So long as your liver can keep up, it's likely fine.
posted by sadmadglad at 5:05 PM on February 23, 2018 [15 favorites]

A drink is fine regardless of whether you’re pregnant or not, don’t worry. Have your Moscow mule with zero guilt!
posted by lydhre at 5:18 PM on February 23, 2018 [9 favorites]

Even someone with super-regular periods will have a weird cycle sooner or later, often for no particular reason. You might have ovulated later than usual or not ovulated at all yet.
posted by songs about trains at 5:46 PM on February 23, 2018

If you've been having periods for 13 years then you are likely in your mid-to-late twenties, yes? Until I was that age, I used to say I could set a calendar to my cycle, it was so regular. And then it started getting irregular around 27 (and went really wild for a year or so around 30 but hopefully you won't have that!). Anyway, from talking with friends and doing some reading, it is not uncommon for previously super-regular women to start missing or having late periods in their late twenties/early 30s.
posted by lunasol at 6:18 PM on February 23, 2018

Sorry, are you implying that you would keep the pregnancy if you were pregnant? It wasn't real clear from the post and I'm basically tokophobic so I read this thinking "uh yeah you deserve 100 drinks just for the stress." :)

If you don't want to be pregnant, drink as much as you want. If you want to have a baby then one Moscow Mule is still fine, and tbh probably more. I know many women who were still drinking fairly regularly while pregnant but before they found out.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 6:37 PM on February 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

If there's any chance you could be pregnant, take folic acid/ folate/ Vitamin B9. It's in pregnancy and some other vitamins, and in dark leafy greens. It prevents neural tube defects like spina bifida.

I'm in Camp Don't Drink While Pregnant because I have a family member who has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. A very occasional drink *might* be okay; it's still a risk. I hope htings work out the way you want.
posted by theora55 at 8:25 PM on February 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm a doctor and I had alcoholic drinks here and there throughout two pregnancies, as is upheld by the evidence in Expecting Better and as is the norm in other countries around the world that are not the USA. I'd say you're fine to have a drink. You're not likely to be pregnant in any case, the tests are quite sensitive especially if you're after your expected period date - however the test can be fooled by very dilute urine, so it's usually recommended to use the first pee of the day to test with, in case you hadn't done that already. (also, I'd recommend against super cheap test strips, as I got a false negative at at least 6 weeks pregnant with those)
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:41 PM on February 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

The embryo is not hooked into the mother's blood supply until after implantation, which happens around 5-6 weeks. If you're not getting a positive test then it's likely the embryo, if any, hasn't implanted yet.
posted by apricot at 2:35 PM on February 27, 2018

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