A missed period can be a symptom of pregnancy, but it is possible to be late for a period without being pregnant. If you're worried about pregnancy, you might have lots thoughts racing in your mind. You might feel excited about the possibility, but you may also be feeling stressed, anxious, confused, or scared.
That’s totally normal, and how you feel today isn’t necessarily how you’ll feel in a day or two. The realization that your whole life could be about to change is overwhelming!
So what now? The first step is to find out if you’re pregnant. A woman might miss her period for many reasons. A change in diet, exercise, or stress level could cause a late period. Sometimes, women have late periods for reasons they’re never able to trace.
A good first step is to take a pregnancy test. You can buy a pregnancy test at a grocery store or pharmacy. You can also get one for free at a pregnancy center in your area. If you're not sure if you should take a pregnancy test yet, try our free online pregnancy quiz.
If you’re wondering if it’s too early to test, a good rule of thumb is that a pregnancy test should be accurate right around the first day after a missed period. If your period is irregular, or you don’t know when to expect it, waiting 17 days after you had sex to take the test can usually give you an accurate reading.
You can read more about pregnancy tests here.
One thing to keep in mind is that a pregnancy test is only an indication of pregnancy. Generally you’ll need an ultrasound as a confirmation. The ultrasound can also tell you if your pregnancy is viable (viability means a pregnancy that is capable of developing under normal conditions) and give you an estimate of how far along you are.
An ultrasound is also the only way to find out if you have an ectopic1 pregnancy, which could be life-threatening for both a mother and her child.
There are many pregnancy centers around the country that give free confirming ultrasounds. To find one in your area please call us at 1-800-712-4357, send us a message, or chat with us now! We’re here to talk, 24/7!
Note: Option Line and our network of participating pregnancy centers offers peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, these centers do not offer or refer for abortion services. The information presented on this website and given through contacting Option Line is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.