Birth Control

Is your period a week or more late? Here’s what to do next!

So you could ignore it for a few days, but now it’s been almost a week and you’re starting to get nervous – why is my period late?!

Take a deep breath, and go through this checklist:

Double-check when your period was due.

Check your period tracker app, if you don’t use one here are some great options to consider. If you don’t have it marked down somewhere, try to think back to when you had your last period. A trick we like to use is thinking back to a holiday or special occasion and working from there, especially if you don’t have regular periods.

If your period is only three to eight days late, it might just be – late! Believe it or not, things like stress, diet, exercise, and illness can impact your cycle length. If your period is less than two weeks late, then it may very well just be that you had a long menstrual cycle this time around. You could wait another day or two to see if you start bleeding.

Consider taking a home pregnancy test.

You can take a home pregnancy test as early as 5 days after unprotected sex. We have a helpful guide to help you determine how soon you should take a pregnancy test after unprotected sex. If you did not use a method of birth control or are concerned about a possible birth control failure, take an at-home pregnancy test. Any test is good, whether purchased from a drug store, like CVS or Walgreens, or the Dollar Store — expensive tests are usually no better than affordable tests.

Make sure to read and follow the directions about how to take the test and when to read the results. If the test is negative, and your period is still late or you are concerned about possible symptoms of pregnancy, repeat the test in about a week. If the test is positive, then keep reading.

If your pregnancy test comes back positive, you might be pregnant.

At this point, you have a couple of options. You can take another at-home test to confirm the results from the first one, or you can go to a doctor and have them do a pregnancy test to confirm. If you weren’t planning to be pregnant, you definitely have a lot to think about at this point. Check out some of our resources that can help you process and come to an informed decision.

If your pregnancy test comes back negative…

Do some reflecting on your recent activities and ask yourself – have I substantially increased my exercise intensity? Have I significantly changed my diet? Did I start any new medications? There’s a variety of reasons why your period may be late, so keep breathing, stay aware of any changes in your body or activities, and – if it gets to the point where you’re really worried – check in with your doctor.

If you don’t want to be pregnant, then contact carafem!

carafem offers online abortion care in more than 15 states. You can get high quality, medically supported abortion care from the comfort of home with FDA approved medication delivered in just 1-4 days. We go the extra mile to offer the most supportive online abortion care with a helpful virtual assistant to accompany you every step of the way.

You can call carafem 24/7 with your questions at (855) Say-Cara. We talk with you about your options. Oftentimes you can make next-day appointments for in-office care. If you decide that you don’t want to be pregnant (and you are less than 11 weeks along), then we’re happy to guide you through the process of a calm, educational, and non-judgmental abortion experience.

Our in-office appointments are about an hour-long, and you spend the entire time with a knowledgeable and compassionate clinician who can answer your questions and assist you, every step of the way. And – bonus – we’ll even talk about birth control options so that you can determine the best method for your life! If you choose to have an abortion, then your period may return as soon as two weeks after your appointment.

If you continue your pregnancy

If you choose to continue your pregnancy to term, then you most likely won’t get your period back until about six weeks after you give birth. Factors that impact the return of your period after birth include things like stress, whether you’re breastfeeding or not, and if you start using hormonal birth control. (It’s important that you start thinking about your family planning needs right away, since its also possible to get pregnant within a month of giving birth!)

So there you have it – how to find your period when it goes missing!