5 Things You Need to Know About Missed Period

It Might Not Be What You Think

A missed period does not necessarily mean pregnancy. In some cases, you are dealing with something else. Anything from a stressful time in your life to a severe illness can cause a missed period. The only way to know for sure is to see your doctor.

Halt the Flow of Stress

The hormones you release when under stress can actually cause you to miss your period by halting your bleeding. This is why a death in the family, a job loss or other stressful situation may cause you to miss a period. This unfortunately causes more stress, since most women who have a missed period think of pregnancy. Work with a counselor, midwife or doctor to get your stress under control and see if your periods don't fall in line as well.

Problems Great and Small

All sorts of problems such as minor illness and major surgery may cause a missed period. If your body has been through any recent changes--even a shift change at work--you may experience a late or missed period. Take a home pregnancy test even if you think you are not pregnant. This is most likely the first thing your gynecologist will ask if you are sexually active. Also, know these home tests may read false negative, which means they read negative when you are actually pregnant. A retest is almost always in order, and you're best served having that retest in your doctor's office. If you happen to be pregnant, it is especially important that you get in to see your obstetrician as early as possible. This way, you and your baby know you are as healthy as possible and you get the proper prenatal testing and counseling. There is so much involved in bringing a life into the world; make your chances as healthy as possible by making that appointment and getting all your recommended care.

Don't Miss a More Serious Problem

Other conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), peri-menopause, menopause, overeight, underweight and ectopic pregnancy affect your regular menstrual cycle, all of which can cause you to miss your period. Only your doctor knows if you have any of these conditions, and things like an ectopic pregnancy need an ultrasound to confirm a diagnosis. Take notes about your condition and talk to your doctor about all your concerns. Special symptoms to take note of are voice changes, breast changes, unusual hair growth, weight gain or loss, visual changes and vaginal dryness. These symptoms, along with amenorrhea, or missed periods, could mean something serious.

Be Positively Sure

If a home pregnancy test indicates you are pregnant, don't rely on this positive to confirm a pregnancy. Most likely your doctor will recommend a simple test to check for pregnancy hormone levels in your blood. If a missed period is due to a pregnancy, it's especially important to see your obstetrician as early as possible to get the proper prenatal testing and counseling.