For some women, missing a period is a welcome joy, and they start figuring out her baby’s due date For others, missing a period brings worry and panic. If a woman is trying to get pregnant, then this could be one of the first signs that she has succeeded, leaving her feeling excited and happy. However, if a woman is not trying to conceive, or does not feel that she is ready to take on the responsibilities of motherhood, missing her period can bring on a whole other attitude of sadness and dread.
A woman’s period is caused by her uterus shedding the lining it builds every month in which a fertilized egg can attach itself and a pregnancy can develop. When a woman does not get pregnant, the lining is not needed and the uterine wall is shed, causing the bleeding and clots that a woman experiences approximately once a month. When a woman gets pregnant, and the fertilized egg is implanted into the uterine wall, the uterus does not shed, and there is no monthly period.
When a woman gets pregnant she should immediately start missing her periods, although this isn’t always the case. Sometimes women will have a period that is much lighter than normal, or rarely have a normal period for the first month. There are even a few recorded situations where a woman has continued to have a period throughout her pregnancy. Sometimes there might be a little spotting when the period should have come, making a woman believe that she had her period when she is in fact pregnant. This spotting is called implantation bleeding.
Just because a woman misses her period doesn’t automatically mean that she is pregnant. There are other reasons why her period might not have come that month. Stress and life changes can have a big effect on the regularity of a woman’s period on track. Also, if a woman has recently lost or gained a lot of weight, her menstrual cycle could be affected. Starting, stopping or changing her birth control during a cycle could also cause a missed period. Breastfeeding can also delay the return of a normal period cycle by up to a few months.
There are many ways to discover if your missed period means that you are pregnant, but the most common and easiest is to purchase a home pregnancy test. Most of these are close to 99% accurate and can tell a woman if she is expecting a baby, or if she is just “late”. When in doubt, be sure to call your doctor immediately.
Do you know your baby's birth stone? Birth Flower? How about when you'll be handing over the car keys? Check out our popular Fun Birthday Facts Calculator to discover fun trivia about your baby's birth or due date!