Signs of Pregnancy-Missed Period

August 7, 2008

One of the First Signs of Pregnancy

One of the most classic signs of pregnancy, and often the first to confirm (at least in a woman's mind) pregnancy, is a missed period. Most women who ovulate and menstruate regularly and normally will miss their period upon conception. The monthly bleeding and elimination of the layers of tissue which build up in the uterus in order to provide for a fertilized egg will stop. They are now necessary to house the developing baby that the uterus prepares for every month.

Check to Be Sure You are Pregnant

A home pregnancy test can be made to determine if you are pregnant. The pregnancy test measures the levels of hCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, which is secreted in large portions when a woman is pregnant. The pregnancy test measures the amount of hCG in your urine and gives you a reading immediately. It is good to remember that sometimes, if the testing is too early, you may have a negative reading. This does not necessarily mean you are not pregnant, only that it may be too early for the test to do a reading. Take another test in a week or so to make sure. And, if you purchase an ultra-sensitive home test the chances of an accurate reading are much better. By performing a test as soon as possible, you can begin the wonderful process of caring properly for yourself and your baby.

There Are Other Causes of a Missed Period

Although pregnancy is still the most common cause of a missed period for women of childbearing age who have regular menses, there are other reasons for missed periods. A breastfeeding woman whose period has stopped is not immune to becoming pregnant again if she is nursing - contrary to some concepts. Although her menstrual period is missed while she's nursing, there is still a chance she can conceive during that period. There are certain illnesses which cause a cessation in menstruation such as PCOS, infections, cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases. Menstruation often returns to normal when these issues are cleared, although women with PCOS tend to have an ongoing problem with missed periods.

Afraid of Being Fat--Eating Disorders

Eating disorders and obsessive exercise are other culprits for causing menstruation to stop. When a woman is below 85% of the expected weight for her height and build, she could be considered to be anorexic. There are mental and emotional challenges with anorexia which would be considered as well. Bulimia has the same effect of causing amenorrhea, or the cessation of menstruation. When a woman is a high performance athlete with extremely low body fat, she will likely have amenorrhea. Also, high levels of intense exercise can cause periods to stop; however, if exercising is brought into balance periods will likely resume.

Birth Control May Be in Control of Your Period

Birth control pills can cause a woman to stop having periods and may cause regularity problems for as long as six months after cessation. It is not uncommon for a woman to have a delay in conception for several months after stopping birth control as her body comes back into order.

If you're concerned about the cessation of your period, visit your health care professional for help.

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