BELOW, FROMN ANOTHER PERSONS QUESTIONS, ARE A NUMBER OF COMMENTS ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF STRESS ON A WOMAN'S NEXT PERIOD:
My period is usually of 32 days...however, if I am very stressed, it can be easily 1 or even 2-weeks late. I had my last menstruation starting on November 23rd and I had intercourse (with condom) on December 19th. After this, I have been very anxious and nervous about the possibility of becoming pregnant, plus some extra stress due to discussions at home and the death of a relative. During these days (a week and a half) I keep on having mild cramps, just as I normally have prior my menstruation. I haven't had nausea, or any change in my breasts. The more the time passes, the more stressed I get. In your opinion, could I be pregnant? is it still too early for a pregnancy test? I've read that an overdose of vitamin C (6-10 g/day for 5-10 days) can bring up a late period, would you recommend it? Thanks a lot!
1. As you so accurately note, stress definitely can delay the onset of a woman's period
2. If that condom was put on early in that act of intercourse, did not break and if he withdrew from your vagina as soon as he came...in other words, if you used that condom correctly, your risk of pregnancy from that one act of sex is so very, very low
3. Vitamin C is not going to alter when you have your next period
4. It might be very reassuring to you to do a sensitive urine pregnancy test and learn that it is negative.
5. Used perfectly, 2 women of 100 women using condoms will become pregnant in one entire year. Given average frequencies of intercourse this means one pregnancy happens per 4,150 acts of intercourse. Really very effective!
6. Used perfectly, 4 women of 100 will become pregnant using withdrawal over the course of one entire year (one pregnancy per 2,075 acts of intercourse).
7. But not everyone uses condom or withdrawal perfectly. If 100 typical couples start using condoms, 15 will become pregnant in the first year of use; and of 100 typical users of withdrawal, 27 will become pregnant in the first year.
8. Please do a pregnancy test today and send me the result
Thank you very much for your quick answer. Actually, today early morning my menstruation began (with the same intense cramps and heavy fluid as usual). We were very careful on using the condom since the beginning of the intercourse and we paid attention of not leaving it inside of me after withdraw, and it didn't seemed broken or anything. I guess I should manage a little better my emotions, I usually keep all the anxiety for myself and it seems to be affecting the way my body works.
I suppose it is not necessary now to do the test, is it?
Stress is everywhere
Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH
Stress is all about us. It creeps into our lives like fog the day after a rainstorm. Stress seems to taunt us with the refrain: “Stop me if you can.” But sometimes it seems almost impossible to stop. Sometimes it enters our lives from unexpected quarters. Sometimes we can see it a-coming and run from it! Sometimes we bring it on ourselves. Sometimes it happens in response to something completely beyond our control.
So where does all this leave us? Sometimes it leads to paralyzing uncertainty. Stress is undoubtedly a major cause of disease - a formidable foe for a person trying to be healthy!
No one has written my destiny for me or your destiny for you. Perhaps each person’s response to the stress in her or his life is going to affect his or her health as much as any other factor.
What are the diseases linked to stress?
· Heart disease
· Anxiety attacks
· Some kinds of headaches
· Failure of women to ovulate (and therefore infertility – more on this in an upcoming column)
· Eating disorders
· Poor school and job performance
What are some ways to lower the stress level?
· Deep breathing is a part of virtually every stress reduction program for the past several thousand years.
· Exercise is important for health and one of the healthiest aspects of regular exercise are the benefits in terms of stress reduction
· Carrying a book at all time so that frustration from delays while driving, waiting rooms, lines, broken appointments, and waiting for the completion of car repairs becomes a treat rather than an event that raises your blood pressure
· Carrying a charged up cell phone may also let you make a call you have been wanting to make diminishing your frustration from a delay
· Daily meditation
· Counting to ten when beginning to become angry
The serenity prayer outlines the two things you and I can do in the face of each stressful event, experience or relationship we face in the course of a day. This short prayer helps many millions of people every day is this: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Lest stress be given a 100% negative rating, it is certainly true that stress may have some beneficial motivating effects. Stress can heighten our awareness in some situations where awareness is essential. Stress may cause us to eliminate procrastination. And stress may help us to visualize the best course of action for a given situation. But for the most part stress is something I hope to minimize today.
Is this at all helpful? I hope it is. I would love your comments.
His email reply on 3-1: “Hello Dr. Hatcher, It’s been 2 days past my girlfriend’s period date (2-27) and still no period yet. Would Postinor cause her period to come sooner than expected? She took it on the 20th. Is it too soon to take a pregnancy test?"
To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the Mirena IUD or any of the available contraceptives, go to our website: www.managingcontraception.com and click on Choices. You can also order this wonderful new educational book from our website or by calling 404-875-5001. Do you have your copy yet?
Key Words: sex, condom, unprotected, ejaculated, Postinor pill, chances, pregnancy, risk, low, cycle, predict, period, stress, withdrawal, pregnancy test
Posted 3-9-2011, Updated 3-17-2011