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You Asked: My Period Is Late — Am I Pregnant?

Dear Sugar,


I had sex one month and three weeks ago, while I had my period, and the condom ripped. One month later, when I was supposed to get my period, I never got it. Another three weeks have passed, and I still have not gotten it. I feel all the symptoms of pregnancy: tired, breasts hurting, lower back hurting, cramping, nausea (non-stop). Could I be pregnant even though I had sex on my period? Could there be another reason why I haven't gotten my period? I was on birth control pills for about a year but I got off about four months ago. Can that affect it? My periods have been fine and on time since then, EXCEPT NOW! Please answer and just to let you know, I'm 17 years old.

— Am I Pregnant Pam

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Dear Am I Pregnant Pam —

Technically speaking, you ovulate about 2 weeks before your period, so if you have sex while you have your period, the egg has already passed through your fallopian tube and is traveling out of your body. It is unlikely that you can get pregnant if you have sex when you have your period, but there is a rare possibility that it could happen.

The best thing to do if you suspect that you are pregnant is to take a home pregnancy test, or better yet, talk to your doctor and get a test there. I know you are under 18, and probably don't want to tell your parents, but definitely confide in a trusted and responsible friend so you are not going through this alone. They can be there when you get the results back from your test.

Another thing about periods - they can be affected by emotions, illness, or stressful situations. If you were worried or sick at the time you were supposed to ovulate last month, it's possible that you ovulated late, which would then make your period late. You were also on birth control pills for any amount of time, going off them can also affect your cycle. Again, the best thing to do is take a pregnancy test so you'll know for sure. Good luck Pam and make it a point to always practice safe sex.

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