Am I Pregnant? How to Know If You Should Be Worried

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Your period is late.  The more you think about it, the more you convince yourself that you’re definitely pregnant. Even if your period isn’t late, the risk of pregnancy weighs on you like that bad hangover from last weekend.  Turn off “16 and Pregnant” because it’s not helping. But before you start confusing drinking too much the night before with morning sickness, and your undying need for a pint of ice cream with cravings, it’s best to know the facts. 

pregnancy test instructions pee stick one stepThe symptoms of early pregnancy are extremely similar to the symptoms of your menstrual cycle, which is why you can’t be totally sure of either until you take a test.  Sore or enlarged breasts, bloating, nausea, and fatigue are all common to both.  Just because you really wanted those cheese fries does not mean you are three weeks along or eating for two (though if you really want them, go for it, girl).  It’s common for PMS to heighten your appetite, and believe it or not, worrying about pregnancy will only make it worse.  Stress can absolutely cause you to miss a period, so to avoid confusion, calm down.

To prevent any further freak-outs, here are eight sex scenarios that will help curb your nerves, rated on a scale from one to five—one being “chill out” and five being a potential Juno situation.  On the bright side, Ellen Page looks super cute with a baby bump, and you can always take a test or see your doctor to know for sure because worrying never helped anyone.

trojan condom latex condom birth control contraceptive I always use a condom, but my period is late.
Worry Level: 1

Our bodies don’t always run like clockwork.   Sometimes they miss the alarm, oversleep, and are late for class.  Just because your period is late doesn’t mean you have to worry as long as you’ve used protection.

“Only two out of 100 women whose partners use condoms consistently and correctly for a year will become pregnant,” says Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for Medical Affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who also explains that stress, illness, excessive exercise, and not enough food could throw off your menstrual cycle causing your period to come late or not at all.

Condoms alone are 98-percent effective when used correctly; however, it’s possible for them to tear or slip off during intercourse.  This is why it’s a good idea to use a backup. If you’re worried that a condom isn’t enough protection or just want to ease your mind, add an additional method of birth control to your sex regimen, like the Pill. 

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About The Author

Mariel Loveland is in love with writing. She recently graduated from SUNY Purchase College wtih a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Studio Composition. There she was the editor-in-chief of The Independent, her campus's only print news source. Currently, she runs a blog entitled "Writing the Ship" (http://www.writing-the-ship.bl...) where she documents her life as a recent graduate. When she is not writing words, she can be found writing songs for her punk band and playing guitar loudly in the basements of seedy (and sometimes not-so-seedy) NYC clubs. In the past, Mariel has interned for Lucky Magazine in the Online Editorial Department and Columbia Records as part of their A&R and Digital Research team as well as contributing to other on-campus publications. In her spare time, she dabbles in graphic design, fiction writing, and window shopping on the internet. Currently, she works at Babble.com where she handles all their social media.