By Emily Pisacreta
Someone asked us:
I haven’t had my period in almost a year. I was tested for being pregnant, with only negative results. Recently, I’ve had unprotected sex, and fear I may be pregnant. How soon can I take a pregnancy test since I don’t have a missed period to dictate something may be wrong?
It can be tricky figuring out when to take a pregnancy test if you haven’t been having a regular period. If you’ve had sex without a condom or birth control recently, and you’re worried you might be pregnant, the earliest you can take a pregnancy test (and have it be accurate) is 2-3 weeks after sex. That’s because pregnancy doesn’t start right away after sperm gets into the vagina, and it can take even more time for your body to start producing the hormone that the pregnancy test finds.
Emergency contraception can protect you from pregnancy up to five days after sex. And, if you’re having sex and you don’t want to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to use birth control.
If you’ve been missing your period for almost a year and you’re not pregnant, talk with your doctor or nurse about what’s going on. Amenorrhea (not having a period) can be caused by a lot of different things, such as breastfeeding, weight gain or loss, exercising too much, hormonal imbalances, and other conditions.