Delayed menstruation: am I really pregnant?

2 min

Late menstruation is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. But how can you be sure that you are pregnant in case of delay? Delay of rules rhyme necessarily with pregnancy? The point with Dr. Elizabeth Paganelli, the gynecologist.

What is a delay of rules?

When cycles are regular, we usually talk about late rules when they do not occur between 3 to 5 days after the date they were normally expected. In the case where the cycles are often irregular, a delay is more difficult to define. More generally, it is established around a week after the date when the rules were planned.

Is late menstruation always a sign of pregnancy?

“No, late menstruation may also have other origins,” says Dr. Elizabeth Paganelli. “For example, it may be related to rapid weight loss or anorexia nervosa, which can lead to the cessation of menstruation. It can also be due to stress, some serious diseases, menopause or pre-menopause, or to chemotherapy treatments. The rules can also come late when the pituitary gland produces too much prolactin when taking drugs that elevate prolactin (such as neuroleptics in psychiatry) or finally when the ovaries work poorly, as is sometimes the case when ‘a woman is overweight’.


After how many days of late menstruation can we be sure that there is pregnancy?

“Everything depends on its cycles, their regularity, etc. There is not a number of days of predetermined delay from which one could be sure. Even in case of late menstruation, a woman cannot be sure to be pregnant without analysis, “says the gynecologist. If in doubt, it is best to perform a pregnancy test. Available in pharmacy, they can be used from the first day of delay supposed rules. A positive test, of course, indicates that you are pregnant.

Delayed menstruation: what to do in the event of a negative pregnancy test?

Given the irregularity of some women’s cycles and the many factors that may explain late menstruation, “it is better to repeat a pregnancy test, about 8 days after the first to confirm the result,” advises Elizabeth Paganelli… You can do this for a urine test. You can also go to a medical laboratory where you will have a blood test to perform a blood test of ßHCG (HCG is the hormone secreted by the placenta). With a medical prescription, this examination is reimbursed by social security. Of course, if in doubt, do not hesitate to consult.

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