What To Expect When You Miss a Period
What To Expect When You Miss a Period

Missing a period can trigger a lot of anxiety, especially if you think you might be unexpectedly pregnant.

The best thing you can do is to take good care of yourself. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can be very helpful while you wait for an answer as to why your period did not start as expected.

This article will discuss how your menstrual cycle works, why you might miss a period, and what to expect when you do miss a period.

How Your Menstrual Cycle Works

Each month your body goes through a hormonal process to prepare for a possible pregnancy; this is referred to as your menstrual cycle, or simply your “cycle.”

The average length of a woman’s cycle is 28 days and is measured from the first day of your period to the day before your next period. A normal cycle can vary from 21 days to 35 days, and there are four distinct hormonal phases.

1. Menstrual Phase

The menstrual phase of your cycle is the three to seven days while you have your period. During this phase, your progesterone levels drop, causing you to get your period. The menstrual phase overlaps with the next phase, the follicular phase.

2. Follicular Phase

Estrogen levels rise during the follicular phase of your cycle. This phase starts on the first day of your period and ends when an egg is released from an ovary (ovulation).

3. Ovulatory Phase

The ovulatory phase occurs approximately fourteen days before your next period begins and is the time in your cycle when you can become pregnant.

Did you know that your sex drive is the highest when you are the most likely to become pregnant? This is caused by hormone shifts that occur during the ovulatory phase.

4. Luteal Phase

The luteal phase is the second half of your cycle. It starts after ovulation as the egg begins to travel through the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus, and it ends when your next period starts.

If the egg is not fertilized, your progesterone and estrogen hormones drop during this phase, producing premenstrual symptoms and a period.

But what can cause you to miss a period?

Reasons You Can Miss a Period

There are several reasons you can miss a period. Here we will discuss seven of them.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the most common reason to miss your period. If a released egg is fertilized and implants into the uterine lining, the hCG hormone is produced and this causes you to miss a period.

Some women experience implantation bleeding and mistake it for a period. However, implantation bleeding is typically lighter than a normal period.

Stress

Emotional stress can also cause you to miss a period. If you are experiencing stress and have ruled out pregnancy, talk to a healthcare provider about ways you can reduce your stress levels.

Weight changes

Rapid weight loss can also cause you to miss a period. Eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia can cause your weight to fall more than 10% below a normal range. These conditions can also prevent ovulation and periods.

Being overweight can also lead to hormone changes that impact your menstrual cycle.

It is essential to seek the advice of a medical professional if you think your weight may be contributing to missed periods.

Health conditions

Several health conditions impact hormone levels and can cause you to miss a period. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid imbalance are two common reasons.

If your blood sugar fluctuates abnormally with diabetes or hypoglycemia, it can also affect your hormones and periods.

Increased exercise

Are you training for a marathon? Or perhaps you have increased your exercise level to get in shape. Either way, a significant increase in exercise can cause you to miss your period.

Breastfeeding

It is common for women to have irregular periods or altogether skip periods while breastfeeding.

Perimenopause

Perimenopause refers to the years before menopause when a woman’s body produces less estrogen. It usually starts during a woman’s 40s, but it can also start in her 30s or earlier. A symptom of perimenopause is missed periods.

What can you expect if you have missed your period?

What To Expect When You Miss a Period

If you have missed your period and think you might be pregnant, you can start by taking a home pregnancy test.

Once an egg is fertilized (conception), it takes about five to six days for it to travel through the fallopian tube into the uterus. Once the fertilized egg reaches the uterus, it implants into the uterine lining.

If implantation occurs, your body begins producing a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It is the hCG hormone that a pregnancy test detects to tell you if you are pregnant or not. Your body produces hCG about seven to ten days after conception.

Home pregnancy tests advertise the ability to detect a pregnancy as early as five days before you miss your period. But keep in mind that testing so early can cause a false negative pregnancy test result even if you are pregnant. There just not yet enough hCG in your system for the test to recognize.

A false negative pregnancy test can increase your anxiety, and retesting can get expensive. For that reason, we recommend you wait to take a pregnancy test until after the day you expected your period.

What happens if you have already missed your period, but your pregnancy test is negative? In that case, wait several days, and take another test. If it is still negative but your period has not started, see a licensed healthcare provider so they can determine the cause and decide if you need treatment.

No Cost Pregnancy Testing Is Available

At Willow Womens Center, we understand how important it is for you to know why you have missed your period. We also know that pregnancy tests can be expensive, so we offer pregnancy testing to you at no cost.  

If you have missed your period and want to know if you are pregnant, we are here for you. Reach out today for your confidential appointment and set your mind at ease with the answers you deserve.


Is My Girlfriend Pregnant?
Is My Girlfriend Pregnant?

You think your girlfriend might be pregnant, but you are not sure. The thought of facing an unplanned pregnancy is scary, but it is best to know the answer sooner rather than later.

To find out if your girlfriend is pregnant, you can ask her, look for obvious signs, and encourage her to take a pregnancy test.

Ask Your Girlfriend If She Thinks She Is Pregnant

Although you usually would not ask a woman if she is pregnant, it is ok to ask your girlfriend. Remember that she is just as fearful as you are. Assure her that she has your support whether she is pregnant or not, and you will work through this together.  

Signs Your Girlfriend Is Pregnant

You may not get the definite answer you need, but you can also look for early signs of a possible pregnancy. When women become pregnant, their bodies go through tremendous changes and produce pregnancy hormones that trigger common symptoms of pregnancy, which include:

  • Missed period

A missed period is the most common sign your girlfriend is pregnant. Understanding how her cycle works can help you know how likely she is to be pregnant.

  • Nausea with or without vomiting

It is called “morning sickness,” but nausea with or without vomiting can occur any time of the day or night. In addition, foods and odors can trigger nausea in early pregnancy.

  • Tender or swollen breasts

Tender and swollen breasts can start one to two weeks into pregnancy. It can also be a sign that your girlfriend’s period is about to begin. But if they are combined with other symptoms, it could indicate that she is pregnant.

  • Fatigue

Thanks to high progesterone hormone levels in early pregnancy, your girlfriend may feel exhausted if she is pregnant.

  • Bloating

Bloating is another early pregnancy symptom that mimics signs your girlfriend’s period is about to start. Sometimes, bloating occurs before she misses her period as progesterone hormone levels rise and cause the digestive system to slow down and gas to be trapped.

If you see any of these signs of pregnancy in your girlfriend, encourage her to take a pregnancy test so you can determine your next steps and take them together.  

Encourage a Pregnancy Test

The best way to know if your girlfriend is pregnant is by a urine pregnancy test – no-cost pregnancy clinics can offer free testing with highly accurate pregnancy test results.

Medical pregnancy clinics are skilled at determining if a pregnancy is viable and will answer all your questions about each of your options for an unexpected pregnancy.

Willow Womens Center Has Answers

At Willow Womens Center, we understand that taking a pregnancy test is scary for anyone thinking they might be unexpectedly pregnant because it means acknowledging reality and facing tough decisions.

Our licensed healthcare professionals offer no-cost limited medical services and compassionately empower you with the information you need to make the best decision about an unplanned pregnancy. Contact us online today or call 1-608-312-2025 to schedule your confidential appointment and get the answers you deserve.


How I Can Help My Partner After an Abortion
How I Can Help My Partner After an Abortion

After much research and soul-searching, your partner decided that this was not the time to continue her pregnancy, and she had an abortion. Even if she was confident about her abortion choice, you see that her recovery is not easy and she is trying to take care of herself. You are going through your own process of coping with the abortion, and you still compassionately wonder how you can help your partner.

The first step is to understand what she is going through, so keep reading to learn more about her experience and practical ways to help.

How Your Partner Might Feel After an Abortion

Immediately following a surgical abortion or medical abortion, your partner may feel a sense of relief together with uncomfortable physical symptoms. As time goes on, emotional difficulties may set in. Here is what you can expect your partner to feel soon after a medical or surgical abortion:

  • Pain: Cramping after abortion is normal because it helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. Cramping can last for one to two weeks.
  • Nausea: Nausea and diarrhea are common after an abortion.
  • Bleeding: It’s normal for your partner to pass small clots and bleed for one to two weeks after the abortion. She may experience spotting for longer.
  • Tiredness: Your partner has been through much physically and emotionally after an abortion, contributing to fatigue that can last a few days.
  • Emotional highs and lows: Your partner may feel a complicated combination of relief and sadness. This can be partly due to the sharp hormonal drop that occurs after an abortion. If she had a medical abortion at home and could visualize the pregnancy, that can also contribute.

Some partners may also suffer from long-term effects if they had abortion complications. Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) is a common syndrome that affects both women and men who have been affected by an abortion, and help is available.

Now that we have discussed how your partner might be feeling after an abortion, you might be wondering how you can help.

Ways You Can Help Your Partner After an Abortion

If there is a time when your partner needs to feel safely cared for, it is now — after her abortion. Here are examples of how you can help:

1. Offer practical support

  • Ask what kind of help is most supportive for her.
  • Ask if she wants to be alone or prefers your company.
  • Offer pain medication, a heating pad, and extra pillows to increase her comfort.
  • Bring her food and water.
  • If there are other children, arrange care for them so you can be available for her.
  • Run errands as needed.
  • Bring her to follow-up appointments.
  • Watch for signs of complications needing medical attention.

2. Offer emotional support

  • Be emotionally present.
  • Do something special for her or with her (give a gift or do something she loves).
  • Ask her how she is feeling.
  • Listen actively.
  • Be sensitive to her experience and patient with the healing process.
  • Watch for signs that she needs professional mental health support.
  • Willow Women’s Center Can Help

Willow Womens Center offers no-cost medical services if you and your partner are facing an unexpected pregnancy or considering abortion. Reach out online or call 608-312-2025 today for your confidential appointment and get the answers you deserve.


Understanding Your Cycle and How Likely You Are To Be Pregnant

Nothing can produce anxiousness quite like wondering if you are pregnant. If it is too early for a pregnancy test, you have probably scanned your calendar or checked your cycle tracking App and compared it with your menstrual cycle thinking back over the past couple of weeks and tried to determine the odds of an unplanned pregnancy.

Knowledge is power, and learning about your cycle empowers you to make reproductive choices that are best for your life. Read on to learn more about understanding how your menstrual cycle works and how likely you are to be pregnant.

Understanding Your Cycle

Your “cycle” is a hormonal process your body goes through each month to prepare for a possible pregnancy. The length of your cycle is measured from the first day of your period to the day before your next period.

The average length of a woman’s cycle is 28 days, but it can vary from 21 days to 35 days. There are four phases to your menstrual cycle, and they include:

1. Menstrual Phase

The menstrual phase of your cycle is when you have your period. Your progesterone levels drop, and your uterus sheds the lining that was prepared for a pregnancy that did not occur. The menstrual phase typically lasts between three and seven days.

2. Follicular Phase

The follicular phase is about the first half of your cycle: it usually lasts from ten to seventeen days. It starts on the first day of your period and ends when you ovulate. Ovulation marks the time when one of your ovaries releases an egg and is part of the next phase of your cycle.

3. Ovulatory Phase

The ovulatory phase is the only time when you can become pregnant. This is the time in your cycle that the follicular phase has been preparing for – ovulation. Ovulation occurs about fourteen days before your next period begins. Once an egg is released, it has up to 24 hours to be fertilized in the fallopian tube.

An important thing to know about the ovulatory phase is that your sex drive will be at its highest. This noticeable change is due to several hormones that are released as nature’s way to increase the chance of pregnancy if sperm were present in the fallopian tube at the same time as an egg.

4. Luteal Phase

The luteal phase is the second half of your cycle. It starts after ovulation as the egg begins to travel through the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus, and it ends when your next period starts.

Understanding Your Cycle and How Likely You Are To Be Pregnant

Considering all this information about your cycle, how likely are you to be pregnant?

This means you are most likely to become pregnant if sperm is present a few days before ovulation or within 24 hours of when you ovulate. When you put it all together, there can be as much as a six-day window of time each month around ovulation that you are at risk of becoming pregnant.  

Keep in mind that you can become pregnant when you are breastfeeding, bleeding, or using any kind of birth control.

Pregnancy Testing Is Available

If you think you might be pregnant, Willow Womens Center is here to help you with no-cost services provided by compassionate, licensed healthcare professionals. Reach out today for your confidential appointment or call us at 608.312.2025.


How To Tell Your Partner About an Unexpected Pregnancy

The chances of needing to tell a partner about an unexpected pregnancy at some point are pretty high when you consider that nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Even if you have a healthy relationship, it is common to feel a little nervous about telling your spouse/partner that you are pregnant when that wasn’t part of your plans right now.

So, how exactly do you tell them about an unexpected pregnancy? This article will discuss what you can do to make that conversation flow a little easier.

Timing Matters

When you tell your spouse/partner about an unexpected pregnancy, timing matters. Choose to share the news when you have plenty of time to talk or simply can spend time together afterward to process your thoughts and feelings. In other words, telling them that you are unexpectedly pregnant just before you both leave for work would not be ideal.

If either of you is significantly preoccupied or stressed, it may be best to wait. Talking about an unexpected pregnancy just after an argument or before an important job interview could start this journey off on the wrong foot.

Another aspect of timing is to tell your spouse/partner soon after you discover that you are pregnant. This way, you haven’t already spent a great deal of time moving through the phases of coping with an unexpected pregnancy while he is just getting started in the first phase of shock.

Where To Tell Your Spouse/Partner About an Unexpected Pregnancy

In-person and in the comfort of your own space is the ideal place to tell your spouse/partner about an unexpected pregnancy. This will give them a chance to respond honestly, and you can talk freely in a private setting compared to out in public. Showing your partner the positive pregnancy test helps to alleviate his shock, and you probably wouldn’t want to pull that test strip out at your local coffee shop.

Unless your spouse/partner is away for an extended period of time, such as military deployment, definitely do not tell him about an unexpected pregnancy by phone or text message. Next, we’ll discuss what to say because words matter.

How To Tell Your Spouse/Partner About an Unexpected Pregnancy – Choosing Your Words

Before you talk with your spouse/partner, it is critical to remind yourself that you did not get pregnant by yourself. An unexpected pregnancy is not something you need to walk on eggshells about or carry guilt or shame over. Once your mindset is ready, you can think about the words to use when you tell them that you are pregnant.

You are not responsible for your partner’s response to an unexpected pregnancy, but you can choose words that may help set the tone for your conversation about it. For example, consider the difference between hearing, “I have terrible news,” and “My period is late, so I took a pregnancy test today and found out we are pregnant.”

Approach talking with your partner about an unplanned pregnancy with the confidence that this is an issue you can tackle together. Use words that are natural to you but think ahead of time about how you want to phrase them directly and positively.  For example, say, “We are pregnant” rather than “I’m pregnant,” because this did not happen all by yourself.

Give Your Spouse/Partner Space and Time to Process the News

If you are not looking at the pregnancy test results for the first time together, your partner will be in the difficult position of having to react to the news in front of you, and that’s not easy. He may feel compelled to filter his reaction so he does not hurt your feelings, or he may react with unfiltered honesty – and that can be painful if he is initially unhappy about the pregnancy. However, this is not a free pass to treat you disrespectfully, which is never okay.

The moment just after telling your spouse/partner about an unplanned pregnancy is the time to “hold space” for him. Holding space means he has a chance to experience his thoughts without pressure to discuss them right away. He may need to process the news on his own for a bit before coming together to discuss it with you. Don’t take his first reaction personally if it is negative – he is most likely responding to his fears rather than you.

Like you, your spouse/partner will move through many different responses as he comes to grip with the news of a pregnancy neither of you saw coming. Common responses men have to an unexpected pregnancy include:

  • Happiness
  • Shock
  • Fear
  • Denial
  • Anger

Take One Step at a Time

There is no denying that difficult conversations come with the territory of an unexpected pregnancy. Take one step at a time, and do not make any permanent decisions while your emotions are high or conflicted.

Once you have moved beyond the initial shock, you can move on to discuss your feelings about topics ranging from your hopes, dreams, and goals to your fears and next practical steps to making a pregnancy decision. It is essential to take one step at a time as you share honestly about how you feel about your pregnancy options, including parenting, adoption, and abortion.

  • Step 1 – Confirm your pregnancy

Your first step is to confirm how far along you are in your pregnancy and verify that your pregnancy is viable. A viable pregnancy is one that is likely to carry to term successfully rather than end in miscarriage. You can get these answers only by a pregnancy ultrasound performed by your healthcare provider or at an unbiased pregnancy center such as Willow Womens Center.

  • Step 2 – Weigh your options and make your decision

After you know you have a viable pregnancy and how far along you are, talk with an experienced pregnancy advocate who can review your options with you and your partner. The licensed healthcare professionals at Willow Womens Center can provide the information you need about parenting, adoption, and abortion so that you can make a confident decision about your unexpected pregnancy. You will never feel rushed or pressured to make a pregnancy decision; instead, you will be empowered to make the best decision for you and your family.

Willow Womens Center Is Here for You

At Willow Womens Center, we understand how confusing an unplanned pregnancy can be. We compassionately provide confidential, no-cost services to help you make an informed decision about your unexpected pregnancy. Make an appointment at Willow Womens Center today.