Question: Why is period 3 days late? What symptoms to expect if I am pregnant?
If you’ve not planned for a baby, having to wait for your menstrual period for 3 days can be upsetting. In fact, you will be worried about already being pregnant.
But here’s the thing; Period-due-date fluctuate all the time, and if you are just realizing this, it is not something you should fret about.
Think about your body are a complex place with so many hormones. These hormones have a huge impact on your body and can be easily affected by a change in your usual routine.
For example, shedding pounds so fast over a short period can affect your hormones, and if you are unlucky, will affect your period too.
Besides weight loss, unsleeping nights, stress, and taking some medications like contraceptives can also have a huge impact on your menstrual period.
Having said that, its common to see women panic that a 3 days late period could be pregnancy. The truth is, you are right, and this can only be possible if you’ve had an unprotected sexual activity. If you do become pregnant, you can expect to have symptoms such as
- Back pain
- Mild belly cramps
- Food craving
- Feeling tired
- Weight gain
- Breast pain
Don’t forget, if you don’t still feel this way, it still does not mean that you are not pregnant. The only confirmatory way is to take a pregnancy test.
This article explains the possible reasons why your period is 3 days late and when it could be due to pregnancy.
Why is my period 3 days late?
The menstrual cycle in women lasts between 21 and 35 days. This means that its normal if you have period every 21 or 35 days. If you have a normal regular menstrual cycle and your period is absent after three days, it could be any of these
Being pregnant is one of the most common reasons women miss their period for days. If you had intercourse weeks ago with a 3-day late period, it is advisable to test for pregnancy.
Signs of pregnancy three days after your expected period are:
- Increased discharge before period
- Spotting before your period
- Very early light period
- Abdominal cramps before period
- Breast swelling and pain
- Quickly getting tired
- Frequent urination
Pregnancy test done after missed period may be accurate depending on your blood and urine level of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).
First response test kit can detect pregnancy before and 3 days after your expected period. Just before your period, first response pregnancy kit has an accuracy of 99 percent.
What to do?
You should buy a pregnancy test strip and run a pregnancy test at home or inform your healthcare provider.
If you continue to have stressful weeks and months, it can affect the hypothalamic release of hormones that control ovulation and your period.
How does stress affect ovulation and period?
The body’s hypothalamus, which can be found in the brain, secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone(GnRH). GnRH is released in a pulse-like manner, and its reduction may affect other hormones it controls.
What does GnRH Do?
GnRH causes increased production of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone by stimulating the pituitary gland.
During stressful conditions, GnRH secretion is reduced resulting in low LH and FSH secretions. Low FSH and LH will block ovulation and delay your period.
Therefore, if you continue to have very stressful weeks and months, it may affect your period coming out when due.
3. You just started having period
If you experience three days late period after menarche, then it’s not a problem yet. It may take about six years for your menstrual cycle to normalize.
READ MORE: How often do girls get period
4. You are close to menopause
If you are more than 40 years with a delayed period, then it could be due to peri-menopause.
Perimenopause, which occurs between 40 and 50 years in women, can cause your period to be delayed for three days. You may also notice other symptoms like hot flushes, thinning of bones and very dry vagina.
What can help?
If perhaps you have got these symptoms, systemic estrogen therapy or vaginal estrogen creams can help relieve your symptoms.
5. You have primary ovarian failure
Primary ovarian failure (POF) occurs when a woman’s egg released from the ovarian follicles is exhausted before the age of menopause. It usually occurs before the age of 40.
Possible symptoms of POF are
- Delayed or absent period
- Hot flashes
- Dry vagina
- Reduced sexual desire
- A family history of POF
What to do?
Just like perimenopause, letting your doctor know your problems is vital. Estrogen therapy with calcium and vitamin D supplements helps prevent complications and severe symptoms.
6. You are taking oral contraceptives
Contraceptive pills block ovulation and may affect your period coming out depending on the type of pills you are on.
If your period is 3 days late and you’re on COC pills like Seasonale, then you don’t have to worry. Seasonale pills are taken for about 84 days with a break period. Women on these pills will not have period for four months.
However, if you’ve missed your pills for days, it could be pregnancy. You should inform your doctor or get a pregnancy test done.
7. Emergency contraception
Postinor is an emergency contraceptive pill women take after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy. When taken, it disrupts your body hormones resulting in a late period.
If your period is 3 days late after taking an emergency contraceptive pill, it’s because these pills put off ovulation and eventually delay your period.
8. You had an abortion
If you had an abortion, its possible your period might be irregular for some time. Sometimes, women may experience no period for 2 months if there are complications from your D & C technique. Asherman syndrome may cause women to have no period and be infertile.
9. You lost so much weight
If you’ve lost so much weight or gained so much weight, it can affect your period. 10 percent loss of weight can delay your period.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Share your questions with us below.
Period 3 days late white discharge?
Missed period for 3 days with increased white colored discharge is most likely pregnancy.
Did you have abdominal cramps before your period that is less severe than period cramps? Are you feeling like vomiting? Do you feel tired very easily? Any breast pain and swelling?
During your period cycle, it’s expected that just before your period, your vagina dries out due to progesterone depletion after corpus luteum breakdown. If you still have increased discharge that is whitish or milky white, then it likely pregnancy.
Other reasons you may have 3 days late period and white discharge are late ovulation, breastfeeding and during intercourse.
Can poly-cystic ovarian diseases (PCOS) delay my period?
Yes. Polycystic ovaries occur due to high body androgen. If you have been diagnosed with PCOS and have a late period, then you should inform your doctor.
Other symptoms of PCOS are
- An excessive male pattern of body hair
- Multiple small ovarian cysts on ultrasound
- Irregular period
- Difficulty getting pregnant
My period is 3 days late should I be worried about pregnancy?
Not yet. If your period is just three days late, it could be due to hormone fluctuation that occurs due to stress, exercise or drugs you are taking.
Period 3 days late negative pregnancy test, should I be concerned?
Are you worried about negative pregnancy test 3 days after your expected period?
While it may still be due to pregnancy — if your HCG hormone is low in blood and urine, these are other possible causes
- Hormone imbalance
- Eating disorders
- Weight loss
- Contraceptive use
- Postinor or “plan B” drugs
What causes period 3 days late and cramping?
If you have abdominal cramps after missing your period, it could be pregnancy. Cramps after missed period occur due to increased blood circulation to the uterus.
It’s important to get tested to confirm if you’re pregnant or not.
3 days late period should I test?
If your period is 3 days late, you can test for pregnancy. First response pregnancy kit can detect pregnancy with a 99 percent accuracy a day before your period.
However, if your test is negative after 3 days, you may want to wait until one week and recheck your pregnancy status again.