Early Periods and Pregnancy Symptoms

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I have always had normal periods. I am 21 years old, I have a 4-year-old, and 2-year-old twins.

The month before this one, my period came almost 2 weeks early, and this month it was a week earlier than last month.

Even though an early period may be the last thing most would expect with pregnancy, I feel like I am. Last month my period seemed the same as usual, I bleed for 2-3 days, stop for one and continue again for another 2-3 days. This month I bleed for 2 1/2 days, then skipped a day, and spotted for one more. I have been sick, through the night, into the afternoon, frequent urination, and lower back pain, and headaches off and on.

I know the best thing would be to go to the doctor, but at the moment I have no medical insurance and can't afford a doctors visit. I wanted to buy a hpt, but with the cost of them, my husband says wait until next month, but thats so far away.

What would your opinion be? Do you think I could be pregnant or my hormones are just off?

Thank you for your time.

ANSWER

It could actually be either one or neither. Dehydration could explain many of your symptoms, for instance, as could many medical conditions. Many towns have clinics that give free pregnancy tests; you might check the phone book to see if there are any in your area.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.