Flu or Pregnancy Symptoms

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I am not sure what is going on. I was hoping you could help.

I had my last period at Christmas. It has only been a little past new years that it stopped and that was only about 10 days ago plus or minus a day. I should also mention that my fiancé and I had a broken condom during that time.

This week I have been having a weird feeling in my abdomen that seems to make me have to pee every hour on the hour, along with nausea, my breasts are unusually tender/sore when touched and it seems no matter how much I sleep it doesn't help because I wake up tired and now I'm spotting.

My fiancé thought it was just my period again however I am usually very regular. Especially since my hypothyroidism was taken care of a year ago. I also have lupus.

Do you think could be pregnant? I will be so happy if you say it could just be the flu. I don't know what to do. I know it would probably be too soon to show up on a test.

Thank you.

ANSWER

If you are regular, your period comes every 28 days, and your last period began Christmas Day, then we would expect you to conceive about January 8. Of course, sperm can last up to 5 days, so if the condom broke on or after January 3, it is possible that you conceived. It doesn't hurt to do an early pregnancy test, but you are right, the best time to take a test is the day after your period is supposed to begin, so January 23 in your case. Meanwhile, you should be taking prenatal vitamins, abstaining from drugs, tobacco and alcohol, and eating as healthy as you can. Good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM

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.