Illness Can Affect Your Menstrual Cycle

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I came down with the flu on the day that I was supposed to get my period. It is now a week later and I have not yet gotten my period but my cold has gotten better. I usually experience heavy back pain and cramps 3 days before my period. I have not gotten any of these symptoms. Instead I am nauseous and emotional. Calculating on the time I was ovulating, and the time I had intercourse, I should be pregnant right now. I have bought a box of pregnancy tests(2) and they both said negative.

My question is...could the flu affect my menstrual cycle to the point where I am a week late? Or does this mean I am pregnant?

Please let me know. My husband and I desperately want a child and don't know if this cold is what is tripping us up.

Thank you.
Courtney

ANSWER

Illness can definitely delay ovulation, and therefore your period. Of course you will know one way or the other in another month, but I'm sure you want to know sooner. I'd suggest re-testing two weeks after you expected your period. If you are still negative and miss a second period, then it is time for a check-up.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.