We always use a condom but my period is late. Could stress be the cause since several pregnancy tests were negative? #1005/13

Hi Dr. Hatcher,

I have been off the pill since June and got a normal period in July. My last period began August the 18th.  Today is October 15th and I still haven’t had a period since August.  I had a pretty stressful week during 16-27 of September, with mid-terms and final projects (I slept less than 5 hours each night during that period of time).

 My boyfriend and I always use condoms. I did about 4-6 home pregnancy test all of which came negative since last week. I can’t remember exactly when, but maybe a week ago I had slight spotting for only one day. It was really light the flow, the spotting was like a brownish color.

Should I get a blood exam done? Should I be worried that I’m pregnant?

I wouldn’t try to eliminate your worry, but I would tell you that if your boyfriend and you put his condon on before his penis was ever placed inside your vagina AND no breakage of the condom was ever noted, then your risk from using a condom perfectly is very, very, very low.  Your repeated pregnancy tests suggests that you are NOT pregnant.  A blood test is not necessary.


Stress may well be the culprit causing your late period.


Does the condom go onto him before his penis goes into you?  Who puts the condoms on?   Since August 18th about how often have you and he had sex?



Her reply on 10-15: “We put a condom on before his penis touches me.  We have sex quite often and we always check to see if there has been a tear on the condom after the act.  I usually put the condom on him, but sometimes he puts it on himself.


I forgot to mention that I used to have really irregular periods (sometimes I wouldn’t get a period for 3-4 months) before I started using the pill.  I don’t know if being off the pill has made me irregualr again.”


You are both doing very, very well.

RAH’s third reply: You might be interested to know that condom breaks in a very high percentage of cases usually preceed ejaculation.  Checking the condom before ejaculation will detect most breaks and if a break is found, you could put a second condom on over the first one for your boyfriend.


Her reply on 10-17: “Today I went to do a blood test for pregnancy (gravidex exam).  It was negative.  I think my period is just being irregular.  Thank you for your help Dr. Hatcher!”


 To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of  condoms , go to www.managingcontraception.com and click on Choices 2013 edition.  You can also order this wonderful new educational book from our website or by calling 404-875-5001.  Do you have your copy yet?  It is available in English and Spanish.


Key Words:  birth control pills, period, stressful, school, condoms, home pregnancy tests, negative, spotting, blood exam. pregnant, vagina, breakage, risk, penis, tear, irregular menstrual cycles
Posted 10-21-2003, Updated 10-21-2013, Updated 11-21-2013, Updated 11-24-2013, Updated 12-12-2013, Updated 1-5-2014


Posted on

January 7, 2014