Protected Sex But Late Period

My girlfriend and I have been having protected sex (condoms, pulling out when she ejaculates) but her period is late. We are both worried that she is pregnant and want to know what to do next?

It is very common for women to have a delayed period. It is not usually due to sex.


Stress is one of the most common short-term causes of a missed period. It can cause an imbalance of hormones in your body that affects how your menstrual cycle works. High levels of stress can also suppress the action of hormones that trigger ovulation.2

If you are under a lot of stress, talk to your doctor about ways to manage it. They can help you find healthy ways to relax and take the pressure off.

Many women think that having sex can delay their periods, but this is not the case. In fact, having sex even right before your period can actually cause your period to come on sooner. This is because the sex can cause the release of sperm, which can lead to pregnancy. However, if you have sex and are using a condom, this should not cause a delay in your period.

Some long-term conditions can also cause late periods, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This condition is caused by an imbalance of hormones, including too little progesterone and too much androgen. This can interfere with ovulation, which may cause your periods to be delayed or irregular. Other diseases that can cause late periods include diabetes, celiac disease, and thyroid problems.

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Hormonal birth control

When you’re on the pill, it works by releasing hormones that prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs and thickening your cervical mucus to block sperm. It’s important to use the right kind of pills for your body and your lifestyle. But sometimes the hormones can cause a late period, especially if you change pill brands or skip a day. If you aren’t pregnant, a missed or light period is still normal. But you should continue to practice safe sex and protect yourself from STIs with condoms.

If you are on a Sunday-start pill (like Novelon, Dear 21, Ovral G or Duoluton L) or an extended-cycle pill like ellaOne, remember to start the new pack on your first day of bleeding or if you miss two pills in a row. You’ll need to use back-up contraception for 7 days after missing the pill.

You can also consider switching to a long-acting birth control method like an implant or IUD that lasts a few years. They can give you a break from periods and may work better for your lifestyle. Talk to a sexual health nurse or GP about which method is best for you. You can also visit our Birth Control Explorer to learn more about all the options out there. Some methods, like the implant and IUD, provide protection against pregnancy as well as STIs.


A condom acts as a physical barrier and is the most effective method of birth control against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These include genital warts, herpes, HPV, and hepatitis. Some STIs like hepatitis live in blood and can be transmitted to your partner during unprotected sex. If you have an STI, it can also pass to your unborn baby at pregnancy and during labour and delivery.

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Condoms are easy to use and available in drugstores, supermarkets, and vending machines in some stores. They can be bought individually or in boxes that contain several condoms. They are cheaper when purchased in bulk, and many health centers and family planning clinics distribute them for free.

Some men may find it uncomfortable to wear a latex condom, especially when they have a heavy flow. However, male condoms made from sheep intestines, sometimes called lambskin, are available and provide the same contraceptive effect as latex condoms. They are available at some pharmacies and in some stores in the “family planning” aisle.

Be sure to always use new condoms that have not expired and keep them in a clean place where they will be protected from sharp objects that could puncture them. If your condom breaks or comes off during sex, it’s important to use another form of birth control or abstain from sex until your period has ended.


If you use the most effective methods of birth control, you will almost never get pregnant. However, no method of birth control is 100% effective. So, if you do have unprotected sex (with or without a condom) during your fertile window, you are at risk of becoming pregnant.

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Many girls have irregular periods, which can make it difficult to know when they’re most fertile. Girls with PCOS, for example, may ovulate very differently from cycle to cycle.

Unprotected sex on the first or last day of your period is also more likely to lead to pregnancy than having sex later in the cycle. This is because the sperm is more likely to be active during these days.

While it’s very unlikely to become pregnant after using a condom, it is always wise to take a home pregnancy test just in case. You can find one at a Planned Parenthood health center or at your local drugstore or grocery store.

If you think you’re pregnant, talk to your gynecologist. They’ll be able to help you figure out what the problem is and how to fix it. If you have a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia or genital warts, your doctor will give you an antibiotic to clear it up before you can become pregnant. They will also talk to you about ways to prevent STIs in the future, like by using a barrier method and getting tested for STIs regularly.

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