It’s easy to think you’re pregnant when you realize your period is late. However, if you are not trying to conceive or have sex, there may be other reasons why you have a delay in your menstrual cycle.
Here are 8 reasons why your period is late.
You already know that stress can have a number of unpleasant side effects, such as headaches, weight gain, and acne, and it can also affect your menstrual cycle. When you are under physical or emotional stress, your body produces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Elevated levels force the brain to decide which bodily functions are essential and which are not, until the anxiety-inducing event is over.
2. Excessive exercise
Exercising excessively without eating enough calories can cause interruptions. Some signs that it is being exaggerated include extreme or rapid weight loss; decreased physical performance; or forcing yourself to exercise due to injury, illness, or bad weather. Losing a bit and gaining a bit of weight if necessary should get things back on track.
3. Hormonal imbalance
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which female sex hormones are out of balance. PCOS can cause cysts on the ovaries and prevent ovulation from occurring regularly. In addition to menstrual or irregular periods, PCOS can also contribute to excessive hair growth, acne, weight gain, and possibly infertility. Your doctor may do a blood test to check your hormone levels if he thinks PCOS may be the reason for your menstruation problems. If PCOS is the cause, your doctor may recommend birth control to regulate your periods.
4. Low or high weight
Your weight can affect your hypothalamus, a gland in your brain responsible for regulating various processes in the body, including your menstrual cycle. Extreme weight loss, low calorie intake, or very low weight stress the hypothalamus and your body will not release the estrogen necessary to build the lining of the uterus.
When you put a chemical in your body (including herbal supplements), it can cause a chain reaction that spreads through different systems. Birth control, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and chemotherapy can cause a missed period. If you recently started taking a new medicine and started skipping periods, tell your doctor to see if it is a normal side effect. For example, with some birth control, including IUDs, the shot, and certain birth control pills, your period may stop completely.
If you are breastfeeding, you may not see your period for some time, as prolactin, the hormone responsible for breast milk production, also suppresses ovulation. Many mothers do not have a period for months (or not at all) while breastfeeding.
But a break in your cycle doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. Remember, ovulation happens before your period comes. You may ovulate and then get pregnant before you see your period.
The average age of menopause is 51 years. At any time between two and eight years earlier, a woman experiences what is known as perimenopause, a period in which the body gradually produces less estrogen. During this time, it is not uncommon to experience changes in your menstrual cycle: periods can be more or less frequent, be shorter or longer, or be lighter or heavier. But you’re also likely to experience hot flashes and night sweats, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. If you are concerned about your symptoms, your doctor can monitor your hormone levels with a blood test.
8. thyroid disorder
When the thyroid, the gland responsible for your body’s metabolism, doesn’t work properly, it can cause abnormal menstrual changes. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can make your periods lighter and less frequent. Additional symptoms include weight loss, rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, and trouble sleeping.
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can also make your periods less frequent but heavier. Hypothyroidism can also lead to weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, and hair loss. A blood test can help your doctor determine if you have a thyroid disorder.