Reasons for a Late Period
You’ve opened your bag and noticed a pack of sanitary pads, and you suddenly realize you have a delayed period. But there is nothing to worry about. A late period is not as serious or as unusual as you may think of it. Reasons for late periods could be many, most related to your health or lifestyle.
Start of Menstruation
You’ve just started menstruating and it is extremely normal to have an irregular period for the first few months.
A normal menstrual cycle generally lasts from 21 to 35 days in healthy women, but this may vary depending on various reasons. Most girls experience irregularity when they first start menstruating.Your body takes time to adapt to all the hormonal changes that are happening. Some months, your cycle might be 45 days, but in others, it might be 23. It takes about a year for your body to get on a regular schedule.So, no worries! Just the fact that you’ve started to have your period could be a cause for a late period.
Stress can take a toll on your body. If you’ve been under an unusual amount of stress recently it can greatly affect your hormone levels and interfere with your period. In case you have had more than one missed period, you may want to talk to your doctor. If you suspect you have a delayed period due to stress, try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing focus to get back on track.
While it is necessary to give your body adequate activity for staying healthy and boosting your mood, unwarranted exercise can cause hormonal irregularities that result in delayed periods. Extreme exercise can cause affect your pituitary and thyroid hormones, leading to changes in ovulation and menstruation.
Whether you are underweight or overweight, any sudden weight change can affect your menstrual cycle. Rapid weight fluctuation due to illness, medication, or dietary changes, may interfere with hormones, being one of the reasons for delayed periods.Obesity influences estrogen and progesterone and may even result in decreased fertility. A very high body mass index is generally associated with a missed period.
One of the common reasons for a late period is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) a condition experienced by many women. It is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones in which cysts form on the ovaries, disrupting ovulation, resulting in a delayed period or sometimes no period altogether. PCOS is common, and often can be dealt with by medication. Some PCOS symptoms include:
- Excess facial hair
- Thinning of your tresses
- Weight gain
- Dark patches of skin
An imbalance of hormones such as prolactin or thyroid can be associated with a missed period or a delayed period. A simple blood test can determine if you have any of these underlying hormonal conditions. Some symptoms of thyroid conditions include:
- Heart palpitations
- Abnormal weight change
- Appetite changes
- Trouble sleeping
Birth control pills
Many women take the pill for making their periods regular however there can be an opposite effect, especially during the first few months of use. Similarly, when you stop taking the pill, it can take a few months for your cycle to get back to normal. As your body is adapting the return to its baseline hormone levels, you may have a missed period for a few months.
A late period is commonly seen as a sign that the egg your ovaries released that month has been fertilized by a sperm cell. In simpler words, you are pregnant. When you conceive, you don’t get your period until after you give birth. Hence, if you are sexually active and suspect a fair chance of you being pregnant, you may want to take a home pregnancy test that you could buy at any medical store. However, you must also see a doctor.
Now that you know the reasons for missed periods – hopefully, you feel more relaxed. Most of the time, it is the hormone fluctuations and your lifestyle that cause late periods.
How much delay in periods is normal?
A delayed period is considered so if you have not started five or more days after the day you expected it to start, based on your tracking of dates of the last period. It is considered a missed period if you have had no menstrual flow for six or more weeks after the beginning of your last period.
What to do when periods are late?
There is no reason to fret at all with delayed menses. As you’ve read, stress also affects your hormones and thus your menstruation. Therefore, try and not stress over a late period. Always be prepared!
With a bunch of reasons for delayed periods, you can continue with your daily activities knowing exactly why it could be late. Be sure to see a doctor in case of an extreme delay.