Eight Possible Causes of a Late or Missed Menstrual Period

A late period can be very disturbing, particularly if a woman is used to having regular periods or is concerned about an unplanned pregnancy. However, there are many other reasons why a woman might have a late period.

READ ALSO: Why Do I Have Two Periods In a Month?

Eight Possible Causes of a Late Period

  1. Weight loss

Intense exercise or weight loss can make a woman to miss her period or for her period to come late. A low body-fat ratio can change the reproductive hormone levels, which in turn affects menstruation and ovulation.

READ ALSO: 10 Reasons Not to Ignore Spotting or Bleeding After Period

A woman who has missed one or several periods after losing a major weight should consult a doctor or dietician about getting the appropriate amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

  1. Birth control

Birth control can cause a woman to miss a period. A hormonal birth control provides a form of estrogen combined with progesterone for a specific amount of time, followed by several hormone-free days. The withdrawal of these hormones triggers a period.

These hormones tends to make the lining of the uterus so thin that there is not enough of the lining to shed that will trigger a period to occur. This applies to all forms of hormonal birth control, including pills, implants, patches, shots, and rings. Women should speak to a doctor with any concerns about their birth control method.

  1. Stress

Extended stressful activities can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, making it late, missed, longer or shorter. Some women also experience more painful menstrual cramps when experiencing stress.

READ ALSO: What Can I Do About My Menstrual Cramps?

Avoid the situations that cause the stress, like getting enough sleep and taking regular exercise, can help eliminate stress and maintain a regular menstrual cycle.

  1. Perimenopause

The mean age of menopause is around the age of 52 when a woman has not had a period for at least 12 months.

Many women experience symptoms as early as 10 to 15 years before menopause. This is known as perimenopause – a level that indicates estrogen levels are beginning to fluctuate.

Irregular estrogen levels can change a woman’s menstrual cycle, causing it common for women in perimenopause to experience irregular or missed periods.

  1. Obesity

Being overweight or obese can also affect a woman’s menstrual cycle. Obesity and missed periods can mean a woman has an underlying medical condition, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), so it is vital for a woman to be correctly diagnosed by a doctor.

The doctor may recommend blood tests or an ultrasound to look at the ovaries to ensure there are no causal underlying medical conditions responsible for the missed periods.

  1. PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, is one of the most common hormonal disorders among women, especially those of childbearing age. Though the symptoms vary between individual women, those who have PCOS appear to have abnormal hormone levels, which can cause formation of small cysts on the ovaries, excess facial and body hair, acne, male-pattern baldness, and obesity. Common symptoms of PCOS are Irregular or missed periods.

READ ALSO: Best diet for PCOS

Women who suspect that they have PCOS should visit their doctor for an evaluation. An absence of periods during childbearing years may lead to endometrial cancer if not properly treated.

  1. Pregnancy

Even if women are using contraception, they should not rule out pregnancy as a possible reason that their period is late or missed. Women can still get pregnant even if they correctly use birth control. There are no forms of birth control that are 100 percent effective. Anyone who is pregnant should seek prenatal healthcare right away after getting a positive pregnancy test. Women with missed periods who has a negative result on the home pregnancy test should consult a doctor.

  1. Hormonal conditions

Prolactin or thyroid hormones can cause a woman’s period to be late or missed. If hormonal imbalance is responsible for a missed or late period, it can easily be detected with a blood test.

READ ALSO: How To Balance Hormones Naturally to Boost Fertility

The cause of these hormonal imbalances needs to be examined by a doctor. Some hormonal imbalances are a common problem that runs in families. Medications can help periods return to their normal cycle in most cases.

It can be helpful for a woman who has missed several periods in a row to keep record of her periods, including the start and end dates, and a list of any other related symptoms. If a doctor has a written record to refer to, they can quickly make a diagnosis.

Having regular check-ups with a gynecologist can help address many questions about menstrual cycles.

However, certain symptoms may require medical attention. They include:

  • missing several periods in a row
  • having symptoms of PCOS
  • having gained or lost a lot of weight
  • feeling overly stressed
  • a positive pregnancy test


Disclaimer: The content provided on healthdiary365.com is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.

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