10 Possible Reasons Why Your Periods Are Late
While pregnancy is a possible reason for a missed or late period, other medical and lifestyle factors can delay your periods. This can include weight fluctuations, hormonal imbalances, stress, and menopause. Being aware of these conditions will help you identify and treat them on time to regularize your menstrual cycle.
Reasons Why My Periods Are Late
Women who did not reach menopause usually have a period every 21 to 35 days. If you do not get a period within 35 days, it is considered missed or late. Possible reasons for a missed period include:
1. Low Body Weight
Women with low body weight (10% lower than normal weight)or eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa may experience missed periods. Treating your eating disorders and maintaining a healthy weight will help you normalize your periods.
2. Birth Control
Birth control pills contain progestin and estrogen hormones that prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs, delaying your periods. It can take six months for your cycle to become normal after stopping the pill. Implanted or injected contraceptives can also cause missed periods.
Stress can impact your routine activities and affect the hypothalamus, a part of your brain responsible for regulating your period. Stress can also lead to sudden weight loss or gain or illness, impacting your menstrual cycle. You can practice relaxation techniques, exercise, and make lifestyle changes to better manage your stress.
4. Chronic Diseases
Chronic diseases, such as celiac disease and diabetes, can affect your periods. Poorly controlled diabetes is linked to hormonal changes that cause missed periods. Celiac disease causes inflammation that damages your small intestine, preventing your body from absorbing essential nutrients and leading to late periods.
5. Thyroid Disorder
The thyroid gland produces hormones for regulating your metabolism. However, an underactive or overactive thyroid gland can lead to hormonal imbalance, causing irregular periods.
Obesity leads to excessive levels of estrogen, the major sex hormone that affects the menstrual cycle. Your doctor will recommend a diet or exercise plan to lose excess weight so that you can regulate your menstrual cycle.
7. Early Menopause
For most women, menopause starts between 45 and 55 years of age. However, women who develop symptoms before the specified age are considered to have early menopause. This condition declines your egg supply, resulting in missed periods before you turn 40. This is called premature ovarian failure and occurs when ovaries are not functioning normally. They fail to produce sufficient estrogen and cause an early onset of menopause.
8. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is among the major reasons for missed periods in adult and teenage women. This condition makes your body produce more androgen (male hormone), leading to cyst formation on ovaries, making ovulation irregular or absent. You can also expect insulin imbalance, as insulin resistance is associated with PCOS. Your doctor may prescribe birth control or other medication to treat PCOS and regulate your cycle.
9. Strenuous Exercise Regimen
Missed periods are common in women who train several hours a day that leads to burning more calories. Burning more calories means your body does not have enough energy to keep functioning normally. This causes hormonal imbalance that causes missed periods. Increasing your calorie intake or lessening your workout intensity will make your periods regular.
You may not have periods or have very light or infrequent periods when breastfeeding. However, your periods will be regular after a few months of breastfeeding.
How Much Delay Is Normal in Periods?
A period is considered late if it has crossed 30 days from the start of your last period. After six weeks without bleeding, the late period is regarded as a missed period.
When Should You See a Gynecologist?
Visit your gynecologist if you have:
- Severe pain
- Unusually heavy bleeding
- Bleeding that persists more than a week
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bleeding after reaching menopause and not having periods for a year
Are you looking for the best gynecologist near you for irregular periods, or have any related questions? Schedule an appointment with North Atlanta Women’s Care.
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