Periods are a big part of our life. It’s estimated that a woman will spend the next 40 years regularly menstruating once it comes. It’s certainly not a fun part of the month, but it can be even less fun when it’s late.
Although pregnancy is the most commonly suspected reason for a missed period, explanations can be far less severe.
Why Is My Period Late? — The Most Common Reasons
From simple lifestyle changes to pregnancy, reasons for late periods are numerous. Although we’re naturally inclined to fear the worst, more often than not, our periods are late due to easily explained matters — here’s a list of the most common ones!
Everyday Stressors and Stressful Life Events
Stressful life events are on top of the list of reasons for a late period. Everyday stressors are a major part of our lives, but no matter how accustomed to them we feel, they can influence our health in a serious way.
The death of a loved one, losing a job, divorce, or a stressful exam period can unconsciously put our bodies in a fight or flight mode. This means that our brain will be behaving as if we’re in a life-threatening situation, which means that menstruation could be skipped as it’s not recognized as key to our survival.
Stress hormones can flood your organism and postpone your ovulation, which means a delayed period. Finding effective ways to relax is the only way to bring your body, mind, and hormones back to balance.
Body Mass Fluctuation
Strenuous workout routines, sudden diet changes, and losing or gaining weight can all be a reason for a missed period. People who develop eating disorders can also experience changes in their menstrual cycle or even lose it entirely until they seek treatment.
Sudden weight loss stresses the organism, and the drop in body fat puts ovulation on hold. While it usually goes back to normal once your new weight becomes a natural state for your organism, be sure to visit a doctor to stay on the safe side.
Body fat is essential for a healthy menstrual cycle, but too much of it can cause irregularities or even cause your periods to disappear completely. Obesity might lead to an estrogen overproduction, a hormone that can make a complete mess inside your body.
Going on or off different kinds of birth control can be one of the reasons your period is late. However, finding the right pill can be a lengthy process, and it can take around three months for your period to become regular again.
This happens because birth control pills are a combination of estrogen and progestin. These hormones are combined to prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg during ovulation.
While safe, hormonal birth control can wreak temporary havoc on our system, which is why a missed birth control period is considered quite normal. IUDs, implants, and pills will have the same effect, so it’s necessary to consult medical professionals in finding the right kind of contraception.
The thyroid gland is among the leading delayed period causes. Any change in work of this gland (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism) can make a hormonal imbalance that’ll cause your period to be late or even completely skipped.
You should bear in mind that this can be a serious condition, or it could turn into a chronic condition if left untreated. The sooner you start treating it, the sooner your periods return to their normal cycle.
However, if there’s a problem with your thyroid, a missed period won’t be the only symptom. Thyroid problems also cause chronic fatigue, hair loss, sleeping issues, or sudden weight changes, all of which are medically relevant reasons to seek help.
PCOS and POI
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) are conditions that can cause an irregular menstrual cycle. Both are caused by a hormonal imbalance and accompanied by other symptoms that’ll be a signal to seek medical attention.
PCOS can cause lighter or heavier periods or result in a skipped period altogether. However, other symptoms of PCOS are weight problems and skin and hair problems, which are usually the first sign that we notice.
POI is a condition that causes early menopause. If you’re younger than 40 and you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, it’s definitely a reason to visit your doctor and get yourself tested.
At the end of our list is the number one answer our brains go to when we wonder: Why is my period late? So if there’s a chance for it, it’s definitely something you should consider and take a pregnancy test.
If your periods are typically regular, wait for around seven days before taking the test, as taking the test too early can result in a false positive. In case your periods are not too regular, determining the right time can be harder, so it would be best to go and see your gynecologist.
If you’re suspecting pregnancy, stay alert to other symptoms that may accompany early pregnancy.
Nausea, fatigue, and tender breasts are the most frequent symptoms of early pregnancy you may experience.
Is It Normal For Your Period To Be Late?
Although panic is the most common first reaction, you should remember that late periods can sometimes be perfectly normal. Of course, this is the case when there are no other symptoms involved.
Some lucky people can say with certainty when their period will come, but in reality, a couple of days difference is no reason to worry. This is because the female menstrual cycle can be anywhere from 24 to 38 days long, and it’s not uncommon for the length of the menstrual cycle to change.
This means that sometimes there are no actual reasons your period is late. For example, if you have no physical symptoms that worry you and don’t suspect an unwanted pregnancy, it’s normal for your period to be a bit irregular.
However, if it’s been over 38 days since day one of your last period, you should go to your medical provider and get checked. Of course, it’s not an immediate reason for concern, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keeping track of your period is important, as menstruation plays a significant role in our reproductive health. In addition, information on our periods can help doctors determine if there’s cause for concern and further examination.
All in all, an occasional late period is no reason for concern. After a couple of years, most women know their bodies enough to recognize all the signs of a period coming late.
We hope we helped you understand periods better or at least calmed you if you came here panicking about your period being late.
How long is it normal for a period to be late?
It’s normal for a period to be a couple of days late. A period is considered late if there have been more than 38 days or if you’re having other symptoms such as pains, fever, nausea, or itchiness.
Why would my period be late if I’m not pregnant?
There are plenty of reasons ranging from stress and contraception to more serious thyroid issues. The best way to determine what could be the reason is by paying attention to your own body and the signs it gives you and being mindful of the recent changes in your life.
Can my period be delayed by ten days?
The period can be delayed for a couple of days; even ten days delay could prove harmless.