7 Reasons for Late Period When You Are Not Pregnant
No Signs of Period…
Myriad types of sanitary napkins and tampons filled your eyes as you walked past the women’s hygiene aisle in the pharmacy.
Standing in the middle of the aisle, you picked up your phone from your pocket to check the dates. Two weeks late!
How’s that possible? You’d been on the pill for the past 2 months and there’s still no signs of period.
You let out a sigh and walked straight to your clinic just a few blocks away.
Why is Your Period Late?
Having a late period might come as a surprise to you, especially if you’re not trying to get pregnant. Is it the time to take a test? Not so fast. The truth is, there are many reasons for late periods other than pregnancy. It can be affected by your health, age, diet, stress, and even exercise1.
It’s one of the most common reasons for a delayed period. Too much stress can disrupt your hormonal balance and even affect the hypothalamus — the part of the brain responsible for regulating your periods2.
If you are constantly stressed out, you might lose weight drastically or fall sick – all of which can impact your menstrual cycle3. Speak to your doctor or a counselor if you’re experiencing chronic stress.
Exercise on a regular basis and make sure you get enough sleep during the night. Not only will it eliminate stress, it helps you to maintain a regular menstrual cycle4.
2. Low body weight or obesity
You may experience the absence of menstruation if you have eating disorders including bulimia or anorexia nervosa5. Being underweight, or your body is below 10% the normal range of your height can stop you from ovulating because of hormonal changes6.
On the contrary, being overweight can also affect a woman's menstrual cycle. This is because your body produces an excess amount of estrogen – one of the hormones that regulates your reproductive system7. Consult your dietician or doctor about getting the appropriate amount of nutrients your body needs to regulate your monthly cycle.
3. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition where your ovary produce many harmless follicles that disable the eggs develop, which means ovulation does not take place. Thus, it’s common to have irregular or absent periods are common if you have this condition8.
The symptoms vary between women. It can cause acne, excess facial and body hair, male-pattern baldness, obesity, and small cysts to develop on the ovaries9. If you believe that you could be suffering from PCOS, talk to a doctor that can give you a proper diagnosis and prescribe the treatment that you need.
4. Too much exercise
Any exercise that require rigorous training, combined with other factors, such as stress, low body fat, or high-energy workout may adversely affect your cycle10.
Losing too much body fat through intense exercise stops you ovulating11. Reduce your level of activity if it has caused your period to stop.
If you're a professional athlete, it’s beneficial to consult a doctor who specialises in sports medicine. Take the advice about how to maintain your performance without disrupting your periods.
5. Sleep schedule
Switching to a night shift? Travelling to a different time zone? Staying up late? If you notice your period doesn’t give you a holler on time due to lack of sleep, consider readjusting your snooze to regulate your period.
Not getting enough sleep can impact your hormones, such as your melatonin levels that plays a part of regulating your menstrual cycle12.
Any disruptions to your circadian rhythm — the internal clock that regulates important cellular processes — can cause you to experience irregular periods13.
6. Thyroid issues
Did you know, having thyroid dysfunction can disturb your menstrual cycle? The thyroid regulates your body’s metabolism and produces hormones that help regulate the body’s processes14.
If you have an overactive or underactive thyroid gland, chances are, you could miss or delay your period15. Fortunately, there are treatments for thyroid disorders. Consult an endocrinologist for a blood test if you believe this might be an issue for you.
7. Birth control
Did you know your menstrual cycle changes when you are off or starting your birth control? The pills contain progesterone and estrogen that prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs16.
It’s perfectly normal to get irregular periods once you start or stop birth control. It might take a few months for your period to become regular again17.
Other types of contraception that are implanted or injected can cause missed period too.
Consult Your Doctor or Pharmacist
Having late periods? You are not alone. If you go without your period for several months and your missed periods persist, visit your doctor or get advice from a pharmacist.