Why Is My Period Late?
  • Understand Period Delay Reasons
  • Hormonal Birth Control
Why Is My Period Late?

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Reasons For A Late Period or Why Is My Period Late?

Many of us had mini panic attacks due to delayed menstruation, understandably so. However, there are multiple causes of delayed menstruation apart from pregnancy. The various factors that can affect your monthly menstrual cycle are changes in weight, stress levels, dietary changes, additional medication or supplements, birth control, and more. In case a few days of delayed menstruation is the case, you might not need to worry. In case there is a prolonged irregularity in your menstrual cycle you might want to consult your gynecologist. If you do not have a known medical condition such as Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or Poly-Cystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD) your periods should be within 24 to 38 days of your last period.

In case your period is delayed by a day or two it should not be of concern, if a period is delayed by 7 days it is a late period, and if the period is missed by more than 2 -3 weeks, it is a missed period. In this article we shed light on the various causes of delayed menstruation and if you should be concerned.

Causes of Delayed Period

There are many causes of a delay period, some of them are:

  • You May Be Stressing A Little Too Much Instead of focusing on your delayed menstruation maybe re-think the past few days or weeks of your life. Consistent stress and tension can throw your hormones off their cycle leading to irregular or delayed menstruation. Any changes in your routine such as sleep cycle, or dietary changes, can affect your body causing stress. Excessive stress may also affect the hypothalamus, the part of your brain that regulates your periods.
  • Obesity Sudden weight gain or weight fluctuations can cause your periods to be delayed. Obesity can lead to overproduction of estrogen, a key hormone for your reproductive system. However, if your body starts producing estrogen in excess chances of having delayed menstruation increase.
  • Thyroid The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland present at the base of your neck and plays a vital role in regulating your periods. In case the gland is overactive or underactive also known by the medical terms hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism your periods could be delayed. Thyroid problem has seen a significant rise due to multiple lifestyle changes such as irregular sleeping schedule, overworking, unhealthy dietary habits, and more leading to unhealthy reproductive health.
  • Birth Control If you are consuming a prescribed hormonal birth control medication you already are aware of the possible consequences of an irregular period cycle. Hormonal birth control contains a combination of progestin and estrogen which are essential hormones to prevent pregnancy. Some hormonal birth control may also lead to a false period which basically means that you have a hormone-free week with the pills or patch you are using.
  • May Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) It is a hormonal irregularity or condition that causes your body to produce more of the male hormone also known as androgen which may lead to the formation of cysts in your ovaries. The formation of these cysts in your ovaries may result in irregular ovulation or make it stop completely. It is a common condition among many females due to a hectic and stressful lifestyle.
  • Chronic Illnesses Delayed menstruation is a common symptom when you are suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes. Due to irregular blood sugar levels as a diabetic patient, it may affect your periods. It is not a common symptom but if diabetes is not managed properly by a patient irregular periods can become a problem.
  • Pre-Menopause It is the time during which a woman is transitioning from her reproductive phase to menopause which can last for a year or two or more. It is a difficult phase for any woman as the menstrual cycle is irregular along with multiple other symptoms such as insomnia, hot flashes, mood changes, cramps, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and more. The average age for menopause is 51 years but pre-menopause may start in your 40s making your menstrual cycle irregular.
  • Excessive Consumption of Intoxicants or Smoking In case you are someone who is a regular smoker, it may affect your menstrual cycle as smoking and regular consumption of alcohol may lead to hormonal imbalances leading to delayed menstruation.

When To Consult A Doctor In Case of A Delayed Period?

In case you have missed your period not due to pregnancy but due to other symptoms like stress, irregular lifestyle changes, hormonal birth control, or any other it is best advised to consult your gynecologist in order to determine the root cause of delayed menstruation and detect any underlying medical conditions on time.

What Is Our Takeaway?

Menstrual cycles are different for every woman. It is essential to note that while the generic menstrual cycle is a 28-day cycle, it may vary for each and every person varying between 28 to 34 days or more. A few days of difference here and there will not make a difference as such. However, if you have delayed menstruation every month and it is accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, nausea, or bleeding that lasts longer than 72 hours it is best to see your doctor immediately.

Reasons For A Late Period or Why Is My Period Late?: FAQs

1. How many days are considered to be a delayed menstruation cycle?

If your periods are delayed by 1 or 2 days it is considered to be normal. However, if they are late by a week it is considered as a late period. In case your periods are delayed by more than 2 weeks, it is best to consult a doctor and reach the root cause of the delayed period.

2. What are the causes of a delayed period?

There are various reasons for your periods to be delayed. The most common one is pregnancy. However, if you are not pregnant, delayed menstruation can be a cause of changed lifestyle habits, increase in stress, hormonal imbalance, lack of sleep, lack of proper nutrition, and more.

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Simran Kaur Vij

Written By: Simran Kaur Vij

Simran is an insurance expert with more than 3 years of experience in the industry. She may have all the answers to your insurance queries. With a background in Banking, she proactively helps her readers to stay on par with all the latest Insurance industry developments.