What Are The Causes Of Delayed Period?
There are varying causes of a delayed period besides pregnancy. Here's a detailed list of other varying factors that can delay your period.
When some women don't see their period at the appropriate time, it gets them worried. Although late periods are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, there are other possible causes of delayed period.
Causes of delayed period: Why Is My Period Late?
Besides pregnancy, some worry because it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. Either way, there are other reasons as to why your period can come a little later than expected.
- The birth control you're taking
Birth controls that use hormonal methods make it almost impossible to have a regular 28-day cycle. When you take hormonal birth control, it brings a combination of oestrogen and progesterone into your body for a particular amount of time. This is then followed by some free days, which then triggers a period. Some birth control pills work in combination where you have to take active pills that'll last for almost 21 days of your cycle. Then towards the end of your cycle (4th week), you take the inactive pills to allow your period to come through. As a result, your uterus lining becomes so thin that there isn't enough lining to cause a period.
The impact of stress isn't only physical most of the time. For many women, the biological impact of stress can cause them to either have a shortened or prolonged cycle or even none at all. In fact, for some women their periods end up coming with painful cramps when they're under stress. However, what one woman may feel as stressful is different for another woman. But what is the same for every woman is that when they get stressed, it affects a part of their brain that controls the hormones that stimulate their ovaries. To prevent this, you are advised to avoid conditions that stress you. Also, get enough sleep and exercise.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
This is very common among women who have reached the age of childbearing. And the sure effect of this condition is for the woman's cycle to either become irregular or her period might just stop coming altogether. This happens because, during a normal menstrual cycle, each of your ovaries produces five of what are called follicles. These follicles now compete within themselves for the one that will produce a mature egg. But if a woman has PCOS, it forces her to produce more follicles, making the competition time even longer than usual.
In the end, the follicles might not release any eggs at all, which means no menstruation. However, the symptoms of PCOS vary for different women, but the condition causes the hormone levels of all who have it to become abnormal. As a result, small growths filled with liquid may develop on the ovaries, excessive hair on the breast and face or excess weight.
- Weight loss
It may surprise you that losing too much weight may affect your period cycle. When you're underweight or have a low body fat ratio, it can affect the levels of your reproductive hormones, reducing it to the point where you can neither ovulate or menstruate. This happens because when you're underweight, your body communicates to your brain that you're starving, and under such circumstances, pregnancy cannot happen. If you've ever wondered why lean female athletes hardly get pregnant, here's your reason.
Menopause is a time in a woman's life when she stops menstruating entirely. This happens about the age of 52 when a woman first goes 12 months without menstruation. However, some women can experience the symptoms of menopause 10 to 15 years earlier. When this happens the woman is experiencing perimenopause, a sign that her hormone levels have become irregular. So, if you're under the age of 45 and your period stops coming totally, you may be experiencing perimenopause.
- A tumour
This is uncommon but it still happens. Your late period might just be because you have a pituitary tumour that releases an excess amount of hormone that triggers breast milk production. If you notice that you have breast milk when you're not breastfeeding, then you have to see a doctor immediately.
- Excess weight
Adding excess weight has the same effect as being underweight when it concerns late periods. If you're overweight and notice that you're having delayed periods, that might be a sign that you have PCOS. See your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis.
To help the doctor find out the possible causes of your delayed period, you must keep records. Take record of the start and end dates of your period. There are plenty of smartphone applications that can help you keep these records easily.
Read also: What are the causes of irregular periods?