So you’re worried that you might be pregnant since you have a late period? Hold your horses… There can be many reasons for late periods!
Missing periods is good news for some, and it scares the wit out of others. Period indeed ruins your one week each month, but their absence can be more painful.
Blessed are those who get period. It means that you’re a fertile woman.
Women gauge their pregnancy by telltale signs and late period. But late period can be due to many other reasons.
There are over a dozen reasons for late periods. Pregnancy is only one of them.
If we list the names of diseases that are reasons for late periods, then the list will be endless.
Here’s the deal: Missing periods does not have to mean that you are pregnant. A female can miss periods, or it might be delayed due to a variety of reasons.
So if you’re wondering, why is my period late, then read on…
Top 15 reasons for late Periods
This is the reason for late periods in some cases. You are at high risk if you continue having unprotected sex for an extended period or even once.
Take a home pregnancy test and find out whether bun is in the oven or not. Pregnancy tests give the best result when taken one week after the due date.
A home pregnancy test identifies the presence of hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin in urine. It is the hormone released during pregnancy.
Stress is a real bugger as it leads to a headache, acne, skin issues, and weight gain and can also make you skip periods. Mental or physical stress increases the levels of adrenaline and cortisol (a hormone) in the body.
Under such stressful conditions, the body temporarily stops the processes that are non-essential. Processes like the reproductive cycle don’t go on normally when you have stress.
This causes late period and delays periods for months. All the regular functions restore once the body is no longer under pressure.
Exercise is great for the body but often than not, people lose themselves and go overboard. Their food intake drops and enough estrogen is not formed to complete the menstrual cycle.
Gymnasts, athletes miss their periods three months in a row. They are at increased risk of developing amenorrhea (complete absence of periods). Working out excessively and not having enough food can lead to disruptions in the menstrual cycle.
Slowing down and gaining some weight will get you right back on track.
4) Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a disorder affecting lots of females lately. It causes an imbalance in your hormone levels causing you to have delayed periods or missing them entirely.
PCOS causes altered levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. There is a lack of ovulation. Most women experience irregular periods, and the others have no periods at all.
Other symptoms include hair growth on face and chest, weight gain, hair fall and fertility issues.
5) Weight irregularities
Weight also plays some role here. It affects the gland present in our brain called the hypothalamus that regulates the processes. If you have gained weight or lost it, it throws your ovulation cycle off.
Low food intake, weight loss and being underweight stress the hypothalamus. It is the part of the brain responsible for hormonal coordination. It, in turn, affects estrogen production. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia also cause such a change.
Being overweight or sudden weight gain leads to increased production of estrogen leading to delayed periods. You may go for months without menstruating.
The endometrial lining of the uterus keeps thickening, and when it sheds off, it results in heavy periods.
6) Irregular sleep pattern
If you have just shifted to a night job or have moved to a different country with another time zone, your menstrual cycle gets delayed.
Anything that disturbs your circadian rhythm, also disrupts your periods making them irregular.
Irregular sleep pattern is a reason for late periods we often ignore. Circadian rhythm is the internal clock that controls body processes.
If you are lactating, you will also be most likely missing periods. The hormone prolactin formed during breastfeeding suppresses the menstrual cycle temporarily. It is lactational amenorrhea or natural conception.
But this does not guarantee that you cannot get pregnant. Sometimes woman ovulates during breastfeeding, and this is the reason for a late period.
Your periods will come back within eight weeks after weaning off your child. If they do not occur within three to four months, visit your obstetrician/gynecologist.
Birth control pills also affect periods. If you are on birth control pills, your hormone levels would have taken a dip. Low level of hormones means thin endometrial lining. Estrogen levels regulate the thickness of vaginal lining.
Medicines that lower estrogen cause light periods. Sometimes the periods can be so light with no endometrial lining to shed. This is the reason for the late period while on medications.
9) Thyroid dysfunction
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck. The thyroid is responsible for regulating bodily functions.
If you are suffering from hyperthyroidism, a condition in which a lot of thyroid hormones, you are likely to have light periods. In situations like hypothyroidism with low quantities of thyroid hormones, the periods are heavy.
The thyroid is an unknown reason for the late period. Both these conditions cause disruptions and irregularities in the menstrual cycle. They might delay your periods or skip them.
10) Chronic diseases like the celiac disease
Metabolism diseases like Diabetes and celiac disease alter the sugar balance in the body.
The changes in blood sugar change the glucose crossing blood-brain barrier. This will affect the hormones produced by the brain.
Hormones control and coordinate the reproductive cycles. Change in hormone cycles can cause late periods.
Any chronic disease like ovarian cancer is also a reason for late periods.
11) Birth control pills
Birth control pills have estrogen and progestin. These hormones alter the normal physiology of your body. When you start taking birth control, it takes time for your body to change the rhythm of the period.
Similarly, in some cases when a woman stops birth control, she may take six months to get her period. Birth control pills are reasons for the late period in most cases.
Perimenopause is the pre-menopause stage. The reproductive phase of life comes to an end after Perimenopause.
Female hormones decline during Perimenopause. If you are an older woman who is transitioning from a reproductive age to a non-reproductive age, your periods will be frequent or less frequent.
Perimenopause causes heavy or light period depending on your body. But whatever they are, they will be not normal or regular. Perimenopause causes late periods in women above 30 years of age.
Do not take this as an opportunity to have unprotected sex as you still might be fertile at some of the times.
13) Sickness or low immunity
Any illness like flu or cold lowers your immunity. Body’s energy is diverted for fighting the infection.
Typhoid, Cholera and Chickenpox patients lose a lot of weight. Such illness that drains your energy can cause the late period.
Sickness is another reason for the delayed period. Normal period cycle resumes after you recover from the disease.
Unbelievable but true. Miscalculation is one of the reasons for the late period. So if you miscalculate your period cycle, you’ll expect your period early.
Some women have longer menstrual cycles. If she hopes her period after 28 days, she will not get it. It is not late period.
After menopause, some women might get spotting for few months. After that, her menstrual cycle will undergo cessation forever. Menopause is the reason for no period.