“Why is my period late?” a frankly terrifying question.
A late period is sure to freak anyone out. Your brain by default starts concocting wild theories for why you’re not bleeding yet. You know you’ve been going through a dry spell for a really long time now, then what could be the reason!? When the panic level rises to a considerable amount you contemplate a frantic google search: reasons for late period other than pregnancy… and then the search engine comes back with the most horrifying results.
Stop. Take a deep breath. You’re okay. Give this article a read. Things are going to be just fine.
What is a Late Period?
Knowing what actually is a delayed period might be a good place to start. A late or delayed period could mean different things for different people. The absence of bleeding at the expected start time of your menstrual cycle is a delayed period. If your cycle is 28 days long and you don’t get your period by day 29, your period is late. If your cycle varies between 27- 32 days your period isn’t late until day 33 arrives.
How much of a delay is normal in periods?
The general rule in gynecology is that your period is not considered late until a full week has passed by. A period that starts between one and four days earlier or later than expected is considered normal. Having 38 days in between cycles is the maximum delay in periods if not pregnant which is okay. So, don’t panic yet.
What happens when your period is late?
Technically, nothing. But delayed periods are often a sign of underlying concerns that take a while to come into the limelight. So, it is important to keep track of your menstrual cycle and take notes of the variations that happen.
What causes your period to be late?
We have compiled a list of all the possible causes of delayed periods that you should know of before deciding on what to do when periods are late.
Here’s why periods get delayed:
Stress - Can stress cause your period to be late? Yes, it absolutely can. In fact, it is a periods delay reason not many suspect. If you’ve been more stressed than usual, you now know the culprit for your delayed period. Changes that happen in your brain affect all parts of your body, including your reproductive system. When under stress, your body starts producing cortisol. An increase in cortisol levels can mess with your reproductive hormones too. Depending on the kind of stress you’re experiencing, your periods could be delayed by a few days or several months.
Extreme diet and exercise – Exercise elevates your metabolism, which affects your period cycle. Professional athletes who undergo intense training before matches and tournaments often miss several cycles of their periods. Lowering the intensity of your workout will help in coaxing your menstrual cycle to go back to normal.
Perimenopause – Perimenopause is a phase before menopause officially hits, when your periods become more unpredictable. It usually lasts around 4-8 years and starts somewhere in your 40s. This happens because ovulation becomes more infrequent and you miss one or more cycles of menstruation quite often.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – Irregularities of the menstrual cycle is often the first signs of PCOS. PCOS leads to a hormonal imbalance which prevents the egg from developing or releasing properly. If you are experiencing delayed periods along with acne, growth of hair in unusual places such as chest, face, back or buttocks, weight gain, baldness and difficulty in getting pregnant; you might be suffering from PCOS.
Thyroid conditions – Thyroid is the hormone responsible for many activities in your body. Diseases of the thyroid can create too much or too little thyroid hormone and affect your menstrual cycle. It is important to keep checking your thyroid levels and seek treatment if something seems off-balance.
Chronic diseases – Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease or a celiac disease can affect your menstrual cycle. Such diseases often obstruct the activities of important glands and organs which leads to an imbalance. Diabetes has often been linked to anovulation, irregular periods and early menopause.
Pregnancy – What if periods are late? Pregnancy is a late period reason which is a given. If you are sexually active, doctors recommend taking an at-home pregnancy test as soon as you notice you have missed a period. When you become pregnant your body stops shedding the uterine lining which comes out in the form of blood every month.
What to do if your period is delayed?
The first thing you should do before panicking is take a pregnancy test. If you haven’t had a period even after 3 months of your usual date and don’t think you’re pregnant or don’t know why, just visit your ob-gyn. The sooner the better.
How to regulate your menstrual cycle?
Some things that might help along with medications and a visit to the doctor are:
Maintaining a healthy weight
Getting your daily dose of vitamins for a healthy period
Adding ginger and cinnamon to your foods and beverages
This was it from us today! If you have any more period concerns, leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to take it up soon :)