Pregnancy is by far the most common reason to miss out on the periods. However, some lifestyle and medical conditions can also affect your menstrual cycle. Here, are 10 common reasons for a missed or late period-
- Change in Weight
Extreme changes in weight like being overweight, or underweight impact your cycle. Obesity influences estrogen and progesterone which may even lead to issues with fertility. High body mass index (BMI) is associated with missed periods. Being severely underweight interferes with regular menstrual cycles as well. The body cannot produce the hormones if the body lacks fat and other necessary nutrients. Rapid weight changes due to illness, medication, or dietary changes may interfere with hormone production or release and may cause you to miss one period or more. The weight gain will help your periods.
- Profound Stress
Intense stress stimulates the production of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH)—a hormone that regulates ovulation and the menstrual cycle. Both physical and psychological stress can cause a delayed period. Missing one period while going through a stressful situation is very common. However, if you're under prolonged stress and miss more than one period, then you must visit your healthcare provider. Once your stress is back to a manageable level, it may take a few months or more for your cycles to become regular.
- Excess Exercise
Extreme exercise can impact ovulation and menstruation by impacting pituitary hormones and thyroid hormones. Working out for one or two hours per day shouldn't affect your menstrual cycle. It takes hours upon hours of demanding exercise every day for these hormonal changes to occur. This may include:
Optimizing your diet with nutritious foods that boost your energy
Teaching you stretching techniques to reduce physical stress
Performing blood tests to check for iron or vitamin deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, dehydration, and more
- Perimenopause or Menopause
Perimenopause is the period of transition between reproductive age to a non-reproductive age. Your periods may be lighter, heavier, more frequent, or less frequent during this time.
Menopause is when you have reached the point in your life where you will no longer ovulate or menstruate. The average age of menopause is 51 years old.
Chronic illness that can impact the menstrual cycle includes- Thyroid disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Pituitary tumors, Diseases of the adrenal gland, Ovarian Cysts, Liver Dysfunction, and Diabetes.
Some medications like thyroid medications, antipsychotics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, and chemotherapy medications, may cause your period to be absent or delayed.
- Change in your daily schedule
Your body clock is equally proportionate to the change in schedules. Your period can be honestly unpredictable if your calendar is all over the place. Such a lifestyle pattern can cause your period to start earlier or later than you expected or you might completely miss your period.
- Breast Feeding
You may experience light periods, occasional periods, or no periods when breastfeeding, mainly if breastfeeding offers your baby all or nearly all of your calories. You may get pregnant, even if you don’t have periods.
The menstrual cycle may vary for young girls attaining puberty or who are just starting to get their periods. A young woman who has only had a few cycles may go months without another one until a regular pattern begins.
- Ectopic Pregnancy
There is a small chance that your missed period could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy can sometimes happen due to the shape of the IUD, and you may not test positive on a pregnancy test, either. Your healthcare provider can check for it with a pelvic examination or an ultrasound.