Why Is My Period Late: Possible Reasons

Menstruation or periods is a natural process that every woman goes through , but the experience may differ between women. Having regular periods is a sign that your reproductive organs are functioning normally. and the complex interplay between various hormones is in order.

The role of the menstrual cycle is to prepare your body for pregnancy each month. A healthy menstrual cycle can range from every 21 to 35 days. If your period doesn’t fall within these ranges, it could be because of one of the following reasons:

  1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): It is a condition that causes your body to produce more of the male hormone androgen. Cysts form on the ovaries as a result of this hormonal imbalance. It is one of the most common hormonal disorders among women. Irregular periods are a common feature of this condition.
  2. Stress: Prolonged stress affects the part of the brain that stimulates hormonal secretion or the organs that release hormones. Once this rhythm is disturbed, the normal cycle of periods is disturbed.
  3. Low body weight/weight loss: Significant weight loss or intense exercise can cause a woman to miss her period. Being underweight or having a low body-fat ratio can alter reproductive hormone levels, lowering them to a state where menstruation does not occur normally. Women with eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, may also experience missed or late periods.
  4. Obesity: Being overweight can also affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and can sometimes signal that a woman has a medical condition, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  5. Birth Control Pills: Birth control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, which prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs, affecting your menstrual cycle. It can take up to six months for your cycle to become consistent again after stopping the pill.
  6. Perimenopause: The onset of menopause is usually between ages 45 to 55. Many women experience symptoms as early as 10 to 15 years before menopause. This is known as perimenopause and indicates that estrogen levels are beginning to fluctuate which can alter a woman’s menstrual cycle, making it common for women to experience irregular or missed periods.
  7. Chronic or underlying illness: Changes in blood sugar are linked to hormonal changes, so poorly controlled diabetes can cause your periods to be irregular. Celiac disease can also cause late or missed periods. An overactive or underactive thyroid gland is a very common cause of late/early or missed periods.
  8. Pregnancy: A woman with an active sex life should first rule out pregnancy as the possible cause of delay in periods even if she or her partner uses contraception. Women can still get pregnant even if they use birth control correctly.

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Dr Tanvi Gupta

Dr Tanvi is a public health professional. She has women related health issues in India as her major area of interest. She is currently engaged in an awareness programme about incidence of cancer among women in general and cervical cancer in particular.

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