he love-hate relationship with your period is one thing every woman can relate with. As annoying, discomforting, and (sometimes) painful as periods can be, we get scared every time they are late unless, of course, you are trying to have a baby. Periods are like that annoying lover you just can’t live without.
As you wonder why your period might be late, there are two likely emotions you could feel: 1). Excitement. 2). Fear. Most women — regardless of age, location, race, and marital status — fall into the second category. Shockingly, we are more often trying not to get pregnant than we are looking to have a baby.
Having said that, there are different reasons other than pregnancy why your period might be late. So, before you get your hopes high or low (as the case may be), you should want to ease off a bit to pinpoint the issue. Also, getting a pregnancy strip and/or paying your gynecologist a visit could be the first place to start off.
When is it considered a late period?
A menstrual period is considered late if it hasn’t started five or more days after the day you expected it to start. This suggests that you need to have a good knowledge of your menstrual cycle before determining whether or not you’re late.
These are 7 reasons why your period might be late…
#1. Medical conditions
Certain medical conditions can affect your menstrual cycle, such as diabetes and celiac disease. In the case of diabetes, the changes in blood sugar have been linked to hormonal changes, which in turn can cause late periods, although rare. On the other hand, celiac disease can “cause inflammation that can lead to damage in your small intestine, which may prevent your body from absorbing key nutrients. This can cause irregular or missed periods,” as per Healthline.
Other medical conditions like Cushing syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and Asherman’s syndrome may lead to menstrual irregularities.
#2. Birth control
Toggling on and off birth controls can also make your period late. This is because birth control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, which prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. Even after you go off the pills, experts have stated that it can sometimes take up to three months for your cycle to come back to normal. In addition, other than the pill, contraceptives (implanted or injected) can also affect your period.
If you’re having unprotected sex, this would most likely be your first port of call, and for a valid reason. Sometimes, it could be that your period is simply late for no particular reason. However, if after a few days it still doesn’t show up, it’s best to do a pregnancy test. Note that this test should be done two weeks after your estimated ovulation date just to be sure. Finally, if the pregnancy is still too early, it might not be detected.
#4. Hormonal imbalance
This could be caused by countless factors like thyroid disorders, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), menopause, etc. There’re a variety of tests to detect if a person has a hormonal imbalance. To confirm, visit a gynecologist to find out the underlying cause and start medication if needed.
Right after pregnancy, this is one of the most common reasons for missed periods. This form of stress may be psychological and/or physical. It’s true that stress is unavoidably a huge part of life’s package, but when in excess it could pose a problem. Try adjusting your lifestyle to ease off that stress. Miss red should appear in no time.
#6. Rigorous workout
Anything without a balance will always have a side effect, and exercises are no exception. Excessive workouts could lead to a decline in estrogen supply in the body, and consequently, missed periods. This is often the case with female athletes and models as their periods can sometimes be late for as much as six months.
#7. Weight changes
Being underweight or obese can alter reproductive hormone levels and that could be a reason why your period is late. If you notice a delayed period after significant weight loss or gain, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying issue.
Whatever the case may be, a healthy lifestyle can not be over-emphasized. Thus, when next you get a gag reflex just from staring at broccoli, remember that giant burgers and soda aren’t loyal enough to stand by you during health conditions but broccoli (and every other vegetable) will.
Featured image: demaerre | iStock
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