Causes Of A Missed Period
Often there is nothing to worry about when periods stop, and no serious cause. There are certain times when it is normal not to have periods. These include:
- Before puberty. Girls start to go through puberty from around the age of 9 years and their periods start a year or two later. Up until that point girls do not have periods.
- During pregnancy. If you are pregnant, your periods will normally stop until after the baby is born.
- During breastfeeding. If you are fully breastfeeding, you will normally not have a period until you stop. You may find you have a bleed if you drop a feed, or start to breastfeed less.
- After menopause. The menopause is the time in your life when your ovaries stop producing eggs and you stop having periods. The average menopause is around the age of 51. You will be classed as having gone through the menopause a year after your last period. However, it is extremely common for your periods to become less regular in the years leading up to the menopause. See the separate leaflet called Menopause for more details.
- If you are using certain types of contraception. Some types of contraception may stop periods. They do not do so in all women however, it is normal not to have periods if you are using:
You Have A Chronic Condition
Certain chronic health problems, especially celiac disease and diabetes, are sometimes associated with menstrual irregularities.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects your digestive system. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, their immune system reacts by attacking the lining of the small intestine.
When the small intestine is damaged, it impairs the bodys ability to absorb nutrients from food. This can lead to malnourishment, which affects normal hormone production and leads to missed periods and other menstrual irregularities.
Those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes might also experience a missed period in rare cases. This tends to only happen when blood sugar levels are not managed.
A Change In Your Schedule
Changing schedules can throw off your body clock. If you frequently change work shifts from days to nights, or if your schedule is generally all over the place, your period can be fairly unpredictable.
A change in your schedule shouldn’t cause you to completely miss your period, but it can cause your period to start earlier or later than expected. Your cycle can also change by a few days if you experience jet lag.
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Reasons Your Period Could Be Late Besides Being Pregnant
Whether you get your period every 28 days like clockwork or have a flow that prefers to come and go as it pleases, having a period go MIA often feels like cause for alarm. Your mind runs wild with thoughts of pregnancy tests and ultrasounds and watching your baby graduate college – an imaginary life that youve created and nurtured and helped grow all because that little bit of blood you were hoping to find this morning didnt make its appearance. Whether pregnancy right now is your goal or youre holding off temporarily or forever, a fetus in utero is certainly not the only cause of a period gone rogue. We often get asked the following questions frequntly regarding this:Why is my period late?How late can my period be?Why haven’t I started my period?Here are our 6 reasons, besides being pregnant, that your period could be late that will hopefully answer those questions above.
Why Is My Period Late On Birth Control
Contraceptives can help regulate your periods, but other factors including stress, diet, and changes in weight can still affect your menstrual cycle. It’s also possible to experience oligomenorrhea, infrequent or abnormally light bleeding, while using contraceptives.
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When Will A Pregnancy Test Appear Positive
If you are trying to get pregnant and you miss a period, you are naturally excited, yet there is no way to know for sure until you take a pregnancy test. However, there are several symptoms that are suggestive of pregnancy, including breast tenderness, nausea, and bloating. Keep in mind, these can also be premenstrual signs.
When To See A Doctor
Missing a period does not always indicate pregnancy or a health issue. Speak with a doctor if periods do not arrive by age 16 or if they stop for more than 3 months in a row.
Tracking periods can help a person recognize any irregularity. Anyone who notices a change in the length of time between periods should speak with a doctor. Also, it is a good idea to consult a doctor if periods come more often than every 21 days or less often than every 45 days.
Amenorrhea is not life-threatening . However, the hormonal imbalances that can cause it can also lead to harmful complications, such as hip and wrist fractures. A doctor can help identify the cause of menstrual irregularity and recommend an effective treatment or management plan.
Also, anyone who suspects that they are pregnant, even after taking Plan B, should speak with a doctor.
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So How Late Can My Period Be Before I Should Worry
If your period is late and you have recently had unprotected sex, it can be an early sign of pregnancy. Whilst that is a fact, itâs not always the case. Only a pregnancy test will give you the answer. How late your period is, depends on your cycle. Only you know what is normal for you, and what isnât.
Home pregnancy tests are available from pharmacies and some supermarkets. Results tend to be accurate if you follow the instructions correctly. If you take the test too early, the results may not be reliable. The best time to take a pregnancy test is the week after your missed period. Your body takes a week or so to develop levels of HCG , which is what the test relies on.
A positive test result is almost certainly correct, with most tests claiming 99% accuracy. By the same token, a negative result is also likely to be correct. Only 5% of pregnancy tests give a false negative result. If you test negative and you still think that you’re pregnant, you should wait a few days and try again. If you have a negative test result and you are experiencing other early pregnancy symptoms, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have a positive pregnancy test, you should see your doctor to confirm your pregnancy. If your pregnancy test results are positive but you are worried or experiencing any warning signs that something is wrong with your pregnancy, such as bleeding or cramping, you should call your doctor right away.
Late Periods The Verdict
Try not to fret if your period is late. Stress can affect your hormones and your menstruation. There are a bunch of reasons why your period may be late including pregnancy, irregular periods, weight changes, infections, medical conditions such as PCOS and hormone changes when hitting perimenopause.
If you’re sexually active, your period is later than normal and you have not taken a pregnancy test, it may be advisable to take one.
Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.
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Could You Be Pregnant
If you missed your period, answer these 4 questions:
If you answered “yes” to all questions, there is a high chance that you are pregnant. But only a positive pregnancy test will confirm your suspicion.
When Is The Best Time In Your Cycle To Test
Although your body begins to produce hCG 7 to 10 days after fertilization, waiting provides the most accurate results. In order to give your body enough time for hCG to build up to a detectable level in your urine by a pregnancy test, it is best to take a pregnancy test about 14 days after fertilization. For a woman who has a 28-day cycle and ovulates 14 days after her last period, this would mean testing on the day you expect your next period if you suspect you are pregnant. For the most accurate results, take a pregnancy test a couple of days after your missed period.
If your test is negative and your period does not start, you still might be pregnant, but your hCG levels are just not high enough to register on the test. Most testing kit instructions recommend you wait one week to take another test however, many women test a few days later. Contact a healthcare professional if you still have a negative pregnancy test or have further questions.
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How Soon Can You Tell If You Are Pregnant
Most health care providers recommend that you wait until the first day of your missed period to take a pregnancy test, because taking a test too soon after conception can lead to a false-negative result. However, some tests are more sensitive than others and can be taken as soon as 7 to 12 days after conception. The most precise way to determine pregnancy is to take a blood test to measure your level of hCG.
How Early Can I Know My Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Each woman’s early pregnancy symptoms are usually unique. You may notice the first signs of pregnancy within a week or two of conception, whereas others may not notice anything for months.
It depends on your ability to detect changes in the body and how sensitive you are to those.
A blood test, which can detect pregnancy as early as one week after conception, is always an option.
During studies, women trying to conceive kept daily records of their symptoms from the time they stopped using birth control until they were eight weeks pregnant. This was based on the first day of their last menstrual period. The outcomes were:
- By the time they were five weeks pregnant, half of them had some pregnancy symptoms
- A missed period is usually the first sign of pregnancy
- Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, frequent urination, and breast tenderness and swelling are the most common symptoms these symptoms can range from mild to severe
Some pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, can appear as early as a few days after conception, even before a positive pregnancy test.
Spotting or cramping
- Implementation spotting and cramping may occur 6 to 12 days after sexual intercourse according to the American Pregnancy Association.
- It is the process by which the embryo implants on the uterine wall.
- Implementation bleeding can appear to be a lighter or shorter period. This symptom, however, is not common in all women.
Morning sickness and tiredness
Raised basal temperature
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How To Know If Your Period Is Late
It can be hard to know if your period is late, if you donât know your average cycle length or when your last period was. With Clue you can view your recent period dates, cycle averages and predictions for your next three cycles. You can set a reminder to let you know when your period is coming, and to alert you if itâs late.
My Pregnancy Test Says I Am Pregnant What Should I Do Next
If a home pregnancy test shows that you are pregnant, you should call your doctor to schedule an appointment.
Your doctor can use a blood test to tell for sure whether you are pregnant. Seeing your doctor early in your pregnancy also means you can begin prenatal care to help you and your baby stay healthy.
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How Much Blood Is Lost During A Period
The amount of blood lost during a period will vary from woman to woman, but, on average, a woman will lose about 6 – 8 teaspoons of blood per period. A loss of 80 ml or more, having a period longer than seven days, or both, is considered heavy. However, most women have a good idea of whether or not their bleeding is within the normal range for them.
Why Did I Miss A Period
Missing a period is not uncommon, and most of the time, it is not a cause for concern. Some of the reasons you might miss a period include:
Normal lifecycle changes
There are a number of changes that happen in the female lifecycle that can result in a skipped period. All of these are normal reasons to miss a period and are not cause for concern.
The most common reason for a missed period is pregnancy. If this is a possibility, take a home pregnancy test to see if this is the cause of your missed period. If you skip a period and then have one the next month at the expected time, its possible that a non-viable pregnancy occurred, and the period is actually an early miscarriage.
Breastfeeding can suppress your period, depending on how frequently you are nursing. You may get a period while breastfeeding, and then not have another one for several months or more, particularly if your baby is nursing exclusively. You can ovulate before you get your period, so its important to use birth control during this time, if you dont want to get pregnant.
A skipped period may be a sign that you are entering menopause and your periods are beginning to become less regular, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms of menopause . If you are 45 or older, there is a good chance this is the cause of a missed period.
Medications and drugs
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Symptoms Of A Late Period And Pregnancy
The symptoms of a late period will be obvious to many women who menstruate regularly. If you were expecting your period, and it doesnt begin, youll know its late. Not all periods arrive like clockwork, and its very normal for periods to occur on a slightly different schedule. Pregnancy isnt the only thing that can cause a late or skipped period. But if youre wondering whether your missing period might mean youre pregnant, you can look for other early symptoms of pregnancy. During the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, many women experience:
During the first trimester , your body produces large amounts of a hormone called progesterone. This can make you feel sleepy. Even during the first week after conception, you may feel more tired than usual.
Implantation bleeding is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. It is very light bleeding, often called spotting, that happens as a result of the fertilized egg implanting to the uterine wall. Implantation is usually 6 to 12 days after conception, or the moment the egg is fertilized by a sperm.
Some women also have mild abdominal cramps during implantation. Other women dont notice any symptoms with implantation.
3. Breast Changes
You may see changes in your breasts as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception. Your breasts may be swollen and tender to the touch. You may have soreness or a feeling of fullness in your breasts.
5. Missed Period
Medicines And Medical Treatment
As discussed above, a number of contraceptive treatments can stop you having periods. Other medicines can affect periods too. Examples are some medicines for schizophrenia , an anti-sickness medicine called metoclopramide and strong painkillers called opiates.A number of operations may result in absent periods. For example, after a hysterectomy you will not have periods. A hysterectomy is an operation where the womb is removed. As the blood during a period comes from the womb, you will never have periods again afterwards. Another operation , which is sometimes done for heavy periods, also causes periods to stop. In this operation the lining of the womb is removed. This is not usually permanent and periods start again in time.
Treatments for cancer, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, can also damage the ovaries and result in absent periods. Recreational drugs such as heroin may also cause periods to stop.
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What Is The Last Menstrual Period
The LMP is the date of the first day of the last menstrual period you had before conceiving. It is the first day that your last menstrual cycle begins when you see bright red blood, not just a little brown spotting. You should keep track of your LMP each month, either with an online calculator or just by recording it on a calendar each month. That is the date you use when entering the LMP on an online period calculator.
Whether you are trying to get pregnant or not trying to get pregnant, keeping track of your menstrual periods is vital. Besides pregnancy, missing a menstrual period could also be a sign of other issues like missed ovulation.
Consider Taking A Home Pregnancy Test
You can take a home pregnancy test as early as 14 days after unprotected sex. If you did not use a method of birth control or are concerned about a possible birth control failure, take an at-home pregnancy test. Any test is good, whether purchased from a drug store, like CVS or Walgreens, or the Dollar Store expensive tests are usually no better than affordable tests. Make sure to read and follow the directions about how to take the test and when to read the results. If the test is negative, and your period is still late or you are concerned about possible symptoms of pregnancy, repeat the test in about a week. If the test is positive, then keep reading.
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