Understanding The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is the process by which your body prepares an egg for fertilization, and also the period in time when your body removes the egg to prepare for the next egg. This is sometimes called a “monthly cycle,” and while 28 days is an average menstrual cycle length, it can range from about 24 days to 34 days.
Menstrual Cycle Timeline
- Day 1: Your menstrual cycle begins with the start of your period. The tissue lining around your uterus breaks down and an unfertilized egg begins to leave through your vagina along with blood. The bleeding of a period usually lasts 4-8 days, averaging 5 days for US women.
- Day 5: Your estrogen levels rise once bleeding has stopped, and this does several things. These include:
- The lining of your uterus thickens, preparing it for a new egg.
- Ovarian sacs that contain eggs grow and mature, preparing one for ovulation.
Is It Normal To Miss Periods
A disappearing period may seem ideal for many women, but if it stops suddenly or unexpectedly, there may be cause for concern.Secondary amenorrhea, or the absence of menstruation for three months or more in a patient who previously had normal cycles, affects up to 5 percent of menstruating women every year. While pregnancy is the most common cause, Geri Hewitt, MD, Ob-Gyn at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says that a variety of factors can cause a period to disappear, and many can be and should be evaluated and possibly require treated by a medical professional.Missing periods may indicate of poor health, Dr. Hewitt says. If a woman notices her period goes away and doesnt come back for a few months, she should rule out the possibly of pregnancy and seek medical attention to figure out the cause.
There Are Many Reasons That Periods Can Be Irregular Or Absent Some Require Treatment And Some Do Not
It is not uncommon to occasionally miss a period, or for periods to become irregular from time to time. Under some circumstances, periods can even stop altogether. Sometimes these irregularities are due to normal changes, and are not cause for concern. Other times, they are a sign that something is going on, and a call to your doctor is warranted.
Explore Irregular or Absent Periods:
Recommended Reading: Dark Brown Discharge Instead Of Period
What To Do Next
In most circumstances, missing a period while on birth control is normal and nothing to worry about. If you’ve recently been under a lot of stress, exercising a lot, or have made significant dietary changes, you may want to make a lifestyle change to get your cycle back to normal.
However, in some cases, missing a period on birth control can be due to pregnancy or be an indication of an underlying health problem. If your periods continue to lapse on birth control, or if you’re having additional symptoms, such as fatigue or hair loss, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider about your concerns.
Youre Using Hormonal Birth Control
Many love the pill because it makes their periods so regular. But it can sometimes have the opposite effect, especially during the first few months of use.
Similarly, when you stop taking the pill, it can take a few months for your cycle to get back to normal. As your body returns to its baseline hormone levels, you may miss your period for a few months.
If youre using another hormonal birth control method, including an IUD, implant, or shot, you might stop getting your period altogether.
You May Like: Usaa Grace Period
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.
Reasons For A Late Period
Now that weve explained what qualifies as a regular menstrual cycle, lets go over why some people have late or irregular periods.
During the early stages of puberty, its common to have irregular cycles. Its normal for adolescents to have irregular cycles for the first three years after they get their period. This is because the ovaries may not be releasing an egg every month yet, since hormone levels are still changing. However, for people who are already past that phase, there are lots of other things that can cause a late period and irregular periods.
Here are eight common causes of a late period:
Also Check: Employee Probationary Period Template
What You Should Do If You Miss A Period
Unless youre experiencing other symptoms that concern you or you suspect you might be pregnant, theres no need to worry about missing one or two periods. Missing an occasional period now and then is not terribly uncommon, Dr. Stewart said.
If you miss three consecutive periods, you should talk to your primary care physician or OBGYN. Often the source is fairly obvious and a brief discussion with your provider could address the issue, Dr. Stewart said.
Your doctor will start with your medical history and a physical exam. From that information you can work with your doctor to plan next steps, which could be lab tests or imaging studies such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI.
Most of the time, you will find a simple solution to get your periods back on track. But its important to seek medical care, since sometimes missed periods could be signs of serious health problems. Thyroid disease, pituitary dysfunction, ovulatory dysfunction, chronic kidney disease or cancer can all be associated with amenorrhea. And those conditions could be linked with problems like osteoporosis, abnormal pregnancy, or cancer of the uterine lining.
Dont Ignore A Missed Period
If you keep track of your periods, youll probably know right away if something is amiss. Keep a period diary in your calendar or get an app designed for that purpose. Your period records can provide valuable information for you and your doctor.
Doctors want to know details about your previous periods so we can determine if theres an issue, Dr. Higgins says. An occasional late period is often the result of something minor, but if you frequently have late or irregular periods, check with your doctor to rule out other health conditions.
Recommended Reading: Can You Donate Blood While Menstruating
Two Months Without Having Period Why
In most cases, a missed period for 2 months would most likely mean you are pregnant, but that isn’t always the case. Your period being late or even missed can be due to a number of reasons. No matter what, it will inevitably make you a little nervous. This article will help you understand the different reasons that may make you miss your period. There are also some helpful tips you can try to get your cycles regulated again. You should always consult your doctor to make sure you aren’t pregnant and rule out any other serious health conditions before trying any home remedies.
Your Period Has Slowed Or Stopped
The big question if you’re not getting your period is — how old are you?
The cause of a missing menstrual period varies by age. “To quit having periods at age 25 is a significantly different issue than quitting at age 50,” Loffer says.
For a woman in their 20s or 30s who is sexually active, pregnancy is always a possibility. “Even if a woman thinks she’s protected, that’s not an absolute guarantee,” Loffer says.
On the other hand, women in their 40s or 50s could be in perimenopause — the period surrounding menopause. As your ovaries slow their estrogen production, periods become less frequent. Periods also can get shorter or lighter during perimenopause. Once your periods stop for a full 12 months in a row, you’re in menopause. The average age for menopause is 51.
Another possible cause of missed periods is excessive exercise. Anywhere from 5% to 25% of female athletes work out so hard that they stop getting their periods. Called exercise-induced amenorrhea, this phenomenon is particularly common among ballet dancers and runners. Intense exercise affects the production and regulation of reproductive hormones involved in the menstrual cycle.
For similar reasons, women who have eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa can also stop getting their period. Severely restricting the amount of calories you eat suppresses the release of hormones your body needs for ovulation.
Other possible causes of missed periods include:
You May Like: Can You Donate Plasma On Your Period
What Is A Late Period
Although a few people might have pinpoint predictability with periods, most have a little variation. So if your period is a day or two late, dont panic.
Your menstrual cycle is the length of time from day one of your period to day one of your next period, Dr. Higgins says. On average, these cycles are 24 to 38 days long.
That means that a 28-day cycle one month and a 26-day cycle the next month is probably nothing to worry about. Your period might be considered late if:
- Its been more than 38 days since your last period.
- Youre normally really regular, and your period is more than three days late.
Youve Lost Or Gained Weight
Severe changes in body weight can lead to a condition known as secondary amenorrhea, which means missing your period for three months or more. This is particularly common when your BMI undergoes a rapid change.
Extreme increases or decreases in body fat can lead to a chaotic hormonal imbalance that causes your period to come late or stop entirely.
In addition, severe calorie restriction affects the part of your brain that talks to your endocrine system, giving instructions for the production of reproductive hormones. When this communication channel is disrupted, hormones can get really out of whack.
Also Check: Primosiston To Stop Period
Number : Because Of Physical Or Emotional Stress
So there’s this thing called the hypothalamus, which is a gland in your brain. If something’s wrong, your hypothalamus can’t kick off the menstrual cycle, and you won’t ovulate.
Characteristics that can affect your hypothalamus and lead to missing your period include:
Emotional and mental stress
Weight loss and low body weight
Deficient intake of food/eating disorders
Too much exercise
Researchers often see this happening in adolescent girls, where the common triggers are stress, weight loss, and excessive exercise. Girls at this time of their lives can undergo common life events that bring a lot of emotional and mental toll, like changing schools or becoming sexually active. Disordered eating during adolescence is also common.
Number : Because Of Pregnancy
Okay, this is the reason we’ve all been waiting to hear. Note that doctors say that it’s common for women on birth control to have irregular or no periods, and further evaluation usually isn’t needed unless there are concerning symptoms. That said, every contraceptive has a failure rate. If you’ve missed birth control pills during the month and had unprotected sex, you should consider this possibility.
Here are a few common symptoms the Mayo Clinic says women experience in early pregnancy:
If you’re wondering more about when to take a pregnancy test, click here for more info.
Note that if you’re breastfeeding, that could also be a reason you’re missing your periods on birth control. Entering menopause will also do that to you!
Don’t Miss: New Hire 90 Day-probationary Period Template
If You Think You Might Be Pregnant
Do a if you have had sex since your last period. If the result is positive, practice the following good health habits until you see your doctor:
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
- Do not use alcohol or drugs.
- , or limit your intake to about 1 cup of coffee or tea each day.
- Do not clean a cat litter box, to avoid the risk of toxoplasmosis.
- Avoid people who are ill.
- Take a vitamin supplement that contains folic acid or a prenatal vitamin.
If the home pregnancy test is negative but you continue to have pregnancy symptoms, it is a good idea to see your doctor to confirm the results. Practice good health habits until you see your doctor.
Causes Of Abnormal Bleeding
There are a number of possible culprits if you’re experiencing abnormalities in your bleeding habits.
For women who have already gone through menopause , vaginal bleeding could indicate cancer of the endometrium or cervix. Studies show that more than 90% of women with endometrial cancer experience bleeding after menopause.
During perimenopause, though, heavy bleeding may be caused by:
- Uterine fibroids or polyps
- Certain medications, such as blood thinners
- Pelvic infection
- Most commonly, anovulation
Anovulation is when the ovary releases estrogen normally but doesn’t release an egg. It makes the uterine lining thicken and shed in an unpredictable manner, which causes irregular and/or heavy bleeding.
A number of simple diagnostic tests, many of which are non-invasive, can determine the cause of abnormal bleeding. These include:
- Vaginal ultrasound
- Endometrial biopsy
Additionally, if your healthcare provider suspects your heavy bleeding is due to a bleeding disorder or is causing anemia, they may order blood tests.
Read Also: Usaa New Car Insurance Grace Period