What Is A Period
A period is the time in a woman or girls monthly cycle in which her unfertilized egg leaves her body, along with blood and uterine tissue lining . This normally takes about five days. Periods usually first begin at or around age 12 in the US. They may begin between the ages of 10 and 15, though some may also start sooner or later than this. A period begins Day 1 of the menstrual cycle.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
You will need an additional evaluation if you have missed more than three periods in a row and you are not pregnant.
You should speak with your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty with balance
- Excessive growth of body hair
- Producing breast milk without having given birth
- Being older than 15 without having had a period
Something Is Off With Your Thyroid
This gland in your neck regulates your metabolism, produces hormones, controls your body temp, and more. You want it to be on point. When its over, or underactive, it may stop ovulation, prompting an irregular period, and possibly impair fertility, according to a new study in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist. If your doctor suspects this could be the cause shell run a simple blood test and probably prescribe a medication. With the right treatment, your period should go back to normal within a few months, says Dr. Goist.
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After An Extended Time After A Missed Period Should I Still Consider Pregnancy
A visit to your medical provider can determine if you are pregnant if you do not trust an at-home test. Your provider can run more specific tests, like ultrasound or blood tests. The length of a missed period does not directly correlate with pregnancy. Several conditions cause extended late or even missed periods.
Stress: Emotional stress can cause your period to become shorter, more painful, or stop altogether.
GI issues: Digestive system disorders can cause missed periods. Usually, they will have other symptoms in addition to irregular periods. Some conditions include liver issues, irritable bowel disease, and diabetes.
Weight fluctuations: Extreme weight loss can interrupt or even stop your menstrual cycle. Limiting your daily calorie intake can prevent the creation of the hormones needed for ovulation. Gaining a lot of weight produces additional estrogen, which regulates the reproductive system. It affects how often you have periods, and can cause them to stop.
Breastfeeding: Lots of women do not have regular periods while breastfeeding.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: PCOS occurs when the body produces irregular egg sacs in the ovaries, which do not release eggs. Ovulation does not occur, so irregular and missed periods will occur. PCOS affects about one in every ten women.
Missed Period And Negative Pregnancy Test
It is possible to get a negative result on a pregnancy test even if you are pregnant. The following reasons may be why the test is negative.
- If youve tested too early and your levels of pregnancy hormones may be too low. If the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin in your urine are not high enough then the test might not pick it up and return a positive result. If you are experiencing early pregnancy signs like nausea, tiredness or tender breasts wait a few days and try again.
- If you dont follow the test instructions properly. Take care to read and follow the instructions that come with your test.
- If the test is very old and has expired.
- If the test has not been stored properly.
- In the rare instance that you have an ectopic pregnancy that does not produce a positive result on a pregnancy test. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside of the uterus and it can be life-threatening. See your healthcare provider if you have symptoms like pain in your lower abdomen, dizziness, bleeding, spotting, and nausea and vomiting.
If your period is very late or youve missed it altogether and you still have a negative result, then its unlikely that you would be pregnant.
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Reasons Your Period Is Late
During your usual morning routine, you open your cabinet, spot a box of tampons in the back, and you suddenly realize youre late. When was my last period? you think as you try to remember the last time you needed to reach for that box. Panic then takes over as your mind shoots straight to pregnancy.
While being pregnant is a possible reason for a missed period, there may be factors related to your health or lifestyle that are causing the delay, notes Shelley White-Corey, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A& M Health Science Center College of Nursing and a womens health nurse practitioner.
Your period may not make an appearance after your baby is born, but dont be alarmed! If you are breastfeeding your little one, a lack of periods is completely normal. Referred to as lactational amenorrhea, this is a phase that disrupts the rhythm of your menstrual cycle. After a few months, your monthly period should be right back on track.
Weight loss or weight gain
Whether youre overweight or underweight, any change in pounds can affect your monthly cycle. Common health problems linked to weight and irregular menstruation include eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, and uncontrolled diabetes. If you suspect this might be an issue for you, see your health care provider right away.
Sleep schedule changes
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Missing a period every once in a while is usually not cause for concern. That said, you should see a healthcare provider if you miss more than one period, or your missed period is accompanied by new or unusual symptoms.
Seek medical attention right away if you also experience any of the following:
- New or worsening headaches
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The Science Behind Symptoms
Pregnant or not, your body starts releasing progesterone after you ovulate. This hormone keeps getting released and is at its highest point around five to seven days after ovulation. If a woman is pregnant, her body continues to produce progesterone in high amounts to help sustain the pregnancy. If shes not pregnant, her progesterone levels decrease, and shell start her menstrual period.
Thanks also to progesterone, the symptoms of early pregnancy and your period are nearly identical. Cramps, fatigue, dizziness, breast tenderness all early signs of pregnancy, but also possible signs of your period coming.
What about light spotting a week after ovulation? It could indicate implantation bleeding, but most women dont experience this symptom and spotting can happen for other reasons.
What about nausea? This symptom is typically attributed to hCG, the pregnancy hormone, but it can be caused by other things, too .
In the weeks between ovulation and a pregnancy test, many women symptom spot that is, they take note of certain physical symptoms and think that they are definitely signs of early pregnancy. Is symptom spotting so wrong? Absolutely not, and it can even be kind of fun, as long as you know that only a blood test can tell you for sure if youre pregnant.
Possible Reasons For A Late Period
As women, we often consider our monthly cycle to be the barometer of our good health. Its automatic function lets us know we are healthy. So, when we experience a late period, it signals that something is happening on a level that we cannot yet identify or control. We wonder what are the causes for it, even though we are not pregnant.
Among the causes of a late period, there are two types of risk factors for a late period: modifiable and non-modifiable.
Modifiable reasons are those that include medications, low weight or obesity, stress, or illnesses that can be cured, among others. Non-modifiable reasons are chronic diseases or medications, like anticonvulsants, antidepressants, or antipsychotics.
Each of the reasons below will list the symptoms of each condition, what is happening inside your body due to that reason, and what you can do. In the cases of modifiable reasons for your late period are some suggestions for how you can modify your condition to help remedy your late period symptoms.
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Top Reasons Your Period Might Be Late
- You ovulated late
- You’re exercising more or less than usual
- You’re not eating enough
- You’ve recently been down with a cold, flu or other virus or infection
- Stress is getting to you
- You’re dealing with a treatable medical condition that messes with your period
- Your schedule or sleep patterns have recently changed
- Your meds are goofing up your period
- You’re breastfeeding
Reasons for a Late Period
Reason : Recently Started Periods
Women who have not had a period due to contraceptive use, hormonal therapy, or illness might not resume having a regular period every month right away or it may cause very late periods.
To prevent late periods, here are some statistics when you stop contraceptive use and start ovulating, as determined in a study of 7,000 women:
- 1% of women who stop taking the pill have a delayed period for longer than 6 months.
- Pregnancies are slower to occur in the first 3 months after stopping contraception, for up to 24.8% of oral contraception users.
Several studies assessed whether oral contraceptives deplete certain nutrients. The outcome is that they do. Key nutrient deficiencies are folic acid, vitamins B2, B6 and B12, vitamins C and E, and the minerals magnesium, zinc, and selenium, all of which can be the cause of your late period.
Symptoms of recently started/re-started periods
- Late periods
- Spotting between periods
What to Do
Doctors who restore a regular menstrual cycle after years of birth control suggest several things. First, replenish nutrients. Make sure that you eat well-balanced meals and consider taking a supplement to restore some of the nutrients lost.
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No Period Not Pregnant
In a regular and healthy menstrual cycle a female generally has anywhere between 11 to 13 periods/ menstrual cycles each year. In a similar fashion, the average length of the period varies from three days to five days but sometimes can exceed to seven to ten days. A missed period is generally considered as an indicative of pregnancy but it does not always mean that pregnancy has taken place. There are some other conditions in which the notion of no period, not pregnant holds true i.e. there is absence of periods without pregnancy.
Youve Lost Or Gained Weight
Severe changes in body weight can screw with your periods timing. Extreme increases or decreases in body fat, for example, can lead to a 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 and gives instructions for the creation of reproductive hormones. When this communication channel is disrupted, hormones can get out of whack.
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Diagnosis And Tests For A Late Period And Pregnancy
There are both at-home tests and blood tests available to determine if pregnancy has occurred. Both are considered safe methods of detecting pregnancy.
- At-home tests: These test your urine for a pregnancy hormone called hCG. At-home tests are easy, quick, and convenient. However, they are not able to detect pregnancy as early as blood tests. They are most accurate if you wait one week after a missed period to use them.
- Blood tests: Blood tests require a visit to your doctor. But they can detect pregnancy much earlier than at-home tests.
Is It Possible To Miss Period For A Month
It is possible to miss your period for months. The right question is: What causes missed period for months? The commonest cause is pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you will not see your period coming out. Birth control pills, drugs, premature ovarian failure, polycystic ovaries and stress can also make you miss period for months.
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Missed Period Reason #: Pcos
PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a reproductive condition that can result in irregular or missed periods. However, missed periods dont necessarily mean PCOS. In fact, have two of the three following symptoms can indicate this condition is present:
In addition to missed periods, here are additional symptoms women may notice:
- Hirsutism, or excess hair growth in unexpected places like face, bac, thumbs, toes, chest, and abdomen.
- Hair loss
- Sleep problems
While there is no cure for PCOS, the good news is that PCOS can be managed with lifestyle changes and hormone interventions, and you can talk to your doctor about which option is right for you.
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How Do I Know If My Child Has Autism
Would you begin feeling pregnancy symptoms then? Not exactly. The fertilized egg, now a ball of developing cells, still needs to travel down to your uterus and implant itself in the uterine wall, releasing the hormone hCG as it completes implantation. That can take up to 6-10 days after conception. At that point in your cycle, you would be very close to expecting your next period.
For most women trying to have their first baby, the first noticeable sign then of a pregnancy would be the missed period. Others who are more in tune with their bodies or who have already experienced a pregnancy would notice other symptoms, like fatigue, a few days sooner, suspecting pregnancy before the missed period.
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How To Prevent Irregular Periods And Stomach Gas
Monitoring your cycle with a cycle tracking app, journal, or thermometer will keep you informed of subtle or major changes.
Cycle tracking is especially useful if youre trying to get pregnant. It can indicate when you are most fertile and if youre late. Its also an attractive habit for those looking for an extra layer of security against pregnancy.
Managing stress and eating a balanced diet can help regulate your cycle and other important functions like digestion. Consider getting a food allergy test to reduce the occurrence of stomach gas.
The Best Time To Take A Pregnancy Test
If you have a regular menstrual cycle , then you are only at risk of pregnancy if you had unprotected heterosexual sex or had a high risk of sperm touching your genitals during your fertile window. This is the six days leading up to and including ovulation, usually around the middle of your cycle . You can take a pregnancy test about two weeks after your estimated ovulation day, but the earlier you take a test the less accurate it may be and some brands are more sensitive than others . You should probably take a pregnancy test or contact your healthcare provider if your period is nine or more days late.
If you have an irregular cycle , then unprotected sex or exposure of sperm on your genitals at most times represents a risk. You can take a pregnancy test about two weeks after your last unprotected sexual encounter, though the earlier you take a test the less accurate it may be and some brands are more sensitive than others .
If you get a negative result at first and your period still hasnât come after a week, you might want to try taking another pregnancy testâjust to be sure. The sooner you know if you are pregnant or not, the sooner youâll be able to develop a plan . You can get confidential testing and counseling in most healthcare providersâ offices and clinics.
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