When To See Your Doctor
If your periods seem irregular, or youve missed a period but know youre not pregnant, its a good idea to talk with your doctor ASAP, as there are many reasons and conditions that could be causing the issue.
Your doctor can properly diagnose the reason for your late or missed period and discuss your treatment options. If you can, keep a record of changes in your cycle as well as other health changes. This will help them make a diagnosis.
If you have the following symptoms, contact a doctor immediately, or call 911:
Is A Late Period Reason To Take A Pregnancy Test
There are many reasons for a late period besides pregnancy. When you stop having periods, it could be related to lifestyle factors such as stress, a strict diet, or extensive physical activity.
It might also result from the use of birth control pills, various diseases, hormonal abnormalities, or problems with your reproductive organs. Finally, it could be due to pregnancy.
Home pregnancy tests allow you to determine if youre pregnant at a very early stage. These tests detect the presence of the pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin in your urine. Your body makes this hormone when a fertilized egg is implanted in your uterus.
Is your period five days late or more? Take the test for the most accurate results. Some tests might be more sensitive than others.
Reducing Exercise If Youre An Athlete
Missing periods may occur due to low energy availability, especially in adolescent athletes. This can occur if you arent taking in enough energy relative to the energy youre burning through exercise.
People who limit their food intake and engage in extreme exercise, with or without the use of laxatives, may develop amenorrhoea. This may be considered a warning sign for other health issues associated with low energy, such as poor bone accrual and low bone mineral density, both of which are associated with decreased bone strength.
If you may have amenorrhoea due to low energy availability, it is best to reduce the amount of exercise you do on a daily basis. You may want to see a doctor or trainer to determine how much exercise is safe for you to perform.
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What To Do When Your Period Is Late
If your period is more than a week late and you got a negative pregnancy test, you may want to schedule an appointment with your health care provider to be safe. Your doctor can do a blood test to confirm that youre not pregnant.
If the blood test is also negative and your practitioner rules out any other possible concerns, its fine to sit back and go with the flow . Every woman skips a period now and then, especially if shes under stress or has been sick. Relax and do what you can to ease anxiety by eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
When To See Your Gp
See your GP if you’re not pregnant you’ve had a negative pregnancy test and you’ve missed more than 3 periods in a row.
If you’re sexually active and you have not taken a pregnancy test, your GP may advise you to take one.
They may also ask you about:
- your medical history
- any emotional issues you’re having
- any recent changes in your weight
- the amount of exercise you do
Your GP may recommend waiting to see whether your periods return on their own. In some cases you may need treatment for your periods to return.
You should also see your GP if your periods stop before you’re 45 or if you’re still bleeding when you’re over 55.
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Change In Sleeping Habits
What if I told you that something as simple as sleeping in the presence of too much light can impact your cycle? It may sound crazy, but the hormones that affect your cycle are also affected by your circadian rhythm, or your internal clock. So anything that affects the quality of your sleep can influence your internal clock and alter your cycle.
- Have your sleeping habits changed?
- Did you recently travel?
- Switch shifts at work or pull some all-nighters?
All of these can be reasons for a late period. Anything that throws off your clock can potentially delay ovulation.
When To Talk To Your Doctor About A Late Or Missing Period
Most people who menstruate dont have a perfectly regular cycle. A couple days off here or there generally isnt cause for concern . However, you should speak with your doctor if youve ruled out a pregnancy and:
- You havent had a period in over three months
- Your periods are suddenly irregular
- You notice there are more than 35 days between your periods
- Your period lasts for more than seven days
- You bleed between periods
- Your periods are extremely heavy
- Your periods are extremely painful
Any of the above could indicate a more serious underlying condition and, regardless, you should always bring up worrying menstrual cycle changes to your healthcare provider or ObGyn.12
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Why Is My Period Late Common Causes And Reasons
Most women have a 28-day menstrual cycle but this varies from woman to woman. Periods can be as late as a 35-40 day cycle, or its possible to miss periods altogether.
The question is when you should investigate late or absent periods. If this occurs for just one cycle there is rarely a serious cause and it is a minor alteration in your normal state of being. However, if your period is persistently longer than it used to be, especially if it is a week or more longer between cycles or if you have no period at all , it is worthwhile to investigate the cause. A good working rule for women of reproductive age is if your period is late always exclude pregnancy as the first task.
Is It Normal To Miss A Period
There are several times in a persons life when irregular periods are expected: when a person first starts having periods , during breastfeeding, and at the beginning of perimenopause . On average, most people get their periods every 28 days. But a healthy persons menstrual cycle can last from 21 to 35 days. Apart from puberty, menopause, and pregnancy, a missed period may indicate a health issue.
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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.
What Is Considered A Delayed Period
The normal menstrual cycle averages 28 to 30 days. Ideally your cycle runs like a clock and you can totally count on it.
But in reality, many reasons can alter the regularity of our menstrual cycles, and its common to experience shorter or longer menstrual cycles from time to time.
If your cycle comes within 7 days earlier or later than when its supposed to come, its considered normal.
However, if the delay is longer than 7 days, then you need to pay attention and find out what may have caused it.
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Warm Compress Or Bath
A warm bath may help relax tight muscles and relieve emotional stress. Perhaps this is the reason for anecdotal reports that this can help to bring on your period.
You can try adding some relaxing scented oil to a bath. You could also try using a warm compress such as a hot water bottle by applying it to the abdomen.
Heat may help you relax. It may also help increase blood flow to the area, thus gently accelerating the menstrual cycle. However, research is needed to support this.
What Are The Signs Of Implantation
Implantation is the process when an embryo attaches itself to the uterine lining. It doesnt always cause symptoms. However, some people report feeling light cramping, headaches, and mood swings around the time of implantation. Implantation bleeding can occur around the date when you expect your period, but its usually lighter and only causes pink or brown spotting or discharge.
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When To Visit The Doctor
While many factors can affect the regularity of your periods, an occasional late period is often for no apparent reason at all, according to Dr. Berman. But if it’s frequently happening or you’re experiencing other symptoms, speak to a health care provider.
“Many people will, for various reasons, occasionally not ovulate, and this can cause an early or delayed menses,” he says. “Depending on history, it may require further testing to determine the cause.”
Make an appointment with your doctor if you can’t pinpoint the reasons for a late period your health care provider may want to check for specific health conditions. It’s also important to note that vaginal bleeding after a late period may not be the monthly visitor you expected.
“Anybody who experiences heavy bleeding and pain after a missed period and/or a positive pregnancy test should go to the doctor,” says Dr. McDonald. “All bleeding is not a period, especially in a setting where something is off.”
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:
Imagine A Hamster On A Wheel Yep That Is The Constant State Of My Brain
Over the years of stressing every month i have learned to go through a simple checklist in my mind before i really freak out. I like to think of the things that could be effecting my period being late. Especially because that period of waiting before you can even take a pregnancy test can be unbearable to the mind. Or maybe you already took a pregnancy test, it was negative, and now you are desperate for a different answer. Going to the doctor for answers like this isnt always the easiest thing for us, and not all of us really want to. I totally get it.
Sharing what i have learned will hopefully help reduce that stress even if its just a little bit, for another woman. Mental Health is so important to me now than it ever has been before. We really do have to work on our mental health constantly. The things i have added to my pre-stress list over the time of figuring out my own health are:
Knowing the exact week of my last period and giving myself a 4-7 day grace period.
I always like to give myself a good week before i really start to stress out. Sometimes our bodies are just a little behind and need some time to catch up with themselves. Even if your period has always been consistently the same, its important to remember that our bodies change so much all of the time. That is why its so important to understand yourself the best that you can and to give yourself that grace period.
Considering if i have been sick or if anyone else in my house has been sick.
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.
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Late Period: Everything You Need To Know
Having a late period might come as a surprise, especially if youre not trying to get pregnant. Should you take a pregnancy test? The truth is, there are many reasons for late periods other than pregnancy. Your health, age, diet, stress, and exercise can all affect the regularity of your menstrual cycle. In this article, well look at the most common late period causes and go over some common questions about delayed menstruation.
The Facts About Irregular Or Late Periods
Approximately 30% of women have irregular periods during their fertile years, and whilst an irregular cycle is not usually a problem it can occasionally signal health issues.
When a woman stops getting her period this condition is called amenorrhoea. Primary amenorrhoea is when a young woman, usually an adolescent, never had her period, to begin with during puberty. Secondary amenorrhoea is when a woman who has had her period in the past stops getting her monthly period for three or more months.
Having a regular, moderately pain-free period each month is always a good indication that the female hormones are in balance and the reproductive system is working properly. Women with a regular cycle, and normal ovarian function release one egg about every 25 to 28 days. The average time between periods varies depending on the woman, especially during puberty and the peri-menopausal phase. However, most women will have their periods once a month providing they are in good health.
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Doing Too Much Exercise
The stress that intense physical activity places on your body can affect the hormones responsible for your periods. Losing too much body fat through intense exercise can also stop you ovulating.
You’ll be advised to reduce your level of activity if excessive exercise has caused your periods to stop.
If you’re a professional athlete, you may benefit from seeing a doctor who specialises in sports medicine. They’ll be able to give you advice about how to maintain your performance without disrupting your periods.
How Late Can A Period Be
A typical menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but depending on the woman, a healthy cycle can be a short as 21 or as long as 35 days. Track your period over several months to look for cycle patterns and changes . This will help you figure out what a normal menstrual cycle usually looks like for you.
A period is usually considered late if it hasnt started within seven days of when you expect it .
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When To Talk To Your Ob/gyn
Since there are so many things that can cause you to miss a period, its hard to figure out for sure what is happening to you on your own. If you get a negative pregnancy test and think you could still be pregnant, then wait a few days and test again.
If you know that theres no way you could be pregnant or you receive a second negative test, then consider reaching out to your OB/GYN. Your doctor can run special tests to check your hormones and other health factors to figure out what you need to regulate your period again.
Schedule a checkup at one of our All About Women offices in Gainesville and Lake City, FL with one of our caring and trusted doctors. Were ready to answer your questions and get you on the path toward a healthier and happier YOU.