You’re Extremely Stressed Out
“A variety of factors can impact periods, including significant stress,”Dr. Felice Gersh M.D., an OB/GYN, tells Bustle. Stress takes a toll on the body, particularly when in large quantities, because it can throw off the connection between the pituitary gland and our ovaries. An off-kilter ovulation can make your period come a bit later than usual.
If you’re going through a particularly stressful time, like a breakup or starting a new job, your period may decide to hold off on you for a little while. If this keeps happening for a while, though, you might be chronically stressed out, which means you should consider making some lifestyle changes or at the very least, go see a doctor. Letting this kind of heavy stress take over may result in amenorrhea, which is the loss of your period entirely.
Reasons Why Your Period May Be Late
To prevent any proverbial elephants in the room, lets get this one under our belts first! If your period is running late, ask yourself: is there any chance I could be pregnant?
Its fine to wait a few days after you would have expected your period to start to see if its just running late. However, if it still hasnt made an appearance after that, and you have had sex, then its best to take a pregnancy test. You can take most pregnancy tests from the first day of a missed period. If youre not sure when your next period is due, the NHS recommends doing the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex or when you suspect your contraception may not have worked. Some pregnancy tests advertise that they can be taken earlier than this. It is worth bearing in mind that accuracy of these tests can vary at such an early stage in a pregnancy.
Pregnancy tests are widely available in pharmacies and supermarkets, but you can often get one for free from your doctors surgery, contraception & sexual health clinic, or NHS walk-in centre, as well as some pregnancy advisory services. You can contact your GP, doctor, or sexual health clinic for advice about taking a pregnancy test, or next steps if you have a positive result. More information is available on the NHS website.
2. You are just starting your periods
3. Post-birth or breastfeeding
9. Intense exercise
Reasons For Missed Periods Or Absence Of Menstruation
Some peoples periods arrive each month like clockwork. For others, periods are unpredictable and may come as a surprise. Sometimes, they dont happen at all! This doesnt necessarily mean youre pregnant.
Missed or late periods may happen for a variety of reasons apart from pregnancy. Common causes of missed or irregular periods range from hormonal imbalances to medical issues. Lets discuss the main reasons for a missed period and when its time to contact a health care provider.
Change In Your Schedule
Minor changes in your schedule arent going to have an impact on your menstrual cycle but intense ones, like switching to the night shift or having jet lag from traveling across the world , can. The good news is that its temporary. Once your body acclimates to your new schedule, your periods should resume as normal. If they dont, its worth calling your doctor about.
Rare Causes Of Test Malfunction
A rare, counterintuitive cause for a false negative is that you are too far along in your pregnancy. For example, if your period is weeks to months late, a pregnancy test might come up negative. This is called the variant hook effect.
Another unusual but possible reason for a false negative is that youre expecting triplets or even twins. In this case, a false negative pregnancy test can be caused by what is known as the high dose hook effect. Ironically, unusually high levels of hCG can cause a pregnancy test to give a false negative result.
A very rare cause of a false negative pregnancy test is when the hCG hormone in your body does not react with the anti-hCG chemicals in the test. In this case, you might need to wait a few more days before you can get a positive result or need to have a blood test.
You might ultimately need to have a serum pregnancy blood test or ultrasound to confirm pregnancy.
If you still havent gotten your period after a few more days, try the test again. If subsequent tests continue to show a negative pregnancy test result, youll want to talk to your healthcare provider about further testing.
Recommended Reading: Why Am I Bleeding 2 Weeks After My Last Period
You May Like: Just Got Off My Period Can I Get Pregnant
Can You Miss A Period And Not Be Pregnant
Yes! Pregnancy isnt the only thing that can cause a missed period. Hormonal imbalances, such as those caused by polycystic ovary syndrome or follicular cysts, can make you miss your period. Stress, hormonal birth control, excessive exercise, malnutrition, breastfeeding, chronic diseases, and certain drugs can all cause you to miss a period.
Recommended Reading: How To Talk To Your Daughter About Her Period
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:
Don’t Miss: Ways To Make Your Period Lighter
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.
Read Also: Heavy Bleeding 2 Weeks After Period
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
You May Like: 90 Day Probationary Period Policy Examples
You May Like: What Does It Mean If You Miss Your Period
Youve Just Started Menstruating
Young women who have only had a few periods may not have regular cycles at first. It can take a few months for cycles to become regular. This is also true if you have just come off of birth control medication that stopped menstrual periods. It makes take a little while for you to get a period every month again.
You Used Emergency Contraception Sometime In The Past Few Months
If youve taken emergency contraception, like Plan B, as a precautionary measure after unprotected sex, theres a chance it could be making your period very late. Princeton reported several studies that showed menstrual cycle lengths were altered after women took emergency contraception.
However, if your period is more than a week late and you recently took emergency contraception, The Center for Womens Health suggests seeing your health care provider.
Also Check: Primosiston To Stop Period
You May Like: What To Do When Your Stomach Hurts On Period
Sohow Much Of A Delay In Your Period Is Still Considered Normal
Ã¢If you have one or two irregular periods it is definitely something to pay attention to,Ã¢ says Sherry Ross, MD, an ob-gyn at Providence Saint JohnÃ¢s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. A period is considered late if it hasnÃ¢t started five or more days after the day you expected it to begin, according to Summit Medical Group. So if your period is, say, 10 days late, definitely take a pregnancy test and check in with your ob-gyn regardless of the results. In general, if your flow has been MIA for a week or more, thatâs a sign you should take the test and also check in with your gyno to see what might be going on.
But again, you can miss a period and *not* be pregnant. If thereâs no way youâre pregnant and/or your test comes back negative , one of these factors, including all the stress you might be under right now, may be to blame for your late period problems. Then, your next step is definitely calling your doc so they can help you suss out the best solution or treatment for your situation.
Also Check: Can Plan B Make Your Period Early
Various Reasons Your Period Can Be Late When You Are Not Pregnant
Many people can automatically assume that they may be pregnant when their period is late, but many things can affect your monthly menstrual cycle and cause it to be late. It does not have to be because you are pregnant, which may be a relief to some people, and many things can make you late. Below are some of the various things that can cause your period to be late so you can understand more about your monthly cycle and what affects it better.
Read Also: Can You Die From Period Cramps
Recommended Reading: Can An Iud Be Removed While On Your Period
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.
Recommended Reading: Is It Bad To Masterbate On Your Period
Overactive Or Underactive Thyroid
Your thyroid is responsible for helping to regulate your bodys metabolism. If anything goes wrong with it, then it could cause an imbalance in your bodys hormones. Signs of an underactive or overactive thyroid include excessive fatigue, a rapid heartbeat and mood swings. Thyroid disorders are easily diagnosed with a simple blood test and physical exam.
Rare Causes Of A False Negative
In rare cases, an ectopic pregnancy can cause a false-negative test result. An ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo implants somewhere other than the uterus. This usually occurs in the fallopian tubes, but it can also happen elsewhere.
An ectopic pregnancy does not develop properly and is not viable. The formation of the placenta is delayed which impedes the production of hCG. An ectopic pregnancy can be dangerous if it causes the fallopian tube to rupture.
Ectopic pregnancies are rare, occurring in around 1 in 40 pregnancies. However, they can be fatal. Around 9% of pregnancy-related deaths are caused by an ectopic pregnancy.
If your period is late and you are experiencing severe pain, call your provider right away or go to the emergency room.
Another rare cause of a false negative test is gestational trophoblastic disease , more commonly known as a molar pregnancy. GTD is a rare type of tumor that forms from a developing embryo. In less than 1 in 100 cases, a healthy baby can develop from a molar pregnancy. Usually, however, a molar pregnancy ends in miscarriage.
GTD causes extremely high levels of hCG. As mentioned above, elevated levels of hCG can throw off an at-home pregnancy test and give a negative result. While GTD is a tumor, its rarely cancerous. The treatment is usually having a D& C. If pregnancy hormone levels remain high, chemotherapy might be needed.
You’ve Recently Experienced Significant Changes In Your Life
Druet tells Bustle that changes in sleep patterns, work hours, or even moving can affect your menstrual cycle, just like international travel can. This “will have a greater impact on your cycle as it is harder for your body to adjust to losing time,” Druet says.
No matter how minor you think the changes in your life may be, remember that your menstrual cycle doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s affected by the rest of your body and the myriad of your lifestyle choices, since they all have an effect on the balance your hormones.
You May Like: How Many Days After My Period Will I Ovulate
Sickness Or Low Immunity
Any illness like flu or cold lowers your immunity. Bodys energy is diverted for fighting the infection.
Typhoid, Cholera and Chickenpox patients lose a lot of weight. Such illness that drains your energy can cause the late period.
Sickness is another reason for the delayed period. Normal period cycle resumes after you recover from the disease.
How Late Can A Period Be Without Being Pregnant
Some people have their period every 28 days like clockwork. But most people will experience a late or missed period at least once without being pregnant, and thats perfectly normal.
For many, a late period can trigger thoughts of potential pregnancy. But a late period doesnt necessarily mean that youre pregnant.
Dont Miss: Why Do I Bleed So Much On My Period
You May Like: Why Am I Sad On My 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.
You’ve Gained Or Lost A Significant Amount Of Weight
Extreme changes in your weight can affect when your period arrives, Dr. Gersh says. Though body mass index is beginning to be considered a not-great measure of health, a sudden change in weight can be an indicator of stress on your body. If your BMI falls below 18 or 19, for example, you may even start missing periods altogether. Similarly, sudden weight gain could result in irregular periods as well. “Fad or crash diets, fasting, and thyroid dysfunction can all impact your period,” Dr. Gersh says.
Also Check: Why Do I Always Get Migraines On My Period
Does Missing A Period Mean You Are Pregnant
If you are sexually active and your period is late, there is a chance you might be pregnant so it might be worth taking a test.
Make sure you try and do this about a week after your period usually starts as taking at test too early could result in a fake negative.
There are also some other early symptoms of pregnancy to look out for that could help.
These include tender, painful or swollen breasts, nausea or vomiting and fatigue.
You Have A Chronic Condition
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.
Read Also: Can I Get A Pap Smear On My Period
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. Here are 6 reasons, besides being pregnant, that your period could be late.
What Happens To Your Body If You Skip A Period
According to Dr. Speichinger, missing one period isnt dangerous, but if you go more than three months without a period or continue to miss periods intermittently over a long period of time, there is the potential for problems depending on the reason why its happening. Some hormonal imbalances can affect the health of the uterus over time.
If the lack of a period is due to too much estrogen compared to other hormones, as is the case with PCOS or excess weight, then there is the added risk of having abnormal cells develop in the uterus, Dr. Speichinger explains.
If you dont know the reason for your menstrual irregularities or missed periods, its a good idea to check in with your provider. Notify your doctor at your annual examinations if your cycle is irregular, Dr. Gibson says. If you miss a cycle, take a pregnancy test, if you miss more than two periods, contact your doctor.