What Defines A Missed Period
A period is considered missed when it skips an entire cycle. Most menstrual cycles are between 21 and 35 days. Cycle lengths will not vary much from month to month, but its not uncommon for a period to be a few days late or early.
For some people, menstrual cycles are irregular and the length varies widely from month to month. Its a good idea to keep track of your cycle so you know your bodys rhythm. You can do this by marking a calendar or using a tracking app.
Make an appointment with your doctor if your period hasnt arrived after about 40 days, especially if you normally have regular cycles.
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.
We Know You’re Wondering: Is It Possible To Be Pregnant And Still Have A Period
Nope, experts say. Some people may experience bleeding or spotting, but those are different bleeding patterns from the cyclical menses your body experiences in absence of a pregnancy.
Dr. Michele Hakakha, an OB-GYN and author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy, told Parents that people definitely can experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, but that “when they bleed, they are not having a ‘period.'” That’s because your body needs to reserve the uterine lining as nourishment for the growing pregnancy.
Although bleeding during pregnancy doesn’t always mean cause for concern, it can indicate something more serious like a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In the earliest stage of pregnancy, however, some very light bleeding is totally normal and leads us to our first pregnancy clue: implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding usually doesn’t last more than a couple of days, and it’s much lighter than most people’s periods .
You May Like: My Period Is 15 Days Late
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.
Is It Okay To Miss Your Period For 3 Months
Yes, you may have a missed period for a whole month for many reasons other than pregnancy. The reasons why you miss your period for a month may include stress, low body weight, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome , use of birth control, certain chronic diseases, early perimenopause, and thyroid issues. No period for three months: is it okay?
Don’t Miss: Started My Period A Week Early
Producing Too Much Prolactin
Prolactin is a hormone that the body usually makes during breastfeeding. It can halt menstruation and is the reason why most breastfeeding women do not have periods.
In people who are not breastfeeding, a milky discharge from the nipples can signify that the body is making an abnormally high amount of prolactin. Doctors can treat excessive prolactin production with medication.
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.
Read Also: My Period Is 3 Days Late Should I Be Worried
What To Do If You Have A Missed Period For 2 Months
If you miss your period for 2 months in a row, you should connect with your doctor to see if everything is okay. You can also try a few things at home first:
1. Take a Pregnancy Test
After the first month passes, take a home pregnancy test when you are around two weeks late for your period. You can buy these online or at any drugstore. If the test is positive, give your doctor a call for confirmation. If the test is negative, give it a few more weeks then re-test.
2. Change Your Lifestyle
Have you started a new birth control method? Are you under a lot of stress? Have you lost or gained weight? One of the above causes may be the issue and you may be able to make some changes in your lifestyle that will help balance your cycles.
3. Call Your Doctor
If you don’t have a period after two or three months, you need to call your doctor. Going longer than two months is abnormal and you will need to be evaluated. The doctor will diagnose the cause and you may need medical treatment.
When To See Your Doctor
Your doctor can properly diagnose the reason for your late or missed period and discuss your treatment options. Keep a record of changes in your cycle as well as other health changes to show your doctor. This will help them make a diagnosis.
If you have the following symptoms, contact a doctor right away:
You May Like: Why Is My Period Blood Flow So Heavy
When To Visit The Ob/gyn
A rule of thumb when dealing with periods is that one or two irregular months arent abnormal, but anything more is worth a phone call to our office. Amenorrhea, which is the absence of periods, can be caused by a number of factors, and we can help diagnose and treat those issues.
Have you noticed something is off with your menstrual cycle? Bring your problems to Dr. Serrano at Serrano OBGyn. You can make an appointment by calling our office in San Antonio, Texas, at 210-761-5309, or visit our contact page for more information.
You Might Also Enjoy…
Use Of Birth Control Contraceptives
Specific birth control plans completely stop your periods and cause you to missed menstrual for about two months.
Birth control, such as Norplant device and Depo-Provera injections.
Also, another type of birth control pills can make you have an irregular menstrual cycle from time to time.
It can take like six months for your period to become normal again after you stop or start using birth control pills.
Read Also: What Age Do You Normally Get Your Period
Why Is My Period Late
Every woman in their reproductive years and at puberty will notice cyclical bleeding called period or menstruation.
Normal period in girls last about 2-7 days with normal flow of 40 60 mls. Between 2 of your period is ovulation cycle or menstrual cycle.
The normal cycle is between 21 35 days and can vary due to stress, anxiety, illnesses or due to medical conditions.
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Talk To Your Daughter About Her Period
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
What To Do If Period Are Late
If your period is late by a few days, then you dont have to worry yet. However, If youve already missed your period for weeks, then get a pregnancy test done.
Also, if you are expecting an event and just want to period out, then it can be induced. Induction of period can happen if you add parsley to you food or take vitamin C.
Inducing your period may cause a miscarriage if you are already pregnant. Please always get a test done first.
Read Also: Best Way To Get Rid Of Period Headaches
Reasons For Missed Periods
There are many reasons why you may have missed your period. Some women miss periods regularly because they don’t ovulate regularly. You might also miss a period if you have a change in your sleep patterns, for example, or if you start working night shifts which can throw your cycles out of whack as your body learns to adjust to it.
You can also miss your period if your weight is too low. After a certain amount of body fat, you may not have the hormone production to sustain your periods. This is often true if you’re a very competitive athlete or suffer from disordered eating like anorexia or even bulimia.
Sometimes stress can be a reason that your period is missing. This can usually be determined easily by a discussion with your doctor.
What Are The Possible Health Consequences
In the short term, skipping periods shouldn’t cause you harm. However, if it goes on for a longer time, it may cause some problems. Price says the major potential long-term consequences of irregular periods, particularly if you have PCOS are:
- A higher risk of heart disease.
- In rare cases, irregular periods – could signal womb cancer.
You May Like: I Got My Period 2 Weeks Early
Referral To A Specialist
If your GP thinks an underlying medical condition might have caused your periods to stop, they may refer you to a specialist.
Depending on what your GP thinks is causing the problem, you may be referred to:
- a gynaecologist a specialist in treating conditions affecting the female reproductive system
- an endocrinologist a specialist in treating hormonal conditions
You may have a full gynaecological examination and various tests, including:
- blood tests to see whether you have abnormal levels of certain hormones
- an ultrasound scan, CT scan or MRI scan to identify any problems with your reproductive system or pituitary gland
When Should You Worry About Absent Periods
If you’ve taken a pregnancy test and it comes back negative, the next thing to do is track how often this is happening. “The occasional missed period is not unusual,” says Dr Karen Morton, consultant gynaecologist and founder of Dr Morton’s. But if periods become generally infrequent or stop altogether, Morton says it’s time to pay closer attention to what is going on.
Don’t Miss: How To Know When Your Getting Your Period
Age And Menstrual Cycle
To start with, how old are you?
If you are under 20, remember that the first few years after you get your period are characterized by irregular and missed periods as your body establishes its own natural cycle. This is completely normal.
If you are over 40, you may be reaching perimenopause, the stage before menopause, where periods can be missed or become irregular.
How Is Amenorrhea Diagnosed
Diagnosis begins with a medical history and a complete physical exam, including a pelvic exam. Your healthcare provider will want to rule out other menstrual disorders, medical conditions, or medicines that may be causing or aggravating the condition. A diagnosis of amenorrhea means that you miss at least 3 periods in a row, without being pregnant. Young women who havent had their first menstrual period by age 15 should be evaluated promptly. Making an early diagnosis and starting treatment as soon as possible is very important.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Period When On Birth Control
Factors Influencing Secondary Amenorrhea
- If you are under a great deal of stress, then you are more likely to skip a period. If you are also severely underweight or obese, then you could even skip a period or have secondary amenorrhea. This is why doctors place such a significant emphasis on staying healthy and eating right what you put into your body will influence your menstrual cycle. Do not go on an extreme weight loss diet as this can cause you to miss a period as well.
- Jetlag and Travelling
- Jetlag and extensive travel also influence a womans menstrual cycle. This is because your sleeping and eating schedule are not properly synched, which harms your overall health.
- Excessive Exercise
- Excessive or extreme exercise can disrupt your menstrual cycle and lead to secondary amenorrhea.