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.
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How Much Of A Delay Is Normal In Periods
Worried about a late period, but know youre not pregnant? Missed or late periods happen for many reasons other than pregnancy. Common causes can range from hormonal imbalances to serious medical conditions.
There are also two times when its typical for your period to be irregular: when it first begins, and when the menopause transition starts. As your body goes through the transition, your cycle can become irregular.
Most people who havent reached menopause usually have a period approximately every 28 days. However, a healthy menstrual cycle can range from every 21 to 40 days. If your period doesnt fall within these ranges, it could be because of one of the following reasons.
Feeling Nauseous And/or Being Sick
New pregnancy hormones are flooding your body and, for some women, the reaction to this is to feel sick. Some women feel slightly queasy and others may actually be sick. This is commonly known as morning sickness but it can happen at any time of the day.
You might be more sensitive to smells, including food and cooking.
If you cant keep any food or water down talk to your midwife or GP because there is a risk that you may become dehydrated.
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Im Not Pregnant So Why Is My Period Late
So the pregnancy test came out negative, and you still havent got your period, what then? There are many reasons why you may miss or skip a period, or why your periods may stop altogether.
If pregnancy cannot be ruled out after a negative test result, you may be late or have skipped your period due to:
There are many reasons why your period is late or skipped, and most, like stress, are no cause for alarm and your periods can return to normal with a few healthy lifestyle changes.
However, to rule out any causes for concern, if you miss more than one period you may want to see your doctor for medical advice.
Can You Make Your Period Come Faster
There are various reasons why you might wish to induce your period. Perhaps you want to get your period over and done with before a holiday or a special occasion. Maybe you have an irregular cycle and want more predictability so that you can plan a pregnancy. Or maybe your period is delayed, causing you to feel stressed or worried.
If your period is delayed, or you stopped getting it, treating the cause may help you regulate your monthly cycle.
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What Is Birth Control
Birth control comes in many forms. One of the most common is hormonal birth control pills which use various combinations of estrogen, progesterone, or synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy. You may take the pill every day, with placebo pills during your period receive a shot or utilize some form of implant.
Many women take birth control as a form of family planning and contraceptive. Others take it as a way to manage other health issues, such as uterine fibroids or hormonal imbalance. While some forms of birth control suppress menstrual periods, many regulate it. On many forms of birth control, you will still have your regular menstrual period. Birth control may even make your period more consistent.
It can be stressful to miss your period, especially when youre taking your birth control consistently. There are several reasons why you might miss your period on birth control, including stress, changes in diet or lifestyle, changes in exercise routine, or the long-term effects of using birth control.
If you miss your period, you should consider taking a pregnancy test and following up with your doctor to determine any underlying causes.
Food And Odor Aversions Or Cravings
Aversions to certain foods or odors are caused by your bodys hormonal changes during the first trimester of pregnancy. You may start to despise the way your favorite dinner smells or tastes, or, on the flip side, you may crave certain snacks, meals, beverages or food combinations.
When it comes to cravings or aversions, listen to your body. Its okay to occasionally indulge in late-night ice cream runsjust dont overdo it. Talk to your OBGYN if youre unable to stomach major food groups like vegetables or whole grains. The two of you can discuss foods that can easily be substituted in.
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Can You Be Pregnant And Still Feel Like Your Period Is Coming
Headaches and dizziness: Headaches and the feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness are common during early pregnancy. This happens because of both the hormonal changes in your body and your increasing blood volume. Cramping: You can also experience cramps that might feel like your period is about to start.
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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Taking Only The Active Combination Pills
If youre using a combination pill pack, you just need to take only the active pills with no breaks in between. You should talk to your doctor or pharmacist so they can show you which pills are active and which are the placebo pills. Youll want to throw out the placebos.
If you take the active pills continuously, you wont get a period until you stop them.
If you stop taking active pills, you may experience a withdrawal bleed, which is similar to your period. Dabney recommends that you allow this to happen once every three to four months.
Dabney says some birth control pills have a higher risk of abnormal bleeding than others. You should check with your doctor if you want to start skipping your period. They may recommend that you change the type of pill you take.
Youll also want to check with your insurance provider to make sure theyll cover more pills in less time, since youll be going through pill packs faster.
You should not be off of the birth control longer than 7 days, or you will lose contraception efficacy.
Stopped Or Missed Periods
There are many reasons why a woman may miss her period, or why periods might stop altogether.
Most women have a period every 28 days or so, but it’s common to have a slightly shorter or longer cycle than this .
Some women do not always have a regular menstrual cycle. Their period may be early or late, and how long it lasts and how heavy it is may vary each time.
Read more about irregular periods and heavy periods.
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Your Stress Levels Change
Stress, from the anxiety that comes from studying for exams to dealing with a loss of a family member, can change a womans period making it irregular, delaying it or causing it to disappear altogether.
When we think about it, having periods means having babies. Its a part of our reproduction if your body doesnt think youre in a good space or good time to carry a pregnancy it will delay the process.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and other tissues that form a sling across the pelvis, which holds together the vagina, uterus, bladder, rectum, and other pelvic organs, according to the NLM. Just like any other part of your body, your pelvic floor can become weak or injured, particularly after pregnancy and childbirth, and cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, lower back pain, and the feeling of pelvic pressure or fullness that are akin to those during your period.
The standout difference from menstruation pain? If you can feel a bulge inside the vagina or, in more extreme cases, you can see your organs start to push out of the vaginal opening, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , then you are probably dealing with pelvic floor muscular problems.
Other symptoms include pain during sex, burning feeling in the vagina and while peeing, leaking urine when you cough, laugh, or exercise, and leaking stool or hard time making it to the bathroom in time. To determine whats going on, ACOG says that your health care provide will typically conduct vaginal and rectal exams in which you may be asked to cough or strain to see if you leak.
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The Basics Of Birth Control Pills
When you swallow birth control pills, youre ingesting one or more synthetic hormones. This could be a combination of estrogen and progestin, or just progestin, depending on the type of birth control that youre taking. These hormones work to prevent pregnancy in three different ways.
First, they work to prevent your ovaries from ovulating, or releasing an egg each month.
They also thicken the cervical mucus, which makes it harder for sperm to reach an egg if one is released. The hormones can thin the uterine lining, too. This means that if an egg does get fertilized, itll be difficult for it to attach to the uterine lining and develop.
Birth control pills are over 99 percent effective when used correctly. This means taking the pill at the same time every day. If you miss a day or youre late taking your pill, the efficacy can decrease. With typical use, the failure rate is about
Several different types of birth control pills are available.
Some are similar to the pill packs that were first made available in 1960. They included 21 days of pills with active hormones and seven placebo or inactive pills. When you take an inactive pill, it allows for bleeding that mimics normal menstruation.
There are also packs that allow for 24 days of active pills and a shorter menstrual-like bleeding period.
Extended-cycle or continuous regimens consist of a couple of months worth of active pills. They can either reduce the number of periods you have or eliminate your period entirely.
Sohow Much Of A Delay In Your Period Is Still Considered Normal
âIf you have one or two irregular periods it is definitely something to pay attention to,â says Sherry Ross, MD, an ob-gyn at Providence Saint Johnâs Health Center in Santa Monica, California. A period is considered late if it hasnât 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, that’s 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 there’s no way you’re 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.
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Symptoms Of Missed Period On Birth Control
When you miss your period on birth control, it is important to be aware of other symptoms. A missed period may occur in tandem with symptoms that are similar to premenstrual symptoms or early pregnancy, such as:
If you miss your period and experience any additional symptoms, plan on taking a pregnancy test and following up with your primary care physician.
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.
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Why Am I Not Getting My Period At All
The medical term for absent periods is amenorrhea, and is considered to occur when a woman who has previously had normal periods stops menstruating for six months or more. Many of the causes of amenorrhea are the same as those for a skipped period. Your period can be absent for a number of reasons:
The most common reason to not get your period is because you are pregnant. A home pregnancy test can quickly tell you if that is the reason.
Most women stop getting their periods in their late 40s or early 50s. The average age is 51 years old.
If you breastfeed frequently, including at night-time, you may not get a period for many months. Be aware that you will ovulate prior to getting your period back, so birth control is important if you are not ready to be pregnant again.
While a sudden stressful life event can result in a single missed period, ongoing, high level stress and anxiety can cause your period to stop altogether. Managing stress though self-care, counselling, changing your life circumstances, medication, or other strategies can help you return to having normal periods.
Ongoing, dramatic weight loss, from low intake, excessive exercise, gastric bypass surgery, or eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia can stop your period. This happens because the hormones required for ovulation are not produced.
High levels of prolactin
Premature ovarian failure
Changes With Your Pill And Other Contraceptives
Kirkham says women who begin a new routine of a birth control pill or IUD may experience normal changes in their period flow.
Sometimes you have to go on the pill to regulate the period. If you go off, you go back to the original problem.
Other reasons women may miss their periods can include taking certain anti-depressant medication, being obese or having a benign tumour called prolactinoma, which is quite rare. Kirkham says the best thing women can do is to alert their health-care provider as soon as they notice changes.
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Why Does Stress Cause Delayed/missed/late Periods
Even if you rarely have to deal with irregular periods, sometimes stress can throw a wrench in the works and mess up your whole menstrual cycle.
Yup, stress can actually cause your period to be late or delayed when your body is so freaked out by keeping you calm and whatâs happening around you, that makes you anxious, that your bodyâs hormones hold off on critical parts of your menstrual cycle, like ovulation. Think about it from a cavewoman perspective. Stress causes your body to go into fight-or-flight mode, and if youâre running from a giant wooly mammoth, letâs say, it makes sense that your body would be like, âOh this would be a not-so-great time to have a baby right nowâ and hit pause on keeping your reproductive systems ready-to-go. While yes, this does introduce a whole new set of stress, your body probably thinks that Cavewoman-you would likely not have time to ask, âOh crap, why is my period late?â in this scenario.
Ideally you are not so anxious that your body interprets your stress level as running-from-wooly-mammoth-high, but you get it.
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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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 .