What Is Considered A Late Period
The average menstrual cycle lasts about 28 days. But it’s common for women to have a slightly shorter or longer cycle than this. This means that a womanâs menstrual cycle can fall anywhere within 21 to 38 days.
Your period can last for 3 to 8 days, and bleeding tends to be heaviest in the first 2 days.
It can take a few months to a few years to establish a regular cycle when you start getting your period for the first time. Some women always have irregular periods, where their menstrual cycle varies from month to month.
Keeping track of periods can help you to establish the length of your cycle, helping you to identify any irregularities. Some smartphone apps make tracking easier. Knowing when to expect your period will help you recognize if your period is late. Often periods are 2 to 3 days late with cycle fluctuations.
What A Typical 28
- Days 1-5: Menstrual bleeding
- Days 6-14: Uterine lining becomes thicker
- Day 14-19: Ovulation occurs and an egg is released from the ovary fertilization may occur
- Day 19-28 If no fertilization or implantation, hormonal changes occur and uterine lining prepares to shed
If you want a more detailed description of this process, .
There are a bunch of different hormones involved in menstruation estrogen, gonadotropin-releasing hormone , luteinizing hormone , follicle stimulating hormone , testosterone, progesterone and theyre all interdependent .
Your period depends on these hormones working in perfect harmony, so when theyre out of whack, it can wreak havoc on your cycle.
As youll see, there are dozens of things that can throw a wrench into that delicate hormone balance, delaying or preventing the arrival of your period.
Side note: Did you know your cycle even plays a large role in your libido? Yep, its true.
So lets get to the point: What are the things I wish I had known as a college freshman? And what are the things that can disrupt your hormones and cause your period to be late ?
What Is The Last Menstrual Period
The LMP is the date of the first day of the last menstrual period you had before conceiving. It is the first day that your last menstrual cycle begins when you see bright red blood, not just a little brown spotting. You should keep track of your LMP each month, either with an online calculator or just by recording it on a calendar each month. That is the date you use when entering the LMP on an online period calculator.
Whether you are trying to get pregnant or not trying to get pregnant, keeping track of your menstrual periods is vital. Besides pregnancy, missing a menstrual period could also be a sign of other issues like missed ovulation.
Recommended Reading: Mouth Swab Drug Test Detection Period
Referral To A Consultant
If your GP thinks a medical condition might have caused your periods to stop, they may refer you to a consultant who specialises in the condition.
Depending on what your GP suspects is causing the problem, you may be referred to:
- a gynaecologist a specialist in treating conditions that affect 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 the pituitary gland in your brain
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.
Also Check: Grace Period For Insurance After Buying A Car
Normal Cause Of A Missed Period During The First Year
- Skipping periods is common during the first 1 to 2 years after they start. This is due to not releasing an egg each month.
- This is most likely the cause if less than 2 years since the first period
- Has missed periods in the past or has had only 1 or 2 periods
- Otherwise healthy
- No signs of pregnancy such as breast tenderness, breast swelling or nausea
When To See Your Gp
See your GP if you have not started your periods by the time youre 16. Your GP can assess whether youre going through the normal stages of puberty.
Its also a good idea to see your GP if you have not developed any signs of puberty at all by the age of 14.
You may be advised to wait and see. In many cases your periods will start naturally by the time youre 18.
Your GP may recommend having blood tests to check your hormone levels.
You may be referred to a specialist . Theyll try to establish the cause and will be able to recommend any appropriate treatment.
Pregnancy is by far the most common cause of a missed period, but there are some other medical and lifestyle factors that can affect your menstrual cycle. Extreme weight loss, hormonal irregularities, and menopause are among the most common causes if youre not pregnant.
You may miss a period for one or two months, or you may experience complete amenorrheathat is, no period for three or more months in a row. This article explores 10 common reasons your period may be delayed.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
You May Like: How Do You Make Period Cramps Go Away
You Are Pregnant But You Are Too Far Along In Your Pregnancy
Dr. Ann Gronowski, professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis calls this the variant hook effect.
She explains that part of the problem is that hCG comes in many different isoforms, and after five weeks of pregnancy, you get much more of one variant form than you get of the hCG intact molecule.
In other words, at-home pregnancy tests are intended to detect early molecular forms of hCG. After five weeks of pregnancy, the hCGs molecular structure changes and that structure is unable to be detected as effectively, sometimes resulting in a false negative.
This is when a serum test would be your best option for accuracy.
My Pregnancy Test Says I Am Pregnant What Should I Do Next
If a home pregnancy test shows that you are pregnant, you should call your doctor to schedule an appointment.
Your doctor can use a blood test to tell for sure whether you are pregnant. Seeing your doctor early in your pregnancy also means you can begin prenatal care to help you and your baby stay healthy.
Read Also: Period Tracker For 11 Year Old
Read Also: Biweekly Pay Periods In A Year
How Many Days After My Period Can I Get Pregnant
Ovulation or the fertile window occurs between days 12 and 20 of your cycle, and studies have reported that you are more likely to become pregnant during this time because an egg is released from your ovary.
The exact time depends on the length of your cycle.
- If your menstrual cycle is of 28 days, you will ovulate near the 14th day, and your most fertile days are probably days 12, 13, and 14.
- If your menstrual cycle is around 35 days, ovulation will happen near the 21st day, and your fertile days are days 19, 20, and 21.
- Regardless of how long your cycle is, most women ovulate 10 to 16 days before the start of their next menstrual cycle.
- You can become pregnant if you have intercourse five days before ovulation and one day after ovulation.
- If there is live sperm in the fallopian tubes during ovulation, you are much more likely to become pregnant.
You can use fertility awareness as a natural birth control method. This means that if you have a period that lasts between 26 and 32 days, the days 8 through 19 will be the most fertile days. This method, however, works best if you have regular menstrual cycles. There is a one to five percent chance of getting pregnant.
Though the fertile window is when you have the best chance of becoming pregnant, you can become pregnant outside of it. Not every woman’s cycle is the same number of days and neither is their window.
Can You Be Pregnant And Have Low Hcg Levels
Causes of low hCG levels. If your hCG levels fall below the normal range, its not necessarily a cause for concern. Many women have gone on to have healthy pregnancies and babies with low hCG levels. Most women dont ever have cause to find out what their hCG levels are specifically.
What is classed as late implantation?
Implantation that occurs on the late end of the spectrum is known as late implantation. The spot where the embryo attaches itself inside of the endometrium can disrupt some blood vessels, which may cause some light bleeding anywhere from five to 10 days after conception, but before your period would typically occur.
You May Like: How Many Days After My Period Can I Get Pregnant
What Is The Longest Implantation Can Take
Once in the uterus, the egg implants itself into the lining of the uterus. The implantation process takes about 48 hours. The journey from conception to implantation can take anywhere from six to 12 days. Implantation that occurs on the late end of the spectrum is known as late implantation.
Whats the longest implantation can last?
In most cases, implantation spotting only lasts from a few hours to a couple days, but some women report having implantation spotting for up to seven days. You may experience some light cramping and soreness during implantation.
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.
You May Like: Can You Still Be Pregnant If You Had Your Period
How About If My Period Is Late And I Have Spotting Instead
Spotting is light bleeding during your menstrual cycle, but not enough to be considered a period. If you have spotting instead of your usual period, it is advisable to take a pregnancy test. Spotting is a sign of early pregnancy, especially if it is accompanied by other pregnancy symptoms such as nausea with or without vomiting, tiredness and fatigue, dizziness, breast changes such as tenderness and frequent urination.
Spotting can occur 1 to 2 weeks after fertilisation when the fertilised egg implants in the lining of your uterus. It is not uncommon to have spotting after sex or after a vaginal exam.
However, several health issues can also cause spotting. It can also be a sign of infection such as STIs and PID, stress, or other medical conditions such as PCOS or thyroid conditions. It doesnât always spell pregnancy.
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Missing a period every once in a while is usually not cause for concern. How much of a delay is normal for your period? It depends. On average, a menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but 38 days could also be within the range of normal. And your cycle will change throughout your life, so at some time, you’re likely to experience a late period when you’re not pregnant.
That said, you should contact your healthcare provider if you miss more than one period, or if 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
Recommended Reading: Is It Ok If Your Period Is Late
Diseases Such As Pcod
Diseases of ovary such as ovarian cancer or PCOD affect the normal functions of ovaries. So due to cysts or benign tumors ovaries wont be able to ovulate and hence you wont get your periods.
For those of you who dont know the reason for getting periods, the bleeding is due to sloughing off the vaginal lining. This vaginal lining is for implantation of the embryo if the egg and sperm fertilize.
In cases of PCOD and other illness, you wont be able to get pregnant too. Hence when you are suffering PCOD, you will get a late period and negative pregnancy test.
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.
Don’t Miss: I Am 47 Years Old And My Period Is Late
Medications Including Birth Control
The most obvious medication that can impact your periods: hormonal birth control, like the pill, an IUD, or an injection .
Thats kind of the point, right?
But while birth control can help to regulate your cycle so its more predictable, the first 6 or so months after starting those medications will be an adjustment for your body, so some irregularity is to be expected.
Plus, some hormonal birth control methods actually eliminate periods altogether or work so that you get your period only every three months instead of every month.
Ask your doctor if the birth control youre using might have these effects so youll be prepared and if its something that makes you uncomfortable or nervous, try a different birth control method.
Other medications that can mess with your cycle include Warfarin, thyroid medications, epilepsy medications, antidepressants, chemotherapy drugs, herbal supplements and even aspirin and NSAIDs when taken regularly.
A doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you if missed periods are a possible side effect of any medications youre taking.
Have More To Say About This Topic
At Womens Health Interactive, we do things a little bit different.
Rather than commenting at the end of an article and getting no response, we thought it would be much more empowering to create a place where you can have a running discussion about the topics that matter most to you, moderated by the authors themselves!
Just click the button below and youll be taken to the LIVE discussion of this topic on our forum, where you can jump right in, lend your voice and get a REAL response!
Read Also: Best Time To Get Pregnant After Period
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.
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.
Read Also: Why Do I Get Bloated On My Period
How Do You Know If Your Period Is Late
Whether youre busy or just have a lot on your mind, its easy to forget when you should expect your period to start. But if youre not sure when to expect your period, its hard to know if its late.
A period tracking app like Flo can help. By logging your usual menstrual cycle dates, Flo can predict when you can expect your period. This information can also be very useful if you need to go to your health care provider when you miss your period. Having information about your cycle can help them understand whats happening inside your body.