Generally, women usually have 11 – 13 menstrual periods /year. But there are also some of them who have fewer or more. Missed period is commonly considered as an early sign of pregnancy. But sometimes it may occur when the pregnancy test is negative. In such case, you should not ignore it, particularly true if you also experience other unusual symptoms.
Your missed period must be looked at in terms of whether it is normal or abnormal!
Nothing strikes fear into your heart like a missed menstruation, unless you are trying to get pregnant. So regardless the pregnancy, what are other causes of missed period? Why some women have regular period, while others (most of them) have irregular cycles?
What are they?
In the first years of your menstruation, your periods are more likely to occur in irregular cycles. This is reasonable since your body begins to adapt the new mechanism in preparing your reproductive phase (child bearing years). Typically, it may take several years before your hormones that have function to regular your menstruation reach a balance.
Then your cycles are going to regular gradually as you age. And this will begin to be irregular when you are close to your menopause. Even in the early years of your perimenopause, your period can be very irregular.
Typically, you are at your menopause phase when your last menstruation has been more than 12 months.
If you are not pregnant, your missed period may be caused by one or some of the following reasons!
The balance of your female hormones is so crucial to maintain the cycle of your menstruation. So, when you have hormonal imbalance, it can significantly affect the cycle of your ovulation & menstruation process.
Both overweight and underweight can affect the mechanisms in your body to regulate your menstruation, particularly true if your weight loss /weight gain occurs too quickly. The balance of fat in your body has a significant contribution in producing your female hormones (particularly such as estrogen).
Estrogen is so crucial to maintain the cycle of your menstruation. If it works improperly, your menstruation will be affected. If you have excessively fat cells, your body is more likely to produce more estrogen which then eventually will affect your menstruation cycle. In addition, women overweight are also more likely to have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) than women with normal weight.
On the other hand, having inadequate fat cells will cause poor production of estrogen. As a result, your body has poor estrogen to maintain your menstruation cycle. In fact, women with underweight (especially extremely underweight) have increased risk of having amenorrhea. Typically, women with amenorrhea can have missed periods for at least 3 menstrual cycles in a row.
Eating disorder can directly affect your weight. And as mentioned before, both underweight & overweight can affect your menstruation cycle. Women with bulimics or anorexics are at risk of hormonal changes – as a result, they are also at higher risk of having problems associated with menstruation (including late period).
Bulimia is a kind of eating disorder that can cause extremely weight gain. Typically, people with bulimia are characterized by the unusual habit of excessively eating big meals (large amount of food) in a short time ‘binge’.
And for anorexia, it is the opposite of bulimia. Typically, people with this kind of eating disorder have an excessively fear of weight gain, and they are also obsessed by having excessively thin body. That’s why they often severely (abnormally) limit /restrict the amount of food that they eat.
For women with regular period, it is much easier for them to estimate their ovulation days and the days of when the bleeding of the end of their menstruation cycle will occur.
On the other hand, if your period is irregular, there is higher possibility to get miscalculation. In other words, sometimes your cycle is believed to be late (delayed) when in all actuality you get simply miscalculated.
As well we know that stress can generate a lot of problems, such as increased blood pressure. In women, it also can affect their menstruation period. Women with uncontrollable stress are not only at risk of having late period but also will be more difficult to conceive.
If you are now also planning for pregnancy, it is important to control your stress. Stress and anxiety can affect your ovulation process. Both can reduce the production of GnRH hormone (another kind of hormone that is also important regulate your ovulation & menstruation).
In addition, some studies also found that elevated emotional stress can affect the way of hypothalamus to work. Hypothalamus is one of crucial parts of the brain. Experts believe that it has important function to trigger and regulate the women menstruation cycle.
Late period also can be triggered by illness or even short /sudden illness. For this case, you should not worry because it is typically only temporary – your normal period usually will resume after your illness goes away.
We all agree that regular exercise is good for the overall health. But for vigorous exercise, sometimes it can lead to late period. Athletes who need to take more intensive training often have missed period.
Furthermore, changes in schedule of your work also can affect your menstruation. This is particularly true if you have this change from days to nights (or vice versa) at work.
Certain medicines (such as birth control pills, oral corticosteroids, certain antidepressants, and chemotherapy drugs) can affect the cycles of your menstruation. Read also the previous post about delayed period on birth control, in here!
Moreover, if you are trying a new medication – this may also cause a delayed menstruation. Before taking a new medication and changing your medications, make sure you consult first with your doctor (particularly for the side effects).
As the name suggests, perimenopause is the phase of transition between the phase of non-menopause (reproductive age) and menopause (non-reproductive age). In perimenopause, women begin to notice some early signs of menopause, one of them is late period.