Did you miss your period but know you’re not pregnant? A missed or late period doesn’t always mean you’re a soon-to-be mom. This month, we’re exploring the multitude of other reasons your time of the month could be a week or two past due.
There are two monumental times in a woman’s life when it’s normal for your flow to be irregular: when it first starts and during menopause. A premenopausal woman typically has a period every 28 days. However, a healthy menstrual cycle can range from 21 to 35 days. If you don’t get your period between this time frame, it could be one of these reasons.
Stress can cause hormonal imbalances and even affect your hypothalamus, the part of your brain that’s responsible for regulating your period. When stress levels peak, it sends signals to the brain to go into fight or flight mode. This is when your brain prioritizes essential bodily functions for keeping you alive and menstruating isn’t one of them. Manage your stress by journaling, exercising outside or taking a relaxing bath.
Being overweight or underweight has the power to impact your cycle. Obesity is oftentimes associated with infertility due to the interference of estrogen and progesterone regulation.
When the body lacks fat and nutrients, it can’t produce hormones the way it should. To regulate your cycle, do what best makes sense for your lifestyle by losing weight or increasing caloric intake.
- These illnesses can also cause your period to be a no-show:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid disease
- Pituitary tumors
- Liver dysfunction
- Ovarian cysts
Once the underlying condition is resolved, it may take a few months for a regular cycle to appear again.
A Change In Your Schedule
Changing your physical plans can change your body’s plans as well. If your schedule is generally all over the place by taking early morning shifts then overnights at work, your period can be just as unpredictable as your life. Although this shouldn’t cause you to miss a period in its entirety, it can cause your flowy friend to show up earlier or later than expected.
Antidepressants, antipsychotics, thyroid medication and chemotherapy medications can cause your cycle to be irregular.
Hormonal contraceptives, such as Nexplanon, progesterone-only MiniPill, Mirena IUD and Depo-Provera can alter the regularity of your cycle. Some birth control pills are intentionally taken to stop monthly bleeding, but when it’s unexpected it can be worrisome. Hormonal birth control works by stopping ovulation, so not having a period is a sign it’s working properly.
While it may be worrisome to have a late period, it might be worth it considering what the medication is for. Discuss any medications you take with your doctor to weigh the benefits and side effects of any prescriptions you’re on.
When to Call Us
Missing a period every once in a while isn’t something to be concerned about. However, if you’re facing a prolonged time without your monthly flow, or your missed period is accompanied by these symptoms, it’s time to call a healthcare provider:
- Nausea or vomiting
- New or worsening headaches
- Vision changes
- Breast discharge or milk production
- Excess hair growth
If you’re concerned about a missed period, call us at (972) 542-8884 or click here to make an appointment at our McKinney or Prosper location. For more information, follow the discussion around women’s health on social media.