While pregnancy could be the first conclusion you jump to when you’ve missed a period, there are quite a few factors that could cause you to skip a month or be late. The average period for a woman occurs every 28 days, however it is considered normal for your menstrual cycle to range from 23-35 days.
If you are outside of this range, it could be for any of the following reasons.
The stressors of daily life can cause irregularities in your period. That’s because stress can change your hormonal balance and affect your hypothalamus – that’s the part of the brain that regulates your period. If you’ve been dealing with a particularly stressful situation, it could be messing with your normal period cycle.
Your Birth Control Method
Did you know that certain birth control can cause fluctuations in your period length and how often it occurs? The birth control pill, shots, implants and even hormonal IUDs can all cause period changes. Even after you stop a certain birth control method, it can take your period a little while to go back to normal. No two women are the same and each individual may respond differently to the hormones in the birth control. Your body may not react the same as your friend or even your sister.
Major Weight Loss or Exercise
Anything that causes you to exercise more than usual, like training for a marathon, can cause you to miss a period, and so can serious medical conditions like anorexia or bulimia. Any time there is a major drop in weight loss or significant increase in workout regimen, it can affect your period.
Similarly, to major weight loss and exercise, gaining weight or being overweight can cause changes in your hormonal balance. This can affect your cycle, causing a late or missed period.
The thyroid gland is found in the neck. Its main job is to regulate your metabolism; however, it does work with the rest of the systems in your body to keep things running smoothly. Imbalances in the thyroid gland could be causing your late or missed period, as well as unexplained changes in weight loss or gain, and energy level. Read more on the symptoms of a thyroid imbalance if you think this could apply to you.
Celiac Disease and other Chronic Illnesses
Celiac Disease, often referred to as gluten intolerance, and diabetes are both chronic diseases that can cause hormonal changes, causing you to miss a period or be late. Celiac and diabetes alike can cause more serious issues which a missed period is a symptom of. Look up the symptoms of each and contact your doctor to be tested if you think you could be affected by one of these chronic diseases.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that causes the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in your body to become imbalanced. Because of these imbalances, ovarian cysts are formed. It can also cause ovulation to become irregular or stop altogether. Treatment for this condition typically focuses on relieving the symptoms.
Premature Ovarian Failure
Typically, woman experience menopause between the ages of 45-55. When a woman’s ovaries stop functioning normally before age 40, it is called premature ovarian failure. Symptoms other than missed period include hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty becoming pregnant and vaginal dryness.
A missed period, along with fatigue and swollen or tender breasts, are some of the first signs of pregnancy. If you don’t believe any of the above conditions could be causing your late or missed period, it might be time to consider taking a pregnancy test to determine whether you are pregnant.
A missed period alone can indicate several things. If you have missed your cycle for 3 months or more it would be a good idea to see your doctor to help determine the cause.
Her Health Women’s Center is here to help you get answers. If you’ve recently had unprotected sex or think you might be pregnant, schedule an appointment for a free pregnancy test today by calling our appointment line at 712-224-2000 or texting 712-522-2920.
Disclaimer: The sources sited for this blog are found to be reliable, however, Her Health Women’s Center can not endorse or oppose the entire content of the websites listed. The content of this blog is meant to be used for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical care.