You look at your calendar. It’s the time of the month but somehow your period didn’t come. Don’t freak out. Missing a period doesn’t necessarily mean that you are pregnant. Here are 7 reasons why your period may be late.
Reason 1: Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a common reason why periods unexpectedly stop. It might be that your period is simply late, so you could wait a few days to see if it arrives. If it does not arrive, you can do a pregnancy test to confirm whether or not you’re pregnant.
Reason 2: Stress
If you’re stressed, your menstrual cycle can become longer or shorter, your periods may stop altogether, or they might become more painful.
Reason 3: Drastic weight changes
Severe changes in body weight can screw with your period’s timing. Extreme increases or decreases in body fat, for example, can lead to a hormonal imbalance that causes your period to come late or stop entirely.
Reason 4: Intense exercise
The stress that intense physical activity places on your body can affect the hormones responsible for your periods. Losing too much body fat through intense exercise can also stop you ovulating.
Reason 5: Hormonal birth control
Many love the pill because it makes their periods so regular. But it can sometimes have the opposite effect, especially during the first few months of use.
Similarly, when you stop taking the pill, it can take a few months for your cycle to get back to normal. As your body returns to its baseline hormone levels, you may miss your period for a few months.
If you’re using another hormonal birth control method, including an IUD, implant, or shot, you might completely stop getting your period.
Reason 6: Menopause
You may start missing periods as you approach the menopause. This is because oestrogen levels start to decrease, and ovulation becomes less regular. After the menopause, your periods stop completely.
The menopause is a natural part of ageing in women, which usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.
However, around 1 in 100 women go through the menopause before the age of 40. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian failure.
Reason 7: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles, which are underdeveloped sacs in which eggs develop. If you have PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation does not take place.