A missed or irregular period is caused by so many reasons. Some causes could be due to stress, pregnancy, PCOS, extreme weight loss, sudden weight gain, contraceptive pills, perimenopause, ovarian cancer or ovarian cysts.
What is a Period?
A Period or menstruation is a time in a woman's menstrual cycle in which she sheds the lining of her uterus known as the endometrium lining. She sheds it in form of bleeding from the vagina.
It usually last about 3-5 days but this can vary from one woman to another.
A woman's menstrual cycle is approximately 28 days long. But anywhere between 21 days to 35 days long is considered normal.
The first day of a woman's period is the first day of her cycle.
What is a Missed Period?
An absent period occurs when a woman has been getting her menses but for some particular reasons her menses is yet to come.
Amenorrhea is the term used when a woman is no longer getting her menses and she has attained puberty and she is not pregnant.
There are two types of Amenorrhea:
- Primary Amenorrhea
- Secondary Amenorrhea
Primary Amenorrhea : occurs when a girl is over 16 and she is yet to see her period.
Secondary amenorrhea :This is when a woman has been getting her menses regularly but all of a sudden she is yet to get her menses for 3 months and over.
what Causes of a Late or irregular Period?
Pregnancy is the most common reason for an absent period. Once the sperm fertilises the egg, progesterone hormone and estrogen hormone level starts to increase to support the new life.
The lining of the uterus is then thickened to provide a comfortable home for the growing embryo.
Other pregnancy symptoms to look out for are implantation bleeding, nausea, morning sickness, tiredness and fatigue, frequent urination.
Women who are trying to conceive, can sometimes find themselves worked up. Anxiety can lead to period delay for some women.
This is why couples who are trying to get pregnant are always advised to relax and take things easy.
Many couples who conceived have recalled they got pregnant when they were not even trying.
3. High Level of Stress
When you are going through a lot of stress or you recently experienced a traumatic event, your body starts to produce stress hormone cortisol as a means to keep you safe or keep you in a survival mode.
This can in turn disrupt the production of oestrogen and progesterone. This hormones are in charge of your menstrual cycle.
When you are highly stressed, you are unable to produce both stress hormones(corsitol & adrenaline) and sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone)at the same time.
Your body will respond first to keeping you safe.
Reducing your stress level or taking a few days off from what is stressing you may help.
PCOS is a gynaecological condition that affects about 10% of women of reproductive age. It is caused by an imbalance of a woman's reproductive hormones.
High levels of Androgens and High level of insulin are the main culprits.
The menstrual cycle works in perfect harmony to be able to function properly.
If there is too little or too much of a hormone, it affects ovulation and all other activities in the menstrual cycle.
The symptoms of PCOS is a missed or irregular menstrual cycle.
This is why many women with PCOS struggle with infertility and develop cyst on their ovaries.
5. Perimenopause/ Menopause
Perimenopause is a transition phase of about 10 years before a woman attains menopause.
One of the signs that a woman is approaching menopause is her having an irregular cycle, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and mood swings
A woman attains menopause when her period has completely stopped.
4. Poor Nutrition/ Diet
Having a bad diet can certainly affect a woman's period. It can affect it by making it shorter, longer, heavier, lighter or infrequent.
Consuming a diet that is low in Fat can cause your menses to be missing.
Research has shown that women who eat more omega 3 fatty acids are less to experience pre-menstrual symptoms such as mood swings, headaches, bloating, depression before their period starts.
Vitamins and mineral deficiencies can also affect the way your cycle operates.
5. Extreme Weight Loss or anorexia
Having a low weight or suddenly drop in weight can contribute to no period. Eating disorder illness and anorexia are often the culprit to a rapid weight loss.
You should see a psychiatrist if your drop in weight is due to anorexia or eating disorder.
6. Sudden Weight Gain (obese)
Being obese can also cause your period to disappear.
Excessive estrogen may be produced if you are obese. Too much estrogen disrupts the normal functioning of the menstrual cycle.
7. Birth Control Pills or contraceptives
It is a normal occurrence for women taking contraceptive to miss their periods. It is no cause for alarm.
The artificial hormones present in the contraceptives affects the natural production of reproductive hormones. This in turn leads to a hormonal imbalance.
I haven't had my period in two months and I am not Pregnant
Other thing may cause you to have no period If you have not had your menses and your pregnancy test result is negative.
Here are the top reasons for no period negative pregnancy test:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Body Weight Problems (under weight or overweight)
- Hormonal Birth control or contraceptives
- You're breastfeeding
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Too much exercise
- Early Menopause or Perimenopause
- Thyroid Problems
If you continuously missed or skipped more than one period, see you gynaecologist.
Your gynaecologist may request for your medical history.
He/she may also perform some blood test, ultrasound scan or CT scan to determine the cause of the issue.
What are the Pregnancy Symptoms Before A Missed Menstrual Period?
If you suspect you may be pregnant but you are not sure, here are some early signs of pregnancy before a delayed mensuration:
- Implantation Cramping
- Implantation spotting or bleeding
- frequent urination
- Bloating/Feeling Gassy
- Lower abdominal pain
These symptoms may be similar to premenstrual symptoms (PMS). So it may be confusing to know if you are pregnant or not.
The best way to confirm is to take a pregnancy test.
Cure For Delayed Periods
Here are the top 10 home remedies to treat Irregular periods: