My Period is Late!
Being late for your period can be scary, but there are many reasons why it could be late. Fortunately, there’s usually a simple explanation. Common causes for late or missed periods can range from hormonal changes to serious medical conditions. If your period is late, it could be due to one of the reasons outlined below.
Reasons for Late Period
If your period is late or you’ve missed one, don’t panic. In addition to pregnancy, there are many reasons why your period could be late. Here are the four most common causes:
1. Change in Fitness
Having a regular workout routine is a good idea for everybody, but if you’ve recently increased the intensity of your workouts, you can experience exercise-associated amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation). When you burn too many calories, your body lacks the energy to keep all your systems running, which can lead to a hormonal imbalance that can throw off your menstrual cycle.
2. Weight Gain or Weight Loss
If you’ve lost or gained a significant amount of weight, you can experience hormonal imbalances that cause your period to come late or stop entirely. This is particularly true when your body mass index (BMI) changes in a short period of time.
When your stress levels increase, your brain tells your endocrine system to release hormones that switch on your fight-or-flight mode. These hormones suppress functions that aren’t necessary for escaping a threat, including those in your reproductive system. If you’re under a lot of stress, your body can remain in fight or flight mode, which can make you stop ovulating and cause you to miss periods.
4. Birth Control
The pill is popular because it makes periods so regular, but sometimes it can have the opposite effect, especially during the first few months of use. When you stop taking the pill, it can take a few months for your cycle to return to normal. If you’re using a hormonal birth control method, such as an IUD, implant, or shot, you may stop getting your period altogether.
If there’s a chance you may be pregnant, you’ve missed a period, and your cycle’s usually normal, it may be time to take a pregnancy test. Once your body starts producing the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), your periods will stop. It’s recommended that you take a pregnancy test a week after your period was supposed to start. If your periods are typically irregular, it can be harder to determine the best time to take a pregnancy test. You may want to take a few tests over the course of several weeks to make sure. This is also a good time to talk with your Baptist Health provider.
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Late Period? Missed Period? Talk to a Baptist Health Professional
In addition to the other common causes outlined above, another reason could be that you’re pregnant. If you haven’t had a period in more than 40 days, you should make an appointment with your Baptist Health provider today.
Next Steps and Useful Resources