6 Reasons Why Your Period May Be Late
There are a few times in a woman’s life when it’s totally normal to have an irregular cycle: when your period first begins and when menopause starts. As your body goes through the transition, your cycle can become irregular.
A healthy menstrual cycle can range anywhere from every 21 to 35 days. If your period doesn’t fall within these ranges, it may be due to one of the following reasons.
- Stress - Chronic stress can throw off your hormones. It activates the hormone cortisol and pushes your body into survival mode. If you are experiencing prolonged stress, your body can induce amenorrhea and will prevent menstruation.
- Low Body Weight - Women with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia may experience delayed or missing periods. Weighing below what is considered a normal range for your height can change the way your body functions and stop ovulation. Women who participate in extreme exercise may experience late periods as well.
- Obesity - Just like being too underweight, being overweight can also cause hormonal changes and can cause late periods.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - PCOS is a condition that causes your body to produce more of the male hormone androgen. The hormone imbalance causes cysts to form on the ovaries. This can make ovulation irregular or prevent it altogether.
- Birth Control - You may experience changes in your cycle when you go on or off birth control. Birth control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, which prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. Other contraceptives that are implanted or injected can cause missed periods as well.
- Illnesses - Chronic conditions that can affect your menstrual cycle include:
- Thyroid disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Pituitary tumors
- Diseases of the adrenal gland
- Ovarian cysts
- Liver dysfunction
Your doctor can properly diagnose the reason behind your late or missed periods and will discuss the right treatment options for you. Make sure to keep a record of any changes in your cycle as well as any health changes to show your doctor. This will help them make a diagnosis.
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