The menstruation cycle is perhaps the most mysterious yet most crucial part of a woman’s life. For many women, it’s also the most painful. Every month, your uterus sheds its lining, which is then replaced by a new one. This process is necessary for the survival of a human being. But it can also be extremely painful, especially when it comes to ovulation, which often occurs in the middle of your cycle.
This is when you’re most likely to get pregnant. And though this process is cyclic, for some women, it can be delayed by anywhere from a few days to a few weeks – a concern for many. But what causes delayed periods? Is it something that will affect your fertility?
If you have discussed this issue with your friends or someone you really try, they might suggest you to try menstrual underwear or take warm baths during a late period. And though they can help, you need more informed decisions. To help you, in the following section, we take a look at the possible reasons why you might have a late period and what you can do about it.
8 Reasons Why You Might Have a Late Period
A late period can be an indicator of an underlying problem, whether it’s related to your menstrual cycle or to another medical issue. If you’re concerned about your late period, talk to your doctor about what could be causing it and get help right away.
The sooner you address any underlying medical issues, the better off you’ll be in the long run. In order to help you with this process, here are five reasons for a late period and steps you can take if you experience them.
Stress can cause many different types of bodily ailments, and your period is no exception. Women who experience a lot of stress often experience irregular periods because stress can throw off your hypothalamus, which controls hormone production.
If you have been through any major stressful events in recent months, such as a divorce or death in the family, it may be best to talk to your doctor about taking hormonal birth control to regulate your cycle. If stress isn’t causing your irregular periods – then you may need to look at what is stressing you out!
2. Increased Exercise
While exercise is generally good for you, too much of it can make your periods even more irregular than they normally are. If you’re training heavily and taking on an intense workout regimen, your period may get pushed back or start to happen later than usual. Your body requires fuel to get through these demanding workouts, and if it doesn’t have enough energy, your periods may stop temporarily until you’re able to balance your diet and exercise routine once again.
For example, it’s possible to maintain a healthy routine and continue running while working on getting pregnant. Also, consult with your doctor before jumping into anything strenuous or outside of what’s normal for you!
3. Changes in Sleep Schedule
If you are generally lacking sleep, either because of stress or your busy lifestyle, your period may be affected by it. If you’re not getting enough rest every night, your body doesn’t have time to replenish its energy stores. Instead of focusing on performing at work and getting in shape, your body is working on keeping you alive!
This means it will cut down on unnecessary processes, including ovulation cycles – which can cause your periods to get later than usual or even stop entirely if they aren’t supplemented with rest. If sleep is an issue for you during normal times, it may be best to address these problems so that you can manage both effectively.
4. Thyroid Dysfunction
If you’ve been suffering from an overactive or underactive thyroid, your menstrual cycle may be affected by it. Hyperthyroidism can make your periods later and more irregular, whereas hypothyroidism can slow them down and even stop them altogether – leading to infertility. You should always check with your doctor if you have any concerns about these conditions, as they are serious and need to be handled quickly to reduce their effects on your fertility!
Perimenopause is basically when your body begins to stop producing hormones at full capacity, which can cause your periods to get less regular – especially in peri-menopausal women over age 40 who are not on birth control.
If you are experiencing irregular cycles or missing more than one period during these years, it’s best to consult with your doctor immediately about getting checked out! These symptoms could be due to something else, but you’ll want to get them sorted out before trying for another baby. This post also includes some great links if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, and they’re bringing up fears of infertility!
6. Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Weight loss can cause problems if you aren’t careful! If you have been working out consistently and haven’t been eating enough to get all of your nutrients, your body will tell you it’s time to adjust by stopping ovulation so that it doesn’t waste precious energy on growing eggs.
This can make your periods late or not come at all until you make some adjustments – like eating more healthily and making sure that you are getting in some healthy exercise! Again – consult with your doctor if these symptoms persist to make sure there isn’t something else going on with your fertility.
7. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
If you have PCOS (discussed above), it can make your periods irregular and can cause them to stop entirely – especially if you aren’t working with your doctor to treat it. Unfortunately, many women who suffer from PCOS don’t find out they have it until after they try for a baby, which often causes infertility issues. So if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure that you talk to your doctor about them ASAP before trying again.
During breastfeeding, your body stops ovulating and sheds its lining in order to make more milk. If you breastfeed exclusively (meaning not even supplementing with formula), it can make your periods stop altogether and prevent pregnancy until you wean yourself off of it or introduce solid foods into your baby’s diet.
Keep an eye on these symptoms and see what happens to your period if you introduce solid foods like vegetables, fruit, and meats into your baby’s diet after about six months of breastfeeding (or when she turns 12 months old).
While you can’t really plan when your period will arrive every month, there are some things that can cause it to be late or never come at all. While most of these reasons aren’t anything to be concerned about, they are worth talking to your doctor about so that you don’t worry unnecessarily.
If your periods have been late or absent for over six months, try making some lifestyle changes – like eating more healthily and getting in healthy exercise – in addition to going to see your doctor.