A typical menstrual cycle spans around 28 days. In the normal course, a woman experiences a monthly period, marking the conclusion of an ovulation cycle that didn’t result in pregnancy. However, the story takes an unexpected turn when periods decide to go missing from the expected timeline. Pregnancy is the first guess that comes to mind, a biological norm.
But this is not the only and primary reason for missing periods. The plot thickens when exploring reasons for missing periods that don’t involve the anticipated joy or anxiety of impending motherhood.
Menstrual abnormalities, such as missing or late periods, affect 14-25% of women of reproductive age.
|Moving into the not-so-normal territories, reasons for delayed periods extend beyond pregnancy. Weight fluctuations, intense physical activity, and underlying health conditions add complexity.
These factors disrupt the expected timeline, introducing irregularity that challenges the simplicity or normalcy of regular periods.
How long is it normal for a period to be late?
So, you’re wondering about the normality of a late period, right? Well, let’s break it down for you.
First off, it’s pretty common for periods to be late from time to time. Your menstrual cycle can be influenced by a bunch of factors that lead to the reasons for delay in periods, and it’s not always a cause for concern.
For example, you are stressed. Your body reacts to stress by throwing your hormonal balance causing the disappearance of your periods.
Everyone’s cycle is unique, you know? Generally, a delay of a week or so isn’t usually a biggie. Bodies are quirky, and sometimes they just need a bit of extra time to get things sorted.
But—and it’s a big but—if you’re experiencing a regularly irregular cycle, or if your period decides to ghost you for more than a couple of months, it might be time to hit up your doctor.
Reason for Missing Periods Other Than Pregnancy
Ever found yourself anxiously waiting for Aunt Flo and she doesn’t show up?
Now, we get it—your mind instantly goes to pregnancy when you miss periods. But, hold up, there’s a whole world of reasons for delayed periods.
Let’s dive into the mystery of why your period might be playing hide and seek, and spoiler alert—it’s not always about expecting a mini-you.
In PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), your ovaries might not release eggs regularly. This disrupts the whole cycle, leading to irregular periods or, at times, a complete no-show.
A study by JHM University suggests that PCOS is a hormonal issue that affects women and causes irregularities in their periods.
Women who suffer from PCOS may experience:
- irregular ovulation,
- elevated androgen levels
- excessive hair growth,
- the presence of numerous small cysts on their ovaries.
- difficulties in conceiving,
- irregular or missed menstrual periods,
- acne breakouts,
- weight gain
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)
Well, let’s get to know what POI is, and how it becomes the reason for missing periods. So, POI happens when your ovaries decide to tap out earlier than expected. Instead of doing their regular job of producing eggs and hormones, they decide to go on a temporary break. With POI, the levels of estrogen (that crucial hormone for your menstrual cycle) drop. This can lead to irregular periods or, in some cases, missing out on periods completely.
It’s like your body’s usual schedule gets messed up, and it’s trying to figure out a new one. Your doctor can help you figure it out and return to normalcy.
A study quoted by the Natural Womanhood Newsletter points out that Diabetes, kidney conditions, migraines, asthma, arthritis, chronic depression, epilepsy and other chronic diseases can affect the menstrual cycle and cause severity based on the stage of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Even Skin conditions such as psoriasis, atopic eczema, and irritant dermatitis worsen when progesterone levels are elevated, specifically during the luteal phase before menstruation. (source)
So, if you’re dealing with a chronic disease and your periods are pulling a vanishing act, know you’re not alone. Your body’s managing a lot, and sometimes the menstrual cycle takes a back seat.
Extreme BMI Levels can cause irregularities in ovulation as well as elevate miscarriage risks.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine claims that obesity can cause infrequent menstrual periods, heavy bleeding or no menstrual flow. When you’re carrying excess weight, it can mess with your hormone party. This hormonal twist can lead to irregular periods or delays in your menstrual cycle.
Obesity can also impact insulin resistance negatively and elevated sugar levels affect your menstrual cycle.
When your thyroid decides to throw a bit of a tantrum, your hormonal harmony can take a hit, and your menstrual cycle might be the first to notice, being one of the reasons for delayed periods.
When an excess of thyroid hormone is present in the body, it causes the body to function at full speed. This can result in shorter and lighter menstrual periods, or in certain instances, the absence of periods altogether. Conversely, if the thyroid is underactive, menstrual periods may become heavier or exhibit unpredictable changes.
Low Body Fat
While excessive fat can cause serious health issues including irregular periods, having too little fat can also have negative effects on menstrual flow. The body needs to have a certain amount of fat to maintain proper hormonal balance. Lower body weights may not support the production of essential hormones like estrogen.
Lifestyle Changes Can Help You Keep Periods Regular
Take a deep breath, because pregnancy is not the only reason for missing periods. Stress, body weight, or any other health conditions are equally probable when it comes to the reason for missing periods other than pregnancy.
Now, in these states of period uncertainty, brace yourself because when periods decide to show up, she might bring along a bit of a show, and it’s not always the Broadway kind.
For those moments, you can use – a hot water bag, Advil or Meftal Spas to the rescue. And hey, there’s this little gadget, a clinically tested period pain relief device.
It’s like your secret weapon for effective, rapid, and safe pain relief therapy.