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PCOS

Why My Periods Are Late, 10 Possible Reasons

by andMe Bioactive Beverage 06 May 2022

Irregular periods are one of the most concerned matters for every woman’s health. The most common reasons for missed periods are pregnancy and Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal imbalance common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. As a result, the ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to release eggs regularly. But it’s completely preventable; you can use plant-based period balance supplements like andMe’s PCOS drink.


10 common reasons for late periods:

1. Stress:

Missing one period while going through a very stressful situation is not uncommon. However, if you're under prolonged pressure and miss more than one period, consider scheduling a visit with your healthcare provider. If there is no other medical reason for your missed period, your healthcare provider may suggest counselling to help you cope with your situation. Once your stress is back to a manageable level, it may take a few months or more for your cycles to become regular again. Also, in anxiety, the cortisol hormone or stress hormone secretion increases and disrupts the secretion of estrogen.

2. Excessive Exercise:

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, but overdoing it can cause problems. If you are experiencing a recently absent or irregular period, take a look at your exercise routine and make sure that it isn't too strenuous. In general, a few hours of moderate exercise every day should not have a significant impact on your menstrual cycle. However, if you plan on exercising that much, you may want to consult a sports medicine healthcare provider. Their job is to help your body support all of the physical demands that you are putting on it. This may include:

-Optimizing your diet with nutritious foods that boost your energy

-Teaching you stretching techniques to reduce physical stress

-Performing blood tests to check for iron or vitamin deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, dehydration, etc.

3. Medical Condition:

Some women with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa develop amenorrhea or lose menstrual periods. These conditions are eating disorders that involve extreme weight loss and weight management. Eating disorders can lead to nutritional deficiencies, affecting your ability to produce hormones for menstruation. In addition, you may be at risk for amenorrhea if you have a physical illness such as thyroid disease, heart disease, kidney failure, liver disease, and diabetes.

4. Irregular schedule:

Irregular schedules can throw off your body clock. If your work schedule is constantly changing and you're frequently working days and nights in addition to weekends, this can affect your menstrual cycle. Changing shifts and working late into the night can cause a disruption in your circadian rhythm, which is the internal biological clock that tells us when to be awake and when to be asleep. This is because the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle are also affected by light exposure and sleep patterns. Irregular sleep patterns can prevent ovulation, which is necessary for pregnancy. It may also cause you to miss periods or skip cycles altogether.

5. Weight changes:

Obesity influences estrogen and progesterone regulation and may even lead to issues with fertility. Very high body mass index (BMI) is associated with missed periods, and weight loss can help regulate the menstrual cycle for women who are obese. However, being severely underweight interferes with regular menstrual cycles as well. When the body lacks fat and other nutrients, it cannot produce hormones the way it should. Women who have anorexia (deficient caloric intake) or burn far more calories with exercise than they consume may experience amenorrhea. Typically, weight gain will help your periods to return. However, rapid weight changes may interfere with hormone production or release due to illness, medication, or dietary changes. In turn, this may cause you to miss one period or more.

6. Medications:

If your period is absent or delayed, you may be experiencing anovulation. Many things can cause anovulation. Some medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, thyroid medications, anticonvulsants, and some chemotherapy medications, may cause your period to be absent or delayed. Hormonal contraceptives like Depo-Provera, progesterone-only MiniPill, Mirena IUD, and Nexplanon can also influence your cycle. Different types of contraceptives can affect your menstrual cycle in different ways. For example, some contraceptives are associated with heavy periods, some with light periods, and some with amenorrhea.

7. Recently started periods:

The first day of bleeding is considered day one of a new cycle. The average length between periods is 21 to 35 days in healthy women, but it can be much shorter or longer. A menstrual cycle may be as short as 17 days or as long as 45 days, but this often varies from month to month until a regular pattern develops. Menstrual flow lasts about five days on average, with some variation from woman to woman — it can be just two days in some and seven days in others. Women who have just started having periods may have irregular cycles for several years until their bodies adjust to having periods regularly.

8. Breastfeeding and the menstrual cycle:

You may have light periods, infrequent periods, or amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation). The less often you breastfeed, the more likely you will have a period. The longer you exclusively breastfeed (that is, no bottles or pacifiers), the less likely it is that you will have a period. If breastfeeding provides your baby with all or almost all of their calories, it is doubtful that you will have a period. Many women believe that breastfeeding is a form of birth control, but it's not. Even if you don't have periods when you are breastfeeding, you can get pregnant. If you are not ready for another child, you should still use a contraceptive.

9. Ectopic Pregnancy:

An ectopic pregnancy happens outside the uterus. It's also called tubal pregnancy because it occurs in the fallopian tubes in most cases. Ectopic pregnancy can sometimes happen due to the shape of the IUD, and you may not test positive on a pregnancy test, either. However, your healthcare provider can check for it with a pelvic examination or an ultrasound. Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include cramping in your lower abdomen, shoulder pain, weakness or dizziness, nausea, and breast tenderness. In addition, some women have missed periods, while others have vaginal bleeding or spotting.

In addition to the use of an IUD, other factors that are associated with ectopic pregnancy include:

-Endometriosis
-Pelvic inflammatory disease
-Progestin-only birth control pills
-History of sexually-transmitted infection and infertility
-Fallopian tube scarring, possibly due to pelvic surgery or appendix rupture

10. Perimenopause:

This phase is the transition leading up to menopause when the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman's 40s but can start in her 30s or even earlier. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. The average age of menopause is 51, but the most common range is from 48 to 55.

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