Getting a period is like a curse and a blessing at the same time. If you’re not intending to get pregnant it comes as a relief even though you have to go through cramping, bloating, mood swings and what not. If you’re trying to get a baby, this may be a cause of excitement and anticipation.
For many women, a late period automatically leads one into thinking about pregnancy. This even though you have not had sex for a year. Accompanied by all manner of emotions, before rushing to get tested-a good idea by the way, you should consider other reasons your periods are late.
A great cause of many side effects such as headaches, ulcers, weight gain and pretty much about everything you can throw in, whether under physical or emotional stress it can affect your menstrual cycle. Whatever is affecting you, it can cause hypothalamic amenorrhea. The hypothalamus is a particular area in your brain where your period hormones are regulated. If affected out of stress, it will not work properly leading a late or missed period.
Whether battling a cold or something serious, your body may decide to sacrifice certain functions such as your period, so as to battle the infections. Once you’re fine things will return back to normal.
A late period can be a result of medication. The most common being birth control pills. These work by stopping ovulation meaning no period. However, some bleeding may occur as the birth control suppresses the hormones so much that you have very light bleeding or no period at all. Other types of medication that may responsible include antidepressants, corticosteroids, antipsychotic drugs and chemotherapy medication.
- Excessive exercise
While working out is good for your overall health, overdoing it may have detrimental effects on your body. Working out excessively without taking in enough calories can cause disruptions because your body doesn't produce enough estrogen to complete the menstrual cycle. Professional athletes are at a higher risk of amenorrhea. This is happens when you miss your period in a row for three months or more.
- Hormonal imbalance
When your hormones are out of balance, this can lead to Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This affects how your ovaries work altering your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. This means ovulation does not take place. Other than causing your missed period it can cause excess hair growth, acne, weight gain and even infertility.
- Thyroid problems
The thyroid, located on the neck regulates your metabolism. If it does not function properly, it can cause abnormal menstrual changes. For instance, an overactive thyroid, hyperthyroidism, can cause lighter and less frequent periods. An underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism, may also cause periods to be less frequent but heavier. It may also cause weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and hair loss.
- Premature menopause
The average menopause age is 51. A few years before that, the body produces less estrogen and moves towards menopause. This will prevent them from getting a period for the rest of their life. During this time one may experience changes in the cycle and may be accompanied with hot flashes and night sweats, sleeping difficulties, vaginal dryness and mood swings.
When breastfeeding, prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production may suppress ovulation. This can cause you to miss your periods for months but it does not mean you cannot get pregnant. This is because ovulation occurs before your periods come.