What To Do When Your Period Is Late
If your period is more than a week late and you got a negative pregnancy test, you may want to schedule an appointment with your health care provider to be safe. Your doctor can do a blood test to confirm that youre not pregnant.
If the blood test is also negative and your practitioner rules out any other possible concerns, its fine to sit back and go with the flow . Every woman skips a period now and then, especially if shes under stress or has been sick. Relax and do what you can to ease anxiety by eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Does Stress Make Periods Worse
Your menstrual cycle is an intricate and sensitive process which can be disrupted or affected by various factors, such as a hectic lifestyle or financial worries. In this blog, Ill explain how stress can affect the menstrual cycle and offer some tips on how to cope with a stressful period.
What Other Conditions Can Cause Pain But No Period
There are several other conditions that can mimic period pain, including endometriosis, a condition where tissue, like the lining of the womb , is found elsewhere in the body. This can lead to irregular or heavy periods and cramp-like pain in the lower tummy, back, and pelvis. If you are experiencing symptoms of endometriosis it is important to get checked out by your GP.
Another explanation for period pain with no period, particularly in older women, could be the fact that they are approaching the menopause. Hormone imbalances around this time can lead to hot flushes, sleep difficulties, and cramping. Periods become increasingly irregular near the menopause so can cause cramping, period-like pains without the bleed.
Ovarian cysts usually cause one-sided pelvic pain. Often cysts are tiny and resolve by themselves, but larger cysts can twist, giving much more severe pain, which is an indication to seek urgent medical help. Ovarian cancer is a less common cause of pain, but could be associated with bloating, changes in your normal cycle, and the urge to pee more often. Again, if you are worried, seek urgent medical advice as you may require an examination and scan.
But what if the actual period never comes, even though you are experiencing this pain? On occasion, some women experience a phantom or ghost period where they have symptoms of a period but not the actual bleeding period pain, but no period.
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Reasons For Missed Periods Or Absence Of Menstruation
Some peoples periods arrive each month like clockwork. For others, periods are unpredictable and may come as a surprise. Sometimes, they dont happen at all! This doesnt necessarily mean youre pregnant.
Missed or late periods may happen for a variety of reasons apart from pregnancy. Common causes of missed or irregular periods range from hormonal imbalances to medical issues. Lets discuss the main reasons for a missed period and when its time to contact a health care provider.
What Is Birth Control
Birth control comes in many forms. One of the most common is hormonal birth control pills which use various combinations of estrogen, progesterone, or synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy. You may take the pill every day, with placebo pills during your period receive a shot or utilize some form of implant.
Many women take birth control as a form of family planning and contraceptive. Others take it as a way to manage other health issues, such as uterine fibroids or hormonal imbalance. While some forms of birth control suppress menstrual periods, many regulate it. On many forms of birth control, you will still have your regular menstrual period. Birth control may even make your period more consistent.
It can be stressful to miss your period, especially when youre taking your birth control consistently. There are several reasons why you might miss your period on birth control, including stress, changes in diet or lifestyle, changes in exercise routine, or the long-term effects of using birth control.
If you miss your period, you should consider taking a pregnancy test and following up with your doctor to determine any underlying causes.
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Could Stress Be The Cause
If you are not pregnant, it could be worth considering stress and how it can disrupt your menstrual cycle. Stress has a powerful effect on the body that is often underappreciated and poorly understood. When we consider stress in relation to the menstrual cycle, there is a bit of a chicken or the egg scenario to contend with: the menstrual cycle itself can cause increased stress, but can also be disrupted by it.
Hormones released by the ovaries can affect how we react to stressful life events. A good example is the surge of estradiol that occurs just before ovulation. Increased levels have been found to make you feel substantially less distressed following a stressful task.1
However, this also works the other way around as stress can not only delay periods, but in some cases can stop periods happening altogether. A small part of the brain called the hypothalamus acts as a link between our brains and hormones. Attached to this is a gland called the pituitary, which is essentially the regulation centre for all hormones in the body, including those that control stress, reproduction, and metabolism. It is this interaction between the brain and hormone systems that can lead to disruption of periods.
But why does this happen? We dont know for certain, but can theorise that it could simply be a part of a womans survival instinct if a woman is stressed her body identifies that it is probably not the best time to conceive.
How To Get Your Menstrual Cycle Back On Track
If youre experiencing late or missing periods, its important to figure out the root cause of the situation.
There can be many causes of late or irregular periods, including anovulation, in which a woman doesnt produce an egg each month, or oligoovulation, in which a woman produces an egg some months and not others, says Dr. Braverman. Benign brain tumors , obesity , and being underweight or exercising too much can also affect your cycle in this way.
If chronic stress is behind your temperamental periods, the fix is simple: Work on minimizing your stress.
This can of course be easier said than done, but Dr. Braverman recommends moderate exercise, warm baths or showers, and plenty of rest. You can also try things like meditation, eating foods thought to help lower cortisol, and practicing yoga to help get your period back on schedule. And thats one less thing to be stressed about.
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I Missed My Period Could I Be Pregnant
Reactions can range from disgraced expletives to nagging excitement and instantaneously the past, present and future feels changed somehow. I missed my period can be the words you have longed to say or can cause anxiety and discomfort like no other phrase in life. The bottom line is that a missed period can indicate many things from illness or stress to pregnancy and it is a transforming moment in every womans life. The consideration then turns to what to do next.
Missing a period in lots of ways is a metaphorical passageway into woman hood. Whether you have been trying to get pregnant or trying not to, the moment you realize you are late, worlds all of them yours come crashing together. Even if you have been frantically trying and timing sex in order to conceive, the moment of truth can be difficult. Regardless of what we think, we want in life when things actually come to pass or have the chance of doing so it is like sitting on a teeter-totter stuck at the high end. How to get down or at least low enough to touch the grounded soil beneath your feet can be difficult especially alone. First thing to do is find someone to sit on the teeter totter with you, preferably one who is supportive and have them accompany you to the nearest drug store. Then spend your 10-20 bucks on a decent pregnancy test so you can understand the realities of your fate.
Is It Normal To Get Your Period A Few Days Late
If the stress is acute, your period might only be a few days late, but some people experience severe chronic stress can go months without getting a period. Having a manageable amount of stress in your life is normal. But excessive levels of stress, whether physical or mental, can be detrimental to your health.
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Problems With Your Period Contact Us Today
Your period tells us a lot about your gynecological health. If you have severe cramps or unusually heavy periods we want to know. Sometimes these are an indicator of another health problem.
Most importantly, we want you to know were on your side. Our doctors are women who have been providing care for women for decades. Our compassion and dedication set us apart, and we consider it a privilege to care for you.
Schedule your appointment today.
Is It Normal To Miss A Period
There are several times in a persons life when irregular periods are expected: when a person first starts having periods , during breastfeeding, and at the beginning of perimenopause . On average, most people get their periods every 28 days. But a healthy persons menstrual cycle can last from 21 to 35 days. Apart from puberty, menopause, and pregnancy, a missed period may indicate a health issue.
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Can Stress Cause Spotting
Absolutely. That fight-or-flight response we mentioned above isnât limited to just shutting your period down or delaying it for a few days. Stress can also cause spotting, aka when you kind of have a little blood coming out , but not enough for you to qualify as a full period. This often happens between periods, leading you to be like, âwhy is this happening 15 days early?â
Can Stress Affect Periods
Stress can affect periods by causing major mood swings, due to an unusual increase in hormones which can significantly alter a womans emotional state. Although this does not directly affect the menstrual cycle, stress is considered to be a trigger of bouts of sadness, anger, rage and nostalgia during menstruation.
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When To See Your Doctor
If a woman is concerned about missed periods, it can be helpful to keep a written record of her periods, including the start and end dates, and a list of any other associated symptoms.
If a doctor has a written record to refer to, they can make a diagnosis more quickly. Using a simple calendar can work, but there are also apps available for smartphones.
Having regular check-ups with a gynecologist or womens health specialist can help address many questions about menstrual cycles. Sometimes, a late period is an isolated occurrence and is not a cause for concern.
However, certain symptoms may require medical attention. They include:
- missing several periods in a row
- a positive pregnancy test
- having symptoms of PCOS, as described above
- having gained or lost a lot of weight
- feeling overly stressed
Why Did I Miss A Period
Missing a period is not uncommon, and most of the time, it is not a cause for concern. Some of the reasons you might miss a period include:
Normal lifecycle changes
There are a number of changes that happen in the female lifecycle that can result in a skipped period. All of these are normal reasons to miss a period and are not cause for concern.
The most common reason for a missed period is pregnancy. If this is a possibility, take a home pregnancy test to see if this is the cause of your missed period. If you skip a period and then have one the next month at the expected time, its possible that a non-viable pregnancy occurred, and the period is actually an early miscarriage.
Breastfeeding can suppress your period, depending on how frequently you are nursing. You may get a period while breastfeeding, and then not have another one for several months or more, particularly if your baby is nursing exclusively. You can ovulate before you get your period, so its important to use birth control during this time, if you dont want to get pregnant.
A skipped period may be a sign that you are entering menopause and your periods are beginning to become less regular, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms of menopause . If you are 45 or older, there is a good chance this is the cause of a missed period.
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Doing Too Much Exercise
The stress that intense physical activity places on your body can affect the hormones responsible for your periods. Losing too much body fat through intense exercise can also stop you ovulating.
You’ll be advised to reduce your level of activity if excessive exercise has caused your periods to stop.
If you’re a professional athlete, you may benefit from seeing a doctor who specialises in sports medicine. They’ll be able to give you advice about how to maintain your performance without disrupting your periods.
How Does Stress Change A Menstrual Cycle
According to Leena Nathan, an OB-GYN at UCLA Health, people may notice their cycles or periods are delayed, or that theyre spotting between periods. While emotional stress like a pandemic can incite these changes, so can physical stressors, like recent weight loss or increased exercise.
The reason stress can alter the menstrual cycle likely has to do with hormones. Nathan says stress causes cortisol levels to go up, which can suppress the hormonal cycle responsible for a persons ovulation and period. When your body is in a time of stress, its really not the best time to get pregnant, so its shutting down, she says.
In many cases, if you arent getting a period, you are also probably not ovulating. But dont take an irregular period as a sign that youre not producing eggs or cant get pregnant. Ovulation usually happens two weeks before a persons period, so Mahalingaiah says even if you havent had a period in a while, theres always a chance you could be ovulating.
If you are not having regular periods, your chance of being pregnant may be lowered, but Id still recommend contraception to prevent pregnancy, says Nathan.
A delayed or missed period can also be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome , which Nathan says usually comes with other symptoms, such as increased hair growth. Other health conditions, like thyroid or endocrine disorders, can also impact the menstrual cycle, according to Millheiser.
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Reasons For A Missed Period
Pregnancy is by far the most common cause of a missed period, but there are some other medical and lifestyle factors that can affect your menstrual cycle. Extreme weight loss, hormonal irregularities, and menopause are among the most common causes if you’re not pregnant.
You may miss a period for one or two months, or you may experience complete amenorrheathat is, no period for three or more months in a row. This article explores 10 common reasons your period may be delayed.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
Youre Using Hormonal Birth Control
Many love the pill because it makes their periods so regular. But it can sometimes have the opposite effect, especially during the first few months of use.
Similarly, when you stop taking the pill, it can take a few months for your cycle to get back to normal. As your body returns to its baseline hormone levels, you may miss your period for a few months.
If youre using another hormonal birth control method, including an IUD, implant, or shot, you might completely stop getting your period.
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Why Am I Not Getting My Period At All
The medical term for absent periods is amenorrhea, and is considered to occur when a woman who has previously had normal periods stops menstruating for six months or more. Many of the causes of amenorrhea are the same as those for a skipped period. Your period can be absent for a number of reasons:
The most common reason to not get your period is because you are pregnant. A home pregnancy test can quickly tell you if that is the reason.
Most women stop getting their periods in their late 40s or early 50s. The average age is 51 years old.
If you breastfeed frequently, including at night-time, you may not get a period for many months. Be aware that you will ovulate prior to getting your period back, so birth control is important if you are not ready to be pregnant again.
While a sudden stressful life event can result in a single missed period, ongoing, high level stress and anxiety can cause your period to stop altogether. Managing stress though self-care, counselling, changing your life circumstances, medication, or other strategies can help you return to having normal periods.
Ongoing, dramatic weight loss, from low intake, excessive exercise, gastric bypass surgery, or eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia can stop your period. This happens because the hormones required for ovulation are not produced.
High levels of prolactin
Premature ovarian failure