A delayed period could come crashing down your world, especially when you are worried about a possible pregnancy or a health condition. A period is regarded as late when it doesn’t show up for up to five days after the expected date. It is said to be missed if it does not show up within six weeks or more after the expected date. In that case, it is best to call your gynaecologist and talk to them about it.
However, there are various lifestyle elements, that correspond to how timely or irregular your periods are. To add more to it, there is the age factor – teenagers and perimenopausal women often experience infrequent periods.
These are the top five reasons, other than pregnancy, that your periods may show up late:
Chronic stress tops as the major concern for late menstrual cycle. It can even lead to missed periods at times. Experts are of the view that excessive stress affects the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that is responsible for releasing hormones that stimulates the production of estrogen and the process of ovulation. When ovulation does not happen on time, your period is bound to be late or even missed.
2. Weight loss
If you have suddenly lost a substantial amount of weight, chances are that it is the crook behind your late period. Studies reveal that major weight loss acts as physical stress and creates a disparity in the follicle-stimulating hormones in the body, needed for maturation and release of ovarian follicles at the time of ovulation. However, this can lead to delayed or even missed periods.
Missed or late periods is a pretty common phenomena in young athletes and ballet dancers. However, it should never be taken too lightly. Experts say that when you workout a lot, your body is burning a lot of calories. If you do not eat enough to make up for the lost calories, your body will adopt a starvation mode and starts to run on survival mode.
Exercise also has the same effect as stress on the menstrual cycle and can hence delay your periods.
4. Changes in sleep schedule
If you have travelled to a different time zone, tend to work round-the-clock or generally have a messed up sleep-wake cycle then it is bound to affect your periods sooner or later.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, women who have delayed sleep-wake-phase – who sleep and wake up 2 hours later than the conventional bedtime tend to have menstrual irregularities.
5. Birth control pills
If you have just stopped popping in birth control pills, it is a normal tendency to have missed or late periods. Birth control pills refrain your body from making hormones for ovulation or pregnancy. When you stop taking the pills, your body takes a while to restore to its normal functioning.