Are your periods running late? Worried about the reason why? The truth of the matter is that while pregnancy is a common reason for late or missed periods, it need not be the only reason why your periods could be running later than usual.
Your periods can be affected due to a range of issues ranging from hormonal imbalances to serious medical problems. Here are 8 common reasons you could have a missed or delayed period.
It Could Be Stress
Have you been extraordinarily stressed lately? Any stressful event like work issues or problems at home can cause your brain to send signals to your hormone regulator (hypothalamus) to decrease the production of GnRH-a hormone that is responsible for pausing menstruation in the body. Learn to identify the source of your stress and practice exercises like mindful breathing to get your menstrual cycle back on track.
Check for Thyroid Imbalances
Your thyroid gland is responsible for the regulation of your body’s metabolic activities. A large majority of women suffer from hormonal imbalances caused due to an underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism) gland. Get your thyroid tested to make sure you don't have either condition as they could be the reasons for your late period.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Another hormonal disorder, Polycystic ovary syndrome (or PCOS as it is better known as) can cause delays or staggered periods. Women who suffer from PCOS produce an excess amount of the male hormone Androgen. This can lead to the formation of cysts in their ovaries that can interfere with ovulation.
Birth Control Can Interfere With Your Cycle
Are you on or off your birth control medications? Either event could trigger a change in your menstruation cycles. Your birth pills use the hormones Estrogen and Progestin to prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. Some women, however, are extremely sensitive to such medication and can find their periods thrown into disarray (either light or heavy periods) for months after using birth control.
Eating disorders are a common reason for missed periods. Women who suffer from eating disorders like Anorexia or Bulimia tend to have deferred periods. The converse is also true in women who have high body weight. Taking steps like exercise and a balanced diet can help regulate body weight and resume ovulation in such cases.
Sudden or Chronic Illnesses
Are you a Diabetic? Or recovering from the flu or cold perhaps? Short and long-term diseases like the ones above can affect your blood sugar and hormones and thus play havoc with your periods. Your periods will resume regular flow as soon as your condition stabilises in such conditions.
It Could Be an Early Menopause
Not dissimilar to the phenomenon of early puberty, some women can also experience early menopause before the age of 40 (the standard age for menopause is between 45 to 55 years). This is a phenomenon called early peri-menopause and will lead to the termination of your ovulatory processes.
Missing your periods can be a stressful event. This is why it is important to remain calm in such situations and have an open dialogue with a trusted gynaecologist to diagnose the root cause of your problems.