Late periods are terrifying, especially if a baby is not on the cards at the time. Fortunately, being pregnant is only one of hundreds of reasons that you may have late periods.
All women have late periods at some point. It is not a cause for undue concern and generally the problem will just resolve itself. You may be a day or two late, a week late, or you may miss a period altogether. This generally occurs due to hectic schedules and unhealthy lifestyles. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for late periods.
Causes of Late Periods
- You may be pregnant. Take a home pregnancy test or see your gynaecologist for a thorough examination. If the result is negative, then you and your doctor will have to further investigate what the cause for your late periods might be.
- Young girls in their teens usually have late periods. This is quite common as their hormones are still adapting to several developmental changes.
- Sometimes, teens do not get their period at all even though they have reached puberty i.e. they have budding breasts and pubic hair. Again, this may only be a matter of hormonal imbalance and the body taking its time to begin menstruation. There are a few girls who do not begin their period until they are 16, and in rare cases till they are 18. The cause for late or delayed periods in teens could be birth defects of the reproductive system. Only a trip to the doctor will tell if it is something that you should worry about.
- Stress can dramatically affect your hormones. So if you are working too hard or are going through an emotionally trying time, you can expect late periods until you feel better.
- Later periods can also occur if you are overweight or underweight. Both conditions indicate to your body that you are not physically healthy, so it automatically shuts down your menstrual cycle.
- Also, if you suddenly stop eating, go on a crash diet, or exercise way too much, it can shock your system and you won’t get your period on time.
- Sickness for long periods of time can also cause late periods.
- If you are trying out new medication, it can sometimes play around with the hormones and chemicals in your body and cause late periods. You should get your period when your body has adapted to the medication. But this is not an ideal situation as medication should not alter your system so as to affect its normal functioning. So inform your doctor if this happens.
- Certain vaginal infections and sexually transmitted diseases can cause late periods.
- A change in your routine can also cause late periods. If you are sleeping less or more or at different times than usual, if you change eating habits, if you start a job after years of being a stay at home mum – any such changes bring on some level of mental stress which you may not even acknowledge, but which signal the body to put a halt on the menstrual cycle until you are mentally at ease again.
- Peri-menopausal women frequently get late periods as, like teens, their bodies are going through hormonal changes which affect their menstrual cycle.
- Late periods have been linked to diabetes, cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and thyroid problems. If someone in your family had these diseases or if you suspect that you do, convey your concerns to your doctor.
- If you have been using some form of contraception like the Pill or Depo-Provera for a long time and then you get off it, you may have late periods as your body is still attempting to realign its hormonal production.
Remedies for Late Periods
The remedies for late periods will depend on the reason that your period is late in the first place. If it is because of stress, then you will get your period once you are not so stressed anymore. If you have lost oodles of weight or are overweight, you’ll get your period when your weight returns to normal. If it’s a thyroid problem or a hormonal imbalance, you may have to take medication or undergo other therapies.
If a period is late and you do not think it is stress or pregnancy, then see a doctor so that curative measures can be taken to bring your period back on track. Basically, once the underlying cause of late periods has been accurately determined and treated, your menstrual cycle should return to normal.