There are a number of reasons you might skip a month or be late. Pregnancy is usually the first culprit to come to mind when you miss a period, but it isn’t the only possibility. The average period for a woman occurs every 28 days, but it is considered normal to have your period within the range of 21-34 days.
If it’s been longer than 34 days, here are some reasons you might miss a period.
A missed period alone is not an indicator of pregnancy but combined with other pregnancy symptoms, it could be one of the first signs. How does pregnancy cause a missed period? Each month, your ovaries release an egg which travels down the Fallopian tube. If you have sex during this time, fertilization and pregnancy can occur. Fertilization tells your body not to shed the uterine lining, so the embryo has somewhere to implant. Otherwise, the uterine lining sheds, causing your period.
The Birth Control You’re Using
Depending on what birth control method you use, it could be causing abnormalities to your cycle. The birth control pill, shots, implants and even hormonal IUDs can each cause changes to your period. Even after you stop a certain birth control method, it can take your period some time to adjust.
Stress can change your hormonal balance and affect your hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates your period. If you’ve been dealing with stress at home, school, or work, your normal period cycle might be affected.
Exercising More than Usual
Anything involving intense exercise or dramatic weight loss, like training for a marathon, can cause you to miss a period. A missed period can also be caused by serious medical conditions like anorexia or bulimia.
Much like major weight loss and exercise, gaining a significant amount of weight or being overweight can cause a hormonal imbalance. This can in turn affect your regular cycle, causing a late or missed period.
Some Chronic Illnesses
Celiac Disease, often known as gluten intolerance, and diabetes are both chronic diseases that can cause hormonal changes. Either of these could affect your regular cycle. Both Celiac and diabetes can each cause more serious issues, and a missed period could be a symptom of one of those. Lookup the symptoms of each and contact your doctor to be tested if you think you could be affected by one of these chronic diseases.
The thyroid, located in your neck, works hard regulate your metabolism. It also helps regulate all the other systems in your body. Imbalances in the thyroid gland could be causing your late or missed period. Other symptoms of a thyroid imbalance include unexplained changes in weight loss, gain, or energy level. Read more on the symptoms of a thyroid imbalance.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that causes an imbalance of hormones in your system. Ovarian cysts can form as a result of these imbalances. It can also cause ovulation to become irregular or stop altogether. Treatment for this condition typically focuses on relieving the symptoms.
Premature Ovarian Failure
Women usually begin experiencing the symptoms of menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. When symptoms arise at an earlier age than that, it’s called premature ovarian failure. Symptoms other than missed period for premature menopause include hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Premature ovarian failure is uncommon, but if you’re concerned, you should talk to your doctor.
Combined with other symptoms or environmental factors, a missed period can mean a number of things. Let us help you understand what’s going on with your body. If you’ve recently had unprotected sex or think you might be pregnant, Palm Beach Women’s Clinic is here for you. Schedule an appointment for a free pregnancy test today.