Missed Period: Why is my period late? Reasons, Causes, and What to do

 Missed Period: Why is my period late? Reasons, Causes, and What to do

Missed Period: Pregnancy is the most prevalent cause of missed menstruation. Other variables, such as medical and lifestyle issues, might disrupt the menstrual cycle and produce late and irregular periods. It can induce weight abnormalities, hormone imbalances, and menopause, even if you are not pregnant. As a result of these problems, you may skip a period for one or two months, or you may experience complete amenorrhea, i.e. no period for three or more months in a row. A menstrual cycle lasts 28 days on average; if it lasts longer, it is considered late. There are a variety of health conditions that might cause a delay in the menstrual cycle.

Reasons and Causes For Delay in The Period When Not Pregnant

Missed periods are not pregnancy every time. Various other reasons can lead to delayed periods. Let’s discuss those reasons in detail:


Stress is a common reason for delayed cycles; hormonal imbalances can occur when a person is anxious and stressed. Menstruation may be delayed or irregular as a result of this. Chronic stress may upset your hormones, disrupt your daily routine, and even affect the hypothalamus, the portion of your brain that regulates your period. Stress can lead to sickness or sudden weight gain or loss, interrupting your cycle. By affecting the hypothalamus, stress can disrupt the body’s cycle regulation. When this happens, the body may engage its defence mechanisms and focus primarily on essential functions, postponing the next cycle until the situation improves.

Read Also: Stress Management: How To Relieve Stress

Weight Abnormalities

This might cause period delays since excess weight or weight reduction can interrupt the cycle. Sudden weight reduction as a result of dieting or extreme exercise can also have an impact on the body’s hormones. After reducing weight quickly, the body needs to rest and recover. Excess weight can disrupt ovulation by changing estrogen and progesterone levels in the body, which might result in irregular periods. The weight loss might cause irregular periods and perhaps end your cycle entirely. This is because a lack of body fat might cause ovulation to be delayed. Obesity can cause the body to create an excess of estrogen, an important reproductive hormone. Too much estrogen might disrupt your cycle and cause your periods to cease altogether. 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) 

PCOS is a common ovary disorder that can cause irregular periods. Women with PCOS may have irregular or delayed periods, or they may miss their periods entirely. PCOS can also cause reproductive issues in certain people. Other hormones, such as insulin, may become imbalanced as well. This is because insulin resistance is frequently related to PCOS. The body produces more androgen as a result of this disease. When follicles do not burst to produce eggs, it causes tiny cysts to grow on the ovaries.


The thyroid regulates the menstrual cycle, and a thyroid hormone imbalance can cause a menstrual cycle delay. Excessive menstrual flow, cycles without ovulation, and irregular periods can occur when thyroid hormone levels are either low or too high. An overactive or underactive thyroid gland might also cause late or skipped periods. Because the thyroid maintains your body’s metabolism, hormone levels might be impacted. Thyroid problems are frequently treatable with medicine.


It is a common cause of missed periods. Anaemia is an iron deficit that can limit blood production, resulting in a low quantity of haemoglobin. It can produce a variety of health issues, including exhaustion, lack of appetite, and nausea. Hormones are disturbed, resulting in missed or irregular menstruation.

Chronic disease 

Diabetes and celiac disease, for example, might impact your menstrual cycle. Because blood sugar fluctuations are connected to hormonal changes, uncontrolled diabetes may cause your menstruation to be irregular. The celiac disease leads to inflammation in the small intestine, which may hinder your body from receiving essential nutrients. This may result in inconsistent or delayed periods.

Read Also: Chronic Disease: Dealing with Chronic Ankle & Foot Pain

 Medications and Birth control

Changes in the menstrual cycle might occur when you start or stop using hormonal birth control. The hormones estrogen and progestin are found in birth control tablets. These hormones restrict the ovaries from releasing eggs, dramatically lowering the chances of becoming pregnant. They can also lower period frequency. It may take up to three months for some people to resume their natural cycle after using chemical birth control. Certain drugs might also induce irregular menstrual cycles. Birth control drugs, for example, are known to decrease ovulation and can result in lighter or missing periods. Antipsychotics, antidepressants, and seizure medicines are examples of medications that might interfere with your menstruation.

Symptoms and adverse consequences of missed periods

Missed periods can give you an adamant time with their adverse effects. Let’s talk about some of the changes that you might experience during delayed periods:

  • Fatigue and nausea
  • Changes in mood
  • Headache
  • Bloating\ cramps
  • Breast soreness 
  • Acne
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Stress and depression
  • Diarrhoea and constipation

What to do when periods are delayed but not pregnant?

You may do a few things if you are not pregnant and your menstruation is late. To begin, take a pregnancy test to rule out any possibility of pregnancy. Make an appointment with your doctor to explore the various causes and treatment options if you’re unsure what’s causing your delayed period. Suppose you are suffering a period delay and are unsure why, consult your doctor. They can assist you in determining the reason and recommending the best treatment choices.

You can take the following actions to lessen the effects of a delayed period:

  • To ease cramps, take pain relievers recommended by doctors. 
  • To manage pain, place a heating pad on your stomach or lower back. 
  • To assist your body manage with the hormone shifts, drink plenty of water and consume nutritious meals.
  • Try and prevent caffeine, alcohol, and smoking, as these might worsen the symptoms.
  • To relieve stress, get enough rest and exercise regularly.


Common and severe circumstances can cause maximum period delay. Women need to monitor their menstrual cycles. Priority should be given to consulting a doctor before performing any action that may worsen the condition. Although delayed periods vary based on a woman’s health and particular circumstances, most healthcare practitioners recommend waiting at least three months after ceasing contraception before attempting to conceive. To maintain the menstrual cycle healthily, doctors should be consulted regularly if you use any medicine, including birth control. Some factors may not necessarily be severe. Some serious causes can have long-term negative impacts on one’s health. Long-term delays might make it difficult to conceive a child. As a result, it is essential to visit a doctor. Relaxing, exercising, and modifying and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help address the problem. It’s natural to feel anxious about a delayed period.


  1. What is the most significant period delay?

Menstruation lasts 28 to 36 days on average, depending on your regular cycle; if it lasts longer, consult a doctor.

  1. What causes a delay in periods?

The symptoms might differ from person to person. Stress, birth control, chronic sickness, anaemia, and weight fluctuation are all common factors. Delays can also be caused by lifestyle factors such as a change in diet or medication. Overall, whatever the cause, you should visit a doctor before taking any additional steps to manage it yourself, which might worsen the situation.

  1. What to do when periods are delayed?

To reduce the consequences of a delayed period, you can do the following:

  • Take painkillers as prescribed by your doctor to treat cramping.
  • Apply a heating pad to your stomach or lower back to relieve discomfort.
  • Drink lots of water and eat a healthy diet to enable your body to cope with hormone changes.
  • Avoid caffeine, liquor, and tobacco, as these may worsen the symptoms.
  • Get enough rest and exercise regularly to relieve stress.
  1. How can stress affect the menstruation cycle?

Stress is a common cause of period delays. It can sometimes impact the period flow, and Irregularities can occur. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by stress. Chronic stress may interfere with your hormones, alter your habit, and even influence the hypothalamus, the part of your brain that controls your period. Stress can cause illness or unexpected weight gain or loss, which might disrupt your cycle.

  1. Can birth control delay the period?

Taking birth control tablets will stop your ovaries from producing eggs since they contain the chemicals progestin and estrogen. Following the discontinuation of the pill, it may take up to a few months for your cycle to normalise.

Priya Singh


Priya writes about women's health and yoga & meditation and loves exploring different places and clicking on natural landscapes when she is not working. She has been in the industry for over five years and has worked with different insurance companies and health startups.

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