What To Do When Periods Are Late But Not Pregnant
An imbalance of hormones might be causing your missed periods. You open your cupboard, see a box of pads at the back, and realize you’re late. “When was my last period?” you wonder as you reach for the container. Then panic sets in as your mind jumps to pregnancy. There are multiple reasons behind a woman missing or having her period stopped.
Women typically have their period every 28 days, but it’s usual to have a shorter or longer cycle. Some women don’t have regular periods. Their period might be early or late, and the length and intensity can vary.
Why do periods stop?
Periods might end for several reasons. Common explanations include:
Stress might cause your men*trual cycle to become longer or shorter, cease completely, or become more uncomfortable. Make sure you have time to rest to avoid stress. Yoga and regular exercise might help you relax. Meditation can also assist.
Therapists usually prescribe CBT if you’re having trouble coping with stress. CBT, a talking treatment, can help you handle difficulties by changing your thoughts and actions.
Excessive or rapid weight loss can halt periods. Severe calorie restriction inhibits the synthesis of ovulation-inducing hormones.If you are underweight, your doctor may recommend you to a nutritionist if your BMI is less than 18.5. A nutritionist can help you regain weight safely.
If you have an eating disorder, like anorexia, they may send you to an eating disorder expert or team.
Obesity might disrupt your men*trual cycle. Obesity may cause an increase in estrogen, a hormone that regulates the reproductive system in women. Excess estrogen can reduce or eliminate periods. Obese and irregular periods? Your GP may recommend you to a dietician. The dietitian can help you lose weight safely.
Exercising too much
The stress that challenging exercise causes on your body can influence your period hormones. Excessive exercise can prevent ovulation and may cause your periods to stop. You should see a sports medicine doctor if you’re a professional athlete. They can help you maintain your performance without disturbing your periods.
Pills and Drugs
If you’re on the pill, you can skip a period. This isn’t usually a problem. Progestogen-only pills (POP), contraceptive injections, and intrauterine systems (IUS), especially Mirena, might cause periods to stop.
Your periods should return when you cease using these methods.
As you approach menopause, you may miss periods. Because estrogen levels drop, ovulation becomes irregular. Periods stop altogether after menopause. Menopause is a natural component of ageing in women that occurs between 45 and 55. In the UK, the average woman reaches menopause at around 51.
However, 1 in 100 women reaches menopause before 40: premature menopause or ovarian failure.
Polycystic ovaries have many harmless follicles, which are undeveloped egg sacs. With PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, preventing ovulation.PCOS affects 1 in 10 women in the UK. 1 in 3 cases of missed periods are caused by this ailment.
Changing to a night shift or moving to a different time zone may delay your period. A study published in Frontiers in Endocrinology found that circadian rhythm abnormalities can induce irregular periods.
Intermittent periods are a common side effect of new medications. A study on antipsychotics and men*truation discovered that prolactin levels were out of whack, causing amenorrhea. Also, some birth control methods, including IUDs, implants, and shots, may stop your periods.
What to do if I miss my period?
Fear not! Usually, nothing serious is going on. The most important task to handle is getting a pregnancy test if you think you could be pregnant. If you are not pregnant and are otherwise healthy, your periods will likely resume.
If your period is late, take a pregnancy test at the pharmacy; if you haven’t had a period in over three months and can’t figure out why to, see a gynecologist. Medication can be used to stimulate your period in some instances.
This may assist in pinpointing the cause of the delay and recommend the most appropriate treatment. A diversified and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals may also be required depending on the cause of your period delay. A regular men*trual cycle requires all of these things.
You should also consult a doctor frequently to rule out any health issues that may affect your men*trual cycles, such as polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, anorexia, bulimia, hyperthyroidism, or hypothyroidism.
The following usually help regulating the men*trual cycle:
- Some strategies to regulate the men*trual cycle and prevent delayed periods include:
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables;
- Using the birth control pill to manage the men*trual cycle;
- Avoid extreme or restrictive diets that can disrupt your men*trual cycle and impair your health.
- If you have PCOS or thyroid issues, take the prescribed medication.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- While these steps help regulate your cycles, you should still see a doctor if they are erratic.
Consult a doctor if
- You haven’t had your period in about three months and used to be regular.
- You haven’t had a period in 6-9 months, but they’ve always been irregular.
- Possible pregnancy.
- You want to conceive.
- Hot flashes or evening sweats, and you are under 45.
- Your BMI is 19 or less.
- You are worried about your diet or weight.
- Even if you aren’t lactating, your breasts leak milk.
- You are ill (for example, headaches, changes in your vision, have lost or gained weight).
- You haven’t had a period in six months since discontinuing the tablet (or 12 months after the last contraceptive injection).
- You’re afraid about missing periods.
Do I need testing if I miss my period?
If you go to the doctor because your periods have stopped, the doctor will first interview you. For example, the doctor may inquire.
Suppose you have hot flashes or milk leaking from your breasts. (Hot flushes may indicate early menopause; milk spilling from your breasts indicates excessive prolactin levels.) The doctor may also inquire about morning sickness or sensitive breasts.
Then your doctor may examine you. Your doctor may ask for your weight and height to calculate your BMI. And maybe your tummy. They may want to look for causes. Extra body hair suggests PCOS, whereas a bump in the neck indicates thyroid issues. In some circumstances, you may require an internal exam.
Your interview and examination will determine whether or not you require more tests. You might not need any testing. Among the possible tests are:
- Pregnancy tests (usually checked from a sample of urine).
- Bloodwork. They can measure hormone levels (such as thyroid hormones and prolactin, as discussed above, or the levels of hormones coming from the ovary). Rarely gene abnormality tests are required.
A sonogram. (This may be required if you and your doctor want to avoid an interior examination. Like young girls who haven’t started their cycles.)