For many women, a late period might make them wonder if they’re pregnant, however, a woman’s period can be late or even skipped for a variety of reasons. There are many different reasons that can explain why a woman is experiencing a late or absent period. Pregnancy certainly isn’t the only thing that can delay a woman’s period. If you’re positive that you aren’t pregnant, here are some other things that could cause your period to be late.
Stress isn’t good for anyone’s health, male or female. Women who are especially stressed or anxious may experience a late period. For some women, this can trigger even more stress and anxiety. Stress is known to affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and can alter the function of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates ovulation and menstruation. If stress is the culprit behind a late period, your menstrual cycles should go back to normal once stress levels decrease.
Hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, patches and shots, can affect the timing of a woman’s period. A woman using hormonal birth control may experience a late period if she has forgotten a dose, taken her birth control inconsistently, or is switching types of birth control. Some hormonal birth control methods, such as the birth control shot, are known to eliminate a woman’s period for months at a time.
A woman who is injured or ill may not ovulate or menstruate as she would normally. Illness and injury could certainly lead to a late period, as the body may recognize that it is not well enough to sustain a pregnancy and delay ovulation, thus delaying menstruation. If a woman has experienced illness or injury, it isn’t uncommon for her to experience a late period as well.
Women who are breastfeeding are more likely to experience irregular periods than those that are not. The hormones produced by lactation can directly affect a woman’s menstrual cycle. Even women who have begun menstruating since having given birth but are still breastfeeding may experience a late or irregular period due to breastfeeding.
Losing or gaining weight
Women who lose or gain a significant amount of weight in a short time are likely to experience a late period due to hormonal changes and fluctuations. Additionally, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia could also lead to a late or absent menstrual period.
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