We can loathe Aunt Flo all we want for all the period atrocities she inflicts on us. But there’s no denying the fact that any delay in her arrival gives us the worst kind of nerves. Now, the only time that her absence would make you happy is when you’re planning a baby. But if you’re not, you get anxious. “Why is my period late?” If you find yourself asking this question more often than not, then here’s everything you need to know about the curious case of your delayed period:
Reasons Behind Delayed Period
An average menstrual cycle lasts for 28-30 days. Don’t worry if your period is a week earlier or later. However, absence of period for more than 90 days is defined as secondary amenorrhea and is usually a cause of concern. Nope, your delayed period isn’t always a result of pregnancy. It could be due to hormonal imbalance, underlying health conditions or a change in environment. Let’s understand the causes in detail:
If you’re going through a particularly stressful time in your life or exercise excessively, you’re likely to mess up your menstrual cycle–thanks to the production of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body. This hormone is pretty much responsible for disturbing your hormonal harmony and causing a delayed period. It can also aggravate PMS symptoms like cramps, mood swings, and fatigue and make your periods heavier or lighter than usual.
Major Fluctuation In Your Weight
Sudden weight gain or loss is yet another reason for delayed period. That’s because the fluctuation can be indicative of stress to your body and result in excess production of the cortisol hormone. As a result, you may experience irregularities in your menstrual cycle.
Travelling across different time zones can affect the natural circadian rhythm of your body. For the unversed, circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. It is connected with to your menstrual cycle. Any disturbance in the rhythm can lead to a hormonal imbalance and cause a delayed period.
Sickness & Medication
A recent sickness or infection can also lead to a delayed period. When you’re unwell, your body doesn’t function the same way and your menstrual cycle takes the hit too. Additionally, medicines like antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also mess with your hormonal balance and cause a delay in Aunt Flo’s arrival.
Underlying Health Conditions
Your delayed period could be a result of an undiagnosed underlying health condition like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid imbalance. Again, these health issues can disturb the hormonal balance and lead to irregularities in your menstrual cycle.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills or intrauterine devices can interfere with your body’s regular hormonal function. They majorly disturb the estrogen-progesterone balance and can cause a delayed period.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, your period may not return for several months after childbirth. This is because the hormone (prolactin) that triggers milk production also stops you from ovulating and having your period. If you are breastfeeding day and night, it can be up to a year before your period returns.
What To Do When Periods Are Late
Worried about your delayed period? Here’s what to do when Aunt Flo doesn’t stick to the dates:
Take A Pregnancy Test
The first and the foremost step is to take a pregnancy test if your period is later than a week. You can use a DIY pregnancy test kit at home to figure out whether or not pregnancy is the cause of your delayed period. If it turns out to be positive, the next step is to consult with your doc and take the required course of action. However, if it’s negative, you must start analysing the other factors that might be making your menstrual cycle irregular.
Fix Your Lifestyle
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends maintaining an active lifestyle by exercising for 30-45 minutes a day, three-four times a week. Remember not to go overboard with this. You can go for brisk walks or try low-intensity workouts like yoga and stretching. Support your active lifestyle with a healthy, balanced diet including dairy products, fresh fruits, green veggies, pulses, and whole foods. Ditch refined carbs and junk or preserved food for fresh, home-cooked meals to ensure proper nutrition. Lastly, sleep well and on time. This can ensure that you’re well-rested and that your circadian rhythm isn’t disturbed.
Check For Nutritional Deficiencies
Deficiency of nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin D, and calcium can contribute to hormonal imbalance and lead to scanty or delayed period. Taking blood tests regularly and consuming nutritional supplements prescribed by your doc can help cover these deficiencies, boost your overall health, and make your periods regular.
Visit Your Doctor
If you struggle with a delayed period quite often or if it is accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, fever, prolonged or heavy bleeding, you must contact your doctor. Proper diagnosis can help you identify if the reason for your late period is an underlying health condition. Seeking timely treatment for it can safeguard your health and wellbeing.
This product from Sirona’s PeeBuddy range is super easy to use. It comes with an HCG-integrated funnel to test pregnancy at home without the hassle of collecting urine in a cup. You can pee straight into the funnel and check the results on the strip attached above it. Simple, mess-free, and accurate, we say!
Featured Image: Pexels
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