Health

Late period? Here are 10 reasons why that may be (and none of them are pregnancy)

It can make us panic or feel excited but before you stock up on pregnancy tests, there may be some other reasons why you have a late period.

Check out these reasons why it may be late, from the common to the extraordinary!

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Late period? Here are 10 reasons why that may be

You’ve miscalculated

Hey, we’ve all been there! While the average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, every woman’s is different and many of us actually have slightly irregular cycles without even knowing.

Was your period ‘early’ last month but ‘late’ the following month? It’s not actually late at all!

You’re stressed

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It happens to the best of us and while we know stress can affect our mental health and can contribute to weight gain, it can disrupt our cycles too.

When the stress hormone cortisol is released, it can suppress normal levels of reproductive hormones, and it can even lead to abnormal ovulation. If you think this could be the case, take some time to relax and clear your mind.

Here’s how stress can contribute to weight gain.

You’ve had a big change in your life

Have you started a new job? Jumped time zones on a long flight? Maybe you’ve adopted a vegan diet? Certain lifestyle changes can get your hormones out of whack and lead to a late period.

You’re overweight

woman standing on scales

Women who are overweight produce excess oestrogen. Oestrogen regulates the female reproductive system and too much can affect not just how often you have periods, but it can also cause your periods to stop.

If your weight is affecting your periods and fertility, be sure to check in with your doctor. Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is a great way to get started with healthy, sustainable weight loss.

You’re underweight or lost a lot of weight suddenly

It’s the opposite problem if you’re overweight, if you’re underweight then the body can’t produce enough oestrogen which is essential for building your uterine lining and having a period.

Similarly if you’ve lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time your menstrual cycle can be affected.

If you’ve noticed the number on the scales drop dramatically because you’ve been rigorously exercising and cutting out food groups, then this puts a lot of stress on the body and you’re also not getting the essential nutrients you need.

If your BMI is below 18, this may be a cause for concern and you should visit your doctor. Calculate your BMI here.

You’re on a certain type of medication

If it contains hormone, such as the contraceptive pill, thyroid medication or steroids, it may mess up your cycle and give you a late period. This is because they can disrupt the delicate balance of the hormones in our body. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

You have PCOS

Female Reproductive System Illustration. 3D render

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) occurs when your body produces too much of the male hormone androgen. As there’s a hormone imbalance, cysts form on the ovaries and this can make ovulation irregular or stop it altogether.

If you’re experiencing extra hair on your face or other parts of your body, acne, weight gain and/or trouble losing weight and developing patches of dark skin on the back of your neck and other areas, you may have PCOS. Talk to your doctor to learn more.

Often weight gain around your middle is often a sign of PCOS. Here are 7 tips to help you fight tummy fat when dealing with PCOS. 

You’re diabetic

When your blood sugar levels change, it can be linked to hormonal changes. It’s rare, but if you’re not controlling your diabetes, it could cause your period to be irregular.

You’re early peri-menopausal

If you’re in your 40s, this may be one for you to consider. While most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, women who develop symptoms around 40 or earlier are considered to have early peri-menopause. This simply means you aren’t producing as many eggs which leads to missed periods and eventually the end of menstruation.

You have a thyroid issue

Thyroid disorders may cause the body to create too much or too little of a hormone known as prolactin, which plays a role in fertility. When prolactin levels are altered, it causes a disruption in the menstrual cycle and can lead to an absent or late period.

Remember if you are concerned by anything relating to your period and fertility, speak to your doctor.

Do you have another sort of period problem? Here’s what your body is trying to tell you…

For more on health, check out our other healthy living related articles here.

alex
written by:

Alex Lilly

Alex is a social media addict and food lover from Sydney's northern beaches. When she's not writing, you can usually find her waiting for the next royal wedding or baby to come along.