Why Your Period is Late
It is the middle of the month, the end or the beginning, you go to your period app on your phone and it tells you what you do not want to hear; You are almost a week late,
Am I pregnant?
But I have not had sex in years, so I’m not pregnant, you say, what then is the problem?
The average menstrual cycle runs for about 28 days with a 3-5 day flow, however, it is also normal to have cycles of 21 to 35 days, remember that the day you start to bleed is day one of your menstrual cycle
So let us go into the reasons why you may be late
Is it safe to say that everyone is stressed? From buses to deadlines to assignments, we live in a fast paced world, however, this can have a negative effect on your cycle as it can throw your hormones off balance by affecting the part of your brain that ensures your cycle is always regular: the hypothalamus
Over time, stress can lead to illness or sudden weight gain or loss, all of which can impact your cycle.
Vigorous exercise has also been found to delay a woman’s cycle as women who undergo extreme training in the army have been reported to have their periods delayed for months till they stop training
If you have had unprotected sex in recent times, the chances are that you are pregnant and a pregnancy test can be done at home to confirm pregnancy, Just pee onto the stick and follow the instructions, a double line depending on the model of the stick can confirm that you may be pregnant, Pregnancy can occur only once in a month as the egg lives for just 24 hours and starts to die, unprotected sex five days leading to the day of your ovulation can lead to pregnancy as the sperms may live for 5 days.
In many women, being obese can affect their menstrual cycle.
When you’re overweight, your body may produce an excess amount of oestrogen, This hormone regulates your menstrual cycle and an excess of it may throw your cycle off balance
It can also cause your periods to stop all together
- Low body weight
Women who weigh 10 percent below what’s considered a normal range for your height can change the way your body functions and stop ovulation.
If you are not eating as you should or not adding weight as you should, See your doctor, there are reasons why this is happening
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women aged between 12 and 51 years of age.
They would commonly experience prolonged periods and missed periods, this is mainly because they have an excess of the male hormone known as androgen and also ovaries that have collections of fluid in them and they fail to release eggs, in addition, they may have a condition where their tissues do not respond to insulin as it should, (insulin resistance)
Your doctor may prescribe birth control or other medication to help regulate your cycle.
- If you are on Birth Control
Some birth control methods will affect your periods, from the pill or implants or emergency contraceptives, They contain hormones such as estrogen and progesterone and may prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs which may arrest your periods, talk with your doctor if you notice any of these side effects
- Chronic diseases
This is rare, but it does occur, people with diabetes can have irregular cycles, especially when the blood sugar is poorly controlled,
Common symptoms of diabetes include peeing too much, being thirsty and having a huge appetite, in some people, they may lose an abnormal amount of weight. If you have the above symptoms, please see a doctor
- Early menopause
Menopause is supposed to start between the between ages of 45 to 55. Women who develop symptoms around age 40 or earlier are considered to have early peri-menopause. This will usually come with irregular periods and symptoms of menopause
- Thyroid issues
The thyroid regulates your body’s metabolism, and any imbalance with your thyroid hormones will directly affect your periods, are you sweating a lot or gaining a lot and cannot stand changes in temperatures, or losing a lot of weight, please see your doctor
When should I see a doctor
Some people will have irregularities in their periods that may correct itself quickly enough, but if you have any of the following with missed periods, please see a doctor immediately
- unusually heavy bleeding
- Bleeding after sex
- severe pain in your lower abdomen
- Vomiting or the urge to vomit
- Menstrual Bleeding that lasts longer than seven days
- bleeding after you’ve already entered menopause and had not periods for a year