Why Is My Period Late? Causes, and Explanations

June 8, 2022
Why Is My Period Late? Possible Causes, Explanations

Your period is 5 or more days late… And you wonder what is happening to you. You may have taken a pregnancy test without a period, and yet it is negative. 

It is feasible to have a lack of periods but not be expectant. This is a common problem in gynecology. Here is Qare’s medical explanation of this important topic in a woman’s life.

Late menstruation, what can be the causes?

The first possible cause of a late period, of course, is pregnancy. But in reality, there are multiple further likely reasons, biological, physical, or merely associated with your tempo of life. it is therefore quite possible to experience a period delay of 5 days or more, without being pregnant.

Is stress a cause of late periods?

Menstruation happens 14 days after ovulation when gestation has not begun. But in the circumstance of periodic or regular pressure, if you are in a condition of stress or anxiety, the body can set ovulation to rest to safeguard itself. 

And then the rules are postponed or fade for a time. Don’t worry, it’s temporary and it doesn’t matter.

How many days can stress delay menstruation?

We cannot define a precise duration, it depends on each person.

  1. In case of acute stress, it will probably be a brief delay, a few days.
  2. If, on the contrary, you are undergoing meaningful and enduring pressure, your periods may merely stop for irregular months.

Consult a gynecologist, your doctor, or a midwife without hesitation if you are worried, and in any case, if your periods have disappeared for 3 months. Because other pathologies than stress can disrupt your menstrual cycle.

woman curled up in armchair period
© Pexels

Blocking periods on the pill

The pill puts your natural cycle to sleep. The release of blood that occurs per month is not a period, since the medication precludes ovulation. 

These are called withdrawal bleeding. They are typically small abundant than regulations and occasionally misplaced.

A delay in menstruation on the pill must, however, lead to a search for pregnancy: it can happen to have pregnancy on the pill (forgetting a tablet, episode of vomiting or diarrhea after taking a tablet canceling its effectiveness, etc.).

Some pills can also make your period completely disappear: progestogen pills or pills are taken continuously. It does not mean that you are pregnant. 

And if you stop taking the pill, it may take a few months for your period to return, that’s completely normal.

Late period, can the IUD be the cause?

  • Hormonal IUDs possess a hormone that stops ovulation. With this kind of contraception, the periods are short abundant, or absent relying on the hormonal dosage of the IUS.
  • Additionally, copper IUDs include no hormonal movement, so the periods are present and their frequency is not adjusted. Sometimes the flow of menstruation is increased, to the point of causing so-called hemorrhagic periods. A late period with a copper IUD should lead to a search for the possibility of pregnancy.

Biological reasons: adolescence or menopause

In adolescence, the first cycles can be very irregular, sometimes very short with close periods, sometimes with interruption times. There can be 41 days without a period once, then 28 days the next time, then again 36 days without a period, for example. 

It takes 1 year for a woman’s cycle to reach its cruising speed. After a year, it can still be useful to consult a gynecologist or a midwife to take stock.

When menopause is on the horizon, periods can also evolve irregularly. It’s pre-menopause: the processes are extended or vanish from time to time. We talk about menopause when the rules have evaporated for at shortest 1 year.

Late period, other possible causes

Different psychological and biological causalities can demonstrate a delinquent period or amenorrhea:

  • A big psychological shock: bereavement, dismissal, depression,…
  • A transformation of the pace of life: if you cross to a different side of the globe with jet lag for instance. Or if you job at night, in surprising hours. Nannies and aviation attendants are acquainted with this case.
  • With the confinement situation, many women have noticed a delay in their periods. There is nothing abnormal about it: confinement generates stress in some people, a feeling of latent worry. And at the same time, it is a brutal upheaval in our way of life.
  • Intensive workout: this is a circumstance admitted to top-level sportswomen. Periods may evolve less frequently or fade for a few months.
  • Immediate weight increase or, more often, fast weight loss or anorexia.
  • Certain medications, including some antidepressants.

Good to know: a late period can also be a sign of other underlying pathologies. Do not delay consulting your gynecologist or your assistant if you are not certain of the cause of your amenorrhea.

woman hugging pillow in bed period
© Pexels

From when do we speak of a late period?

We cannot quantify a late period, it depends on each woman. If you are ruled like clockwork, you will ask yourself questions as soon as you are 3 or 4 days late for your period. 

If your cycles are extremely uneven on the opposite, a late period of rarer than 10 daytimes signifies zero. 

In general, the length of the female cycle can vary slightly each month. So we can’t talk about a late period before 7 days.

If you feel you are expectant, it is adequate to remain 8 days after the visionary date of your period to bring a test; so you will be certain of the result. A urine test performed too early may be falsely negative.

From when to consult the doctor?

Are you more than 1 month tardily in your menstruation? Do not pause to consult with a doctor or a midwife. 

It could be pregnancy or another problem that needs to be treated. Often a blood test will be useful if the cause is not obvious.

If it is stress that explains the delay in your period, the practice of sophrology, relaxation, or any other form of alternative medicine can help you find a normal cycle and greater serenity.

But remember: even when a late period is not due to pregnancy, it is rarely serious. On the perverse, it is a form for the body to adjust to possibilities and conditions.

Good to know: if you have an early period followed by a late period, you may be pregnant. These menstruations may be metrorrhagia correlating to the attaching of the fetus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What signs can you encounter when your period is stopped?

In general, the blockage of the rules is not accompanied by particular symptoms. 

In the possibility of hurt escorted with a wait in menstruation, it is crucial to confer.

You can also have dark, brown discharge or periods which, when combined with an unpleasant odor, can mean an infection. In this case, medical consultation will make the diagnosis and propose the appropriate treatment.

A delayed period associated with brown discharge and lateralized pain in the lower abdomen may also indicate an ectopic pregnancy and should lead to urgent consultation.

Photo: Pexels/ Polina Zimmerman

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Margaud Raynaud is a beauty expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and tips with others and has a particular interest in skincare and makeup. When she's not writing about health and beauty, Margaud enjoys trying out new products and experimenting with different looks. Follow her blog for expert advice and inspiration for living your best life.

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