Why your Period May Be Late by Nickeze
Periods often have a mind of their own and come when we don't expect them or are delayed and are a source of anxiety, especially if you are sexually active and are not planning a pregnancy for example. However, just because you don't get your period, it doesn't mean that you are pregnant. And if you are not planning a pregnancy, and your period is late, this can be frightening for you, especially if you are a teenager. The best way to be sure either way, is to do a home pregnancy test, preferably use one of the reliable brands from your pharmacy.
And if it is positive, please don't panic, there is someone in your life that you can tell, if you feel you can't tell your mum or dad, go to your GP, or talk to a teacher, or some trusted adult. There are people that care and they will help you. Please don't be scared.
So why is my period late?
There are many reasons why a period can be late. These are some of the most common reasons why it might not have arrived on time, or when you expect it.
Pregnancy: If you are sexually active and your period is late, pregnancy is the one of the first thing to consider. Home pregnancy tests are very sensitive nowadays, and can detect an early pregnancy. If you find you are pregnant and you really don't want to be, don't ignore it, talk to someone as discussed above. It may feel like this is the end of the world foe you as a teenager, it isn't. You are not on your own, there are a lot of people that want and can help you, so please reach out.
Stress/Grief: Stress and grief can cause hormonal changes in the body, which can affect the menstrual cycle. If you have been under a lot of stress lately, maybe around the time of exams etc., it may be the reason why your period is late. This is usually referring to significant stress as opposed to day to day stress, that doesn't impact our hormones in the same way as significant stress or grief.
Weight changes: Significant weight gain or weight loss can also affect the menstrual cycle. If you have gained or lost a lot of weight recently, it could be the reason why your period is late. Low body weight can cause your period to stop or be infrequent. We see periods stop in anorexia nervosa or it may not have begun in the first place. We also see periods stop in long distance runners where the girls have very low body weight. I know this may not feel like it is affecting you right now and your sport may feel more important. But having a baby may be very important to you when you are older and sustained low body weight can affect fertility later in your life.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause irregular periods or no periods at all. If you have other symptoms of PCOS, such as acne, excess hair growth, or weight gain, it could be the reason why your period is late. This should not be left untreated and you should see your GP.
Thyroid problems: Thyroid disorders, especially hypothyroidism can affect your period. If you have other symptoms of a thyroid problem, such as fatigue, weight gain, or hair loss, it could be the reason why your period is late.
Birth control, for example, the contraceptive pill: Some types of birth control can cause changes in the menstrual cycle. If you have recently started or stopped using birth control, it could be the reason why your period is late.
Perimenopause: Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause, during which hormone levels fluctuate and periods become irregular. If you are in your 40s or 50s, it could be the reason why your period is late. If your periods are irregular and you have not yet been through the menopause (cessation of a period for longer than a year and a day), it is worth talking to your GP, so many things that can be done to help nowadays. Women should not suffer symptoms in silence.
If you are concerned about your period being late, it's important to speak to your doctor/practice nurse to rule out any underlying medical conditions or whether you may be pregnant.
If we here at Nickeze, can help in any way to answer any questions or put you in touch with any supports, please do reach out to us.