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Reasons Why Your Periods May Get Late

What do You Need to Know about Periods?

Periods is the general term for a woman’s days of menstruation, when she sheds off her lining of uterus wall unless she gets pregnant. The onset of menstruation occurs at the average age of 13 years in girls, called the menarche and stops around the age of 50 called the menopause. In today’s world, often girls report of early menarche, at around 11 years of age, especially in countries with a tropical climate. In the first year of the phase, having a bit irregular periods is very normal! However, over that it becomes risky to avoid this and one should immediately start looking into why her periods are getting late.

Reasons Why Your Periods May Get Late

Reasons Why Your Periods May Get Late

Pregnancy is the Very First Reason Why Your Periods May Get Late!

Not just late, if you are pregnant it is unlikely to get your periods for the next 9 months. However, if you do not know why does period stop during pregnancy, we have got you covered. For the menstrual cycle to function completely, estrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH are the necessary hormones. In pregnancy, both FSH and LH secretions are paused, because of which menstrual cycle stops. This happens due to secretion of the human chorionic gonadotropin, hCG, the same chemical that brings two lines on the pregnancy stick. Uterus lining is actually made for implantation, and if you are not fertilized, it is shed off and reconstructed every month. In pregnancy, there is no need of shedding it off and its bad for the baby to stay, grow and receive nourishment from the mother.

If you have had unprotected sex, or even protected for that matter (since none of the contraceptive barriers give 100% guarantee) it is better to take a pregnancy test at home after a week of missing your periods. As a matter of fact, often it may give a wrong result if you do it too early, so never rush about it. Also, if it turns out to be positive, do a double check as a guarantee. Make sure you follow the instructions given in the kit accordingly to minimize all possibilities of incorrect results.

But Remember! Do not Jump to the Conclusion so Fast!

If you have missed your period or it has been late than usual, we can understand what kind of a situation you are in. If you are trying to conceive and add a new member in the family, it might make you excited and you must be contemplating about whether it’s time for you to do pregnancy test. If this is not the case, then you must be wondering why it is so late, especially if you have been sexually active. However, before you jump into baseless conclusions just because you are missing your periods, you should ponder over on other probabilities of why periods can get delayed barring the obvious one.

Have a look at these reasons:

Gaining or Losing Weight at a Fast Pace:

Reasons why your periods may get late is also linked to your body weight. Weight loss or weight gain directly affects the hypothalamus which controls the endocrine glands influencing your menstruation. Estrogen is required for the building of the uterine wall, but when the weight undergoes a steady change, estrogen production fails to function properly. In the case of weight loss, the hormone is not produced in abundance, resulting in severe problems including failure to build the lining of the uterine wall.

On the other hand, gaining a great deal of weight may make you go crazy with late but very heavy periods since the uterine wall gets really thick.

If you are suffering from either of these, you should start gaining or losing weight given on which side of them you will achieve the right BMI. Keep in mind that severe weight gain or loss also affects several other organs, so it is very necessary that you stay consistent. Once you do that, it is very likely that your periods will get back to normal again!

Too Much Stress Can Be a Reson Why Your Periods May Get Late:

It is impossible to recommend someone to stop taking stress in today’s world where not a single work is done without stressing over it. All of us are in responsibilities that we often do not want to take, evaluations we do not want to give, emotional troubles that we really want to stay away from, financial issues, and the list goes on. Not a day goes without worrying about the next. However, if you think it is because of this reason why your periods are late, then it is better that you reduce your stress levels. You must keep in mind that the stress hormone wreaks havoc in various parts of the body. It can also have several other side effects on you like acne, headache and other skin problems. The key is to stay as happy as you can and your periods will be right on the track.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):

According to reports, one in ten girls suffer from PCOS. It is a really common disease today but it does not have any specific cure except to switch to a healthy lifestyle. If you have PCOS, you have to be extremely conscious about your diet to avoid any further health problems related to it. You may gain weight as well, so start shedding off those calories and once again, even in PCOS you have to reduce your stress levels.

Excessive Workouts Can be Reason Why Your Periods May Get Late:

In the excitement of shedding off calories, often people start over working their muscles without realizing that everything has an adverse effect when done in excess! Restricting meals and working out can never help in getting your periods back on time especially if you do it in excess since the body will fail to make estrogen once again. Slow down your pace and you should be fine in no time.

Change in Schedule:

Life is never constant and when you undergo a drastic change in schedule, your hormones need time to get used to it and it might be the reason why your periods are late. This is really usual if you have changed your residence, have been travelling or your job shifts have changed. Once your body gets used to the changes inflicted upon it, your periods will be normal again.

Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism:

If you are suffering from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism then that also can be a reason why your periods may get late. The thyroid glands regulate the body metabolism and if any disorders occur, your entire body system will be affected including your menstrual cycle. It can happen due to both hyperthyroidism, excessive secretion from thyroid glands and hypothyroidism, low secretion of thyroxine hormone. Either way, you should get yourself tested to avoid any sort of trouble in future.

Perimenopause -You Must be Nearing Your Menopause:

Around two to eight years prior to menopause, women may start experiencing irregular periods which is the first ringing bell that they are approaching menopause. This happens because estrogen production starts decreasing gradually, resulting is infrequent periods.


Breastfeeding women may miss their periods. Prolactin, the hormone behind the secretion of breast feeding may result in late periods since it suppresses ovulation in women. In fact, it is noted that many mothers do not ovulate for several months while breastfeeding and hence use it as a natural contraceptive method for safe sex. The menstrual cycle is highly variable in menstruating women, while many can go on for even a year without menstruating while breast feeding, others stay just normal with their cycles.


Anemia is characterized by lower than normal hemoglobin levels, which is 12-15.5 g/dL in women. Anything around or under 8 g/ dL is a sign of anemia and one should immediately start looking into it for a good health. Anemia results in low blood levels in body due to which your periods may get late.

Taking Wrong Contraceptive:

Even though contraceptives mostly help in regulating body hormones, not all medications are suited for all types of bodies. If you are using your contraceptive without consulting your doctor, it is high time that you stop using it. Your doctor can give you the best advise on which contraceptive to use in order to prevent getting pregnant without affecting your normal cycle.

So, these are the several reasons why your periods may get late or you can miss your periods because of them. It is advisable that under all circumstances you visit a doctor and check what can be done to treat the problem of late periods. Most likely, you will be recommended several tests to diagnose the matter with you and act accordingly. Do not start any medication yourself without your doctors advise otherwise you will end up doing more harm.


  1. Healthline – Menstrual Cycle: https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/menstrual-cycle
  2. Mayo Clinic – Menstrual Cycle: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/expert-answers/menstrual-cycle/faq-20420039
  3. WebMD – Menstrual Cycle: https://www.webmd.com/women/menstrual-cycle
  4. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – Menstruation and the Menstrual Cycle: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/menstruation-and-the-menstrual-cycle
  5. NHS – Irregular Periods: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irregular-periods/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 28, 2023

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